So I posted this on the General Forums yesterday, was going to post it here but I forgot my password and locked myself out of my account >.>
The post is already buried in the forums but I'm still hoping it gets at least some feedback as as far as I can tell it seems like a solid idea. Just a heads up it's a fairly lengthy read. Would love to hear at least some sort of feedback on this.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/7394209394 link to forum post.
So I've been thinking on this idea for awhile, and I think I have it finally worked out enough to provide the framework of a great solution to a lot of the issues folks have with raising reputations (especially on alts) as well as a way to alleviate space issues for some people due to the amount of tabards and vanity/fun items available in-game. Bear with me as this may be somewhat lengthy since I've been thinking about this a lot.
I also think (though I don't really know given the fact that I've never done any programming) that it wouldn't be too difficult as a lot of the technologies that would be used for this are already in the game (account-wide achievements/mounts/pet, reputation buffs, etc)
So the first thing this that whenever you purchase/earn a tabard, it will function similar to a mount where it is added to some sort of journal/list that is account wide (It could work either like the pet/mount journal or the Titles page, or something mixing them or entirely new) If you would like it could even be accessed from the current tabard slot which would turn it into a drop-down menu similar to how mage portals work. Once a tabard is added all characters on the account can access it, as long as the appropriate requirements are met,m whether that is level/race/class/faction/reputation level/etc. Now there is no longer any need to keep tabards as a physical item that requires inventory room (which I'm sure the tabard collector's out there would greatly appreciate)
Next to deal with the issue of some tabards providing special abilities/effects aside from the regular reputation tabards (See tabard of the Argent Crusade, Tabard of Tol Barad, Tabard of the Silver Hand, etc) Instead of these being tabards, the effects are now added to various items that provide the same functionality (Hearthstone of Tol Barad, Sigil of the Silver Hand) In the instance that these tabards are something you buy off of a vendor, you could even have it come in a pack that contains both the tabard and the special item, if it is felt to be needed. That would take care of the issue of the tabards with the special on-use abilities.
Finally, that leaves us with the reputation tabards (Race tabards, Wrath/Cata rep tabards) How do you incorporate this functionality without replacing all of the tabards with a bunch of items plays have to keep in their inventory? Through something that I will call the Battle Standard system (though it could be anything, you could call it Sigils, Banners, whatever) Once you have met the requirements that would allow you to have purchased the original reputaiton tabard (Friendly/Honored with the faction, or just the correct race for the city reps) you can speak to an npc/buy an item that addeds that factions banner to your battle standard list (which again can be presented in any number of ways) Once added it is accessable by all characters that meet the requirements, similar to all account-wide systems.
Once you've added a banner to your Battle Standard list and you meet the requirements, you can go into the appropriate menu and selection from all available banners. You select a banner, and now it will display a special banner on your character (you can make it only visible in dungeons/raids/etc or have it always be visible for those who like that aspect) that will function just like the old tabards. It would be similar to when you are a flag carrier in a battle ground, though how prominent and noticible it is doesn't really matter. You could also have each tabard be unique by either having a different type of tabard for each of the playable races (A Blademaster style banner for orcs, a totem for Taurens, a gear-powered flag waver for Gnomes, floating crystal runes for Draenei) or have each faction have a unique banner model (An ornate flag pole with a hanging banner for the Argent Crusade, a wrought-iron banner pole with a tattared flag for the Under City, floating stones supporting a flag for Therazane)
How does this address the issue that people have with the reputations of Pandaria which can be tedious if you're working on Exalted on your second or third character? You add a Battle Standard that is unlockable once you've reached Exalted with that faction on one character already (or two or three, or once for both Horde and Alliance) or any other requirement.
As for the issue people are having with the addition of so many fun/vanity items that were added for this expansion. Can you please add a vendor where you can purchase all of these items? Even if it requires you to have completed whatever quest that rewarded the item, this would greatly help myself and I'm sure many others. I don't want to sell or destroy any of the items as they're all pretty fun because I wouldn't be able to get them anymore (that I'm aware of) without opening a ticket with a GM.
I think that doing this would help solve a lot of the issues that people have with leveling reputations and help alleviate a small amount of the inventory constraints people are experiencing.