Countdown to Cataclysm: Guild leveling and progression

This article is part of our Countdown to Cataclysm series, preparing you for Cataclysm launch one day at a time.

One of the coolest new features of Cataclysm is the ability for guilds to level up, unlocking all sorts of cool items, mounts, heirlooms and much more. Also new to Cataclysm are guild achievements that groups of players can work for that open up even more rewards. Blizzard has crafted a really awesome guild reputation system, so get your buddies together to hit the ground running when Cataclysm launches.

Guild advancement requires players to earn experience for their guild by doing various activities. Completing quests, earning achievements, learning new professions, completing boss kills, winning in battlegrounds and arenas and much more contribute to your guild's advancement.

Guild groups

To qualify for guild experience in groups, a certain number of group or team members must be guild members. Here is a quick guide:

  • Arena teams All members of arena teams must be guild members.

  • Rated battlegrounds Eight of 10 members must be guild members in 10-man rated battlegrounds. Twelve of 15 members must be guild members in 15-man rated battlegrounds.

  • Old raids Previous tier 25-man and 40-man raids from WoW, The Burning Crusade and Wrath require that at least 8 of 25 raid members must be guild members.

  • Dungeons Four of five members of the dungeon or heroic dungeon group must be guild members.

  • 10-man raids Eight of 10 members of the 10-man raid group must be guild members.

  • 25-man raids Twenty of 25 members of the 25-man raid group must be guild members.

Guild reputation

Players in a guild will notice a new reputation bar in their reputations window showing their current reputation level with their guild. Players earn reputation with their guild by completing or engaging in various activities. This reputation bar acts much like any other faction's, allowing new abilities and items to be purchased as your guild unlocks them and you achieve the necessary reputation level.

Gaining guild reputation is easy -- completing quests, earning guild achievements, participating in rated battlegrounds with a guild group and participating in a guild group raid boss kills will all earn you guild reputation. So play as normal, and you should be unlocking stuff left and right!

Guild perks and rewards

Those stalwart databasers over at Wowhead have created an amazing guide for guild perks and rewards that I would be a fool to try to replicate, so I shall point you over to their guide for the whole package. Check out Wowhead's guide to guild advancement here.

Our very own Scott Andrews has crafted some great guides and tip sheets for getting guild perks and rewards faster, as well as a review of the various guild perks part 1 and part 2. I highly recommend giving them a read for some more in-depth analysis.

Here's a quick rundown for you of some of the cooler things guild advancement and levels will bring your guild.

Two new heirloom slots are available to guilds that advance far enough in levels, allowing guild members to purchase these new head and cloak heirloom items. To unlock new heirloom cloaks, your guild must be level 10 and your personal reputation with the guild must be honored or higher. Each cloak costs 1,200g. To unlock the new head slot heirlooms, your guild must be guild level 20 and, again, your personal reputation with the guild must be honored or higher. Each head slot heirloom costs 1,500g.

Pets and mounts Guild advancement is also opening up new mounts and pets for players in high-ranking guilds. The Armadillo Pup companion pet is unlocked for all guild members honored or higher to purchase once the guild completes the achievement Critter Kill Squad, requiring the guild as a whole to kill 50,000 critters. The guild achievement United Nations, requiring the guild to raise 55 reputations in the game to exalted, will reward honored or higher members the ability to purchase the Dark Phoenix Hatchling.

Guild pages and heralds are available to members who are friendly and honored, respectively, after completing certain achievements. Horde Slayer/Alliance Slayer unlock the Guild Page, a non-combat pet on an 8-hour cooldown timer that allows you to purchase guild rewards from anywhere and access your guild vault for 5 minutes. The Guild Herald is the same as the Page but has a 4-hour cooldown and is gained by completing the achievement Profit Sharing.

Let's talk mounts. Upon reaching guild level 25, exalted guild members unlock the Kor'Kron Annihilator or the Reins of the Golden King, based on faction. These ground mounts are going to be especially awesome in PvP, as flying mounts are still verboten in rated play.

Guild Glory of the Cataclysm Raider, upon completion, will award guild members the ability to purchase the Reins of the Dark Pheonix, an awesome mount in the style of the famed Ashes of Al'ar. This elite reward will be most prized by guilds on the cutting edge of Cataclysm content.

The Seafood Magnifique feast
As I discussed the other day, the Seafood Magnifique Feast is poised to become the most delicious feast you have ever sank your teeth in to. And you better get used to it, because you'll be eating a lot of these for the next year or so. The recipe to cook the feast is unlocked by completing the guild achivement That's A Lot of Bait, requiring your guild as a whole to catch 10,000 fish from fishing pools.

Guild perks At each level of advancement, from guild level 2 to 25, a new perk is gained that grant an ability, passive ability or bonus to guild members. You can find the full list at Wowhead, but here are some notable perks that I found to be particularly useful.

  • Level 2: Fast Track Experience gained from killing monster and completing quests increased by 5 percent. That's like an extra heirloom, so invite those alts into the guild for questing guild experience and extra abilities.

  • Level 5: Cash Flow Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 5 percent money is generated and deposited into your guild bank. Great for repair costs and paying out for expensive items to get your guildies ready for harder content. It's free money to use on your guild.

  • Level 9: Reinforce (Rank 2) Items take 20 percent less durability loss when you die. Great for nights of constant wipes.

  • Level 21: Have Group, Will Travel Summons all raid or party members to the caster's current location. No more pressing 1 for summon in chat anymore!

  • Level 23: Bountiful Bags Increases the quantity of materials gained from mining, skinning, herbalism and disenchanting. Need I say more? More materials equals more guild resources. Good show.

There are a bunch more abilities, so check them out in the Wowhead guide.

Guilds have received one of the best overhauls of any system in Cataclysm. So much new content is added for guilds, and you'll be working hard to get it. So group up, band together and wave your standards high. Guilds are the place to be in Cataclysm.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.