The two new heirlooms (head and cloak slots) work from 1 to 85, so yes, if your guild had gotten to the point where both of them were available, you'd get 35 percent extra experience starting at level 1. And lest we forget, there are guild perks that also increase your experience gain while leveling by 10 percent. Between a rested state, new heirlooms and guild perks, you'd be looking at a metric truckload of extra experience up until level 80, where it'd peter out to 25 percent.
So ... I'm concerned about the guild achievements, in particular the 50,000 quest achievement. I've heard that any quests done prior to Cataclysm don't count towards that total. If that's true, then my guildies and I who earned Loremaster are looking like we're screwed. Also, can someone explain what's meant by the top 20 players in a guild being the only ones who count towards guild achievements? Is that based on guild rank or total achievement points?
You might be misunderstanding what a guild achievement is. It isn't "if 20 people in your guild have Loremaster, your guild has the Loremaster achievement." While you might have an achievement for being in a group that kills Cho'gall, your guild has a separate achievement for killing Cho'gall in a raid where 20 or more people are from your guild.
The top 20 earners count toward guild advancement, not achievements. Your guild can gain levels by people PvPing, killing bosses, doing quests, etc., and only the top 20 earners for the week will contribute to end-of-week XP gain. You also get guild XP for getting guild achievements, and Blizzard says it grants a "big chunk" of XP, so it feels good to get them.
The quests you completed prior to Cataclysm's launch won't count toward your guild's total for the 50,000 quests achievement -- but that's so when the system becomes available, everyone will be on equal footing. Note how all of the achievements say "as a guild" in them, too.
Is WoW.com going to re-do the leveling guides when Cataclysm hits?
[Adam asks to Saberix: Why didn't you just ask me this on IM or in-game, or you know, call or text me? Don't trust me, brother? (Side note to readers: Obviously there is some sort of sibling rivalry going on here, or at least a bit of passive-aggressive bickering.)]
Is leveling armor looking like it did in Wrath? That is, a couple models spread around all items?
There are four or so new armor models per armor class; one looks to be a dungeon set, and the others are leveling outfits. Right now it looks like there's one graphic set per armor class for Hyjal/Vashj'ir and one for Deepholm; I'm assuming that the Uldum/Twilight Highlands level range gets it own models too, but those zones aren't officially open or properly itemized yet, so we don't know for sure.
My rogue is modeling the Vashj'ir/Hyjal leather set below.
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