This BlizzCon we're hearing a lot about the ways guilds will be changing in Cataclysm. Not only will you be able to contribute to your guild by doing the things you already do like daily questing and PvP, your guild will be able to use its new abilities to directly benefit the members in various way. Even more intriguing is the talk of being able to transfer an entire guild to a new server at once.
However, even as things change for guilds, one thing remains the same: you will not be getting a guild hall. You're going to have to keep hanging around on the streets with us Hoi Polloi, I'm afraid. Still, what we are getting is extremely thought provoking on its own.
Frankly, the idea of leveling up your guild is not one I would have ever had on my own, so kudos to the folks at Blizzard for completely blindsiding me. At present we're hearing that there will be 20 levels of guild experience, and that levels will be earned though things people in guilds do anyway like killing bosses, playing in the new rated BGs and arena matches, and through progression in professions and reputations in game.
As guilds level, they'll gain access to guild talent specs, with talents that can directly make life easier for the guild's membership.Talents that will allow for mass resurrection and reduced repairs have been mentioned, although we're also hearing that "We're not going to be character talents in the guild talents. We don't want to put talents players have to have in the guild talents, ie: they have to have this talent in order to kill this boss." That seems like a very smart move to me, making guild talents provide convenience and perks rather than necessary boss killing abilities. Other possibilities not yet confirmed but mentioned in the Systems Panel were allowing for mass Guild server transfers (rather than the situation as it is now, with individual members having to transfer and then recreate the guild on the new server) and allowing guilds to purchase bank tabs via the leveling system. Guild Achievements will also be a part of the new system.
Other parts of the new guild system are guild vendors (selling reagents for guild currency earned during the leveling process) and guild heirloom gear, also purchased with guild currency and allowing you to level faster. These items will be bound to guilds and thus leaving the guild loses you the item. There will also be a Looking for Guild system similar to the current LFG system for grouping, and there will be a variety of new Guild UI options, including being able to look at other guild member's profession books and a percentage of all gold looted being sent as a bonus to the guild's bank. You'll even be able as a guild to invite other guilds to events like raids.
This is all rather astonishing stuff that should help make guilds a more involved element of gameplay. I'm extremely interested to see how this all plays out.