So some details of Cataclysm guild rewards have come to light. As I am in a guild and am not a hugely active member, I read the announcements with great interest.
Dark Phoenix mount
(video courtesy of MMO Champion).
This thing is pretty awesome, being the same model as the SWP Phoenix you see certain people posing around Dalaran on. Blizzard have said that you will need some guild achievement to unlock it, maybe something really hard so I am thinking clearing a hard mode raid rather than the collect all legendaries they gave as an example. That or pay some money in the Blizzard store for like a sparkle Phoenix. Then you need personal guild reputation which is likely to be exalted or revered, even though my guild already revere me tyvm. Finally the mount will cost some gold and it will probably be quite steep, the mammoth cost 20k so I can see this easily costing 20k as well (no vendors and not 3 people but accounting for gold inflation in Cataclysm).
So maybe this will be a hard mount to get. However the first requirement of some guild achievement can be done by your hardcore guildies while you are sleeping, or outside, or something like that. Providing it is within the capabilities of your guild, all you need do is wait a while and the guild achievement will get done without your involvement. I say within the capability of the guild, because something like Champion of the Frozen Wastes got done in EB within a month or so of Wrath launching, whereas we only managed The Undying once rocking full item level 232 gear, Kingslayer is only owned by 10 of the guild, and the only heroic LK boss we've done is Gunship.
Beyond that, its personal guild reputation and gold that is needed. Gold can be gotten now before Cataclysm, we don't know quite how much guild reputation can be gotten, however:
Any quest that rewards experience to you will also reward guild experience. The amount of guild reputation earned is based on the amount of guild experience rewarded. Note that daily quests will also reward guild experience.Given I'll be doing quests and maybe dailies at 85, it depends on what reputation level I get at 85 from purely doing quests, as to how much of a grind guild rep leveling will be. Maybe a lot, maybe not a lot.
All guild reputation is gained as a factor of guild experience. source
Pity the instance tabard system won't work for guild reputation, not that they have said it won't, but they also didn't say it would.
The heirlooms on the guild vendor are just like other heirlooms in the game except that these must be unlocked via a guild achievement and you must have the required guild faction to purchase them. After that, you can use them just like normal heirloom items. sourceNow this is quite interesting. Given that currently we think the heirlooms will be a helm and cloak, giving a total of +15% experience (see mmo champion for details), it might be awfully tempting to immediately buy them for my main as soon as I have the required guild reputation during leveling to 85, providing an XP boost. If the guild achievement isn't too serious (like Frozen Wastes) and is done by the guild while I am still grinding out levels, all I would need is the right rep which I should have some of because I'll be doing quests to level. Of course these could turn out to need a heroic kill of the first raid and exalted, so it's a matter of how the heirlooms are tuned. I am hoping I can use them to catch up a little while the rest of the guild is off raiding and running heroics.
Guild experience can be earned in any of four ways:Now this pretty much describes the activities the guild will be getting up to in Cataclysm - leveling and grinding dungeons and raids for loots. As such by the time most mains are at 85 we should have a decent amount of guild XP. Once again it depends on Blizzard's balancing as to how much more we need to unlock heirlooms and stuff like the mount and the neat raid and personal buffs.
1. Completing quests / daily quests that reward experience
2. Killing any dungeon / raid boss with a guild group/raid
3. Winning a rated battleground with a guild group/raid
4. Earning a guild achievement (these are nice, fat chunks of experience so they feel great when you get em)
A guild group/raid is 4/5, 8/10, 12/15 or 20/25 members of the group/raid being guild members.source
In conclusion this stuff is pretty promising, but could either be awesome or utterly messed up, depending on how "hard" Blizzard are going to make it to get guild XP and unlock rewards.