The first major patch for Cataclysm will reward players for going on dungeon runs with guildmates.
Just because World of Warctaft is the biggest MMO on the market, with its fancy 12 million subscribers, its designers have not stopped innovating. The big push for Cataclysm was to get the original world of Azeroth on par with the expansion continents of Outland and Northrend, and that was a rounding success. But the other subtler push this time around was to further encourage players to play with friends. The guild levels introduced in Cataclysm were a big part of that, rewarding the group for guild-members completing quests and leveling up, but you could still be effective by playing solo. Which kind of missed the point of a multiplayer game?
Blizzard developers plan to take the group mentality one step further in the next major patch 4.1 by significantly rewarding actually playing with your guild by implementing guild challenges. These random weekly tasks will deposit money, and add guild XP on top of the current weekly cap. And all you have to do is run dungeons and fight in battlegrounds with a group that's mostly made up of guildies.
"Any guild group will qualify for Guild Challenges credit and there is a set number of times each challenge can be completed per week," said Blizzard's community manager Zarhym, aka Jonathan Brown. "There's no need to add a quest to your Quest Log or anything of that nature. Just grab a guild group eligible for any of the challenges and go."
The big patch 4.1, which will also re-introduce fan favorite dungeons Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurubis and a guild finder tool, is available for testing on the public test realm now. Knowing Blizzard, it will come out only when it's ready, but when it does, the guild rewards might be enough for me to sign back on to WoW and rejoin my guild Sparkle Motion in our quest for dominance over Azeroth.