One of the features of the Shadowlands expansion is the faction system. As you progress through the Shadowlands, your actions will affect how the creatures of the Shadowlands perceive you.
There are three main factions in the Shadowlands: Redeemed, Unredeemed, and Guardians. It's fairly easy to distinguish between members of each faction by their appearance:
Your faction will be affected by which creatures you kill. If you kill creatures that are not aligned with any of the three factions, your faction will be unaffected. However, if you kill a creature that belongs to one faction, not only will you damage your standing with that faction you will increase your standing with the opposing faction.
Viewing Your Faction
You can see what your current faction standings are in the faction window. Use the following command to open the faction window:
You can left-click on the window to choose between viewing your faction standings as a text or numeric standing.
Creatures in the Shadowlands that are aligned with a particular faction will award a certain amount of faction. That amount is fixed by creature. The amount of faction you earn for killing a creature depends on how much faction you already have. When your faction is high, you will not be awarded faction from some mobs, and you will have to kill mobs in higher level zones of the Shadowlands. (This is like when mobs are "grey" to you and you stop receiving XP for killing them; however, faction is independent of the level of the creature. Thus, if you have low faction, killing a grey mob will not give you XP, but will give you faction.)
When in the Shadowlands, you can target a creature and press the 'T' key to open the information window. The information window will show which faction the creature is aligned with and how that creature perceives you based on your faction standing.
Clan players should align themselves with the Redeemed faction, while Omni-Tek players should align themselves with the Unredeemed faction. It doesn't matter which faction Neutral players align themselves to; however, all players should seek to gain Guardian faction.
The Guardians are followers of Ergo (basically the Yuttos), and their purpose is to hold back the creatures of Chaos that have invaded the brink areas of the Shadowlands, which consist primarily of Hecklers and Horrors. Therefore, in order to gain favor with the Guardian faction, you can kill Hecklers and Horrors. Also doing missions in the Shadowlands will gain you favor from the Guardians.
Killing creatures for faction will work up until you have about 10,000 faction. After that, it will be difficult to gain further faction standing. When that happens, you should work on killing bosses in Redeemed or Unredeemed temples. After that, you can gain faction by spawning faction bosses in Penumbra and Inferno.
Effects of Faction
The most fundamental effect of your faction standing is that when your faction becomes "wanted" by an opposing faction, they will attack you on sight. This will eventually make it impossible for you to freely travel through temples and towns controlled by the opposing faction the Shadowlands. This is true of faction mobs with the exception of those in Redeemed and Unredeemed temples. Those will not attack you unless first attacked (with the exception of spirits in spirit rooms).
There is an additional complication for players who have reached level 200. The amount of Shadow Knowledge (SK) that you will receive for killing a creature will be affected by how much faction you have. Clan, Omni-Tek and Neutral players' SK gain will be affected by their Redeemed, Unredeemed, and Guardian faction score. The formula is based on the maximum faction score of 50,000. It is computed as follows: