It isn’t really all that good of an idea to predict the unpredictable, I say it’s better to go over what won’t likely change.
99.999% chance that 2012 to play on the same field size and surface.
99.999% chance that 2012 will feature an autonomous period.
99.999% chance that 2012 will feature an end-game or end of match bonus points kind of thing.
99.999% chance that 2012 will still feature red and blue alliances.
95% chance that 2012 will involve lifting some game object
85% chance that 2012 will involve holding multiple game objects.
65% chance that 2012 will yield itself to de-scoring methods (Elevation didn’t).
The list could go on, but it’s all still speculation.
So what does it all mean? As a team develop a solid reusable drivetrain that you like (we like holonomic drives, a lot I might add). Aim for that U shape we all know and love.
Then play around with lift mechanisms (four-bars, elevators, linear slides, scissor lifts, etc.), build them all if you want. Experimentation and practice never really hurts.
Finally grippers, or end effectors. These are fun. They also come in many shapes and sizes, they can even be belts! These are often the most specific part of the robot (meaning the part that requires the most attention to detail and geometry).
So focus on that stuff for now. It’s a surefire way to be as prepared as possible for the game release.