Picking up herbalism and mining is the best professions to have while leveling. Not only will you earn gold as you level, but you will also get extra XP. At level 20 you will get over 500 XP for picking up a ore or a herb while killing a mob only gives a little over 100 XP. Don’t go out of your way to pick herbs if you are trying to level quickly, but pick the ones that are on your way. Leveling from 110 to 120 can be done pretty quickly just by doing this. There are a few items that will help you if you decide to use professions while leveling:
Most heirlooms only work in a limited level range in their default form and must be upgraded to work at higher levels. That costs gold, and you’ll need around 30,000 gold to outfit yourself with a fully upgraded set (counting only those that give you bonus experience). You may need to spend some time on a boosted character to acquire the gold you need to outfit another character with heirlooms, but it’s well worth the effort.
Before anyone asks - yes there are archived copies of old addon versions both on our github repository and on several of the addon sites we use, and these will continue to be available after Cataclysm comes out, so you'll be able to get those old files if you really want them. I'm not going to bother making these more easily accessible unless you give me a very good reason. "I'm on a private server and I need them since we didn't upgrade to Cataclysm" is a BAD reason - and it's illegal.
It’s a good thing that the previous expansion, Legion, was the best in the game’s history because Battle for Azeroth is coasting on its success. The major class redesigns that happened then remain in effect (though some are a little worse, and some a little better), and the combination of World Quests and Mythic+ dungeons means there’s always something to do, no matter your skill level or how long you can play.
5% was admittedly an exaggeration, just felt that low. I'd say it was probably closer to the 30-40% range. It was Artifacts of the Blacksilt, spent a good 10-15 minutes killing Blacksilt Seers to get two damn idols to drop. A quest that had me killing Elder Brown Bears for bear flanks also took quite a while, though that was less due to drop rate and more due to how spread out they were.
DoTs: Assuming that the mob is going to live for certain periods of time, it is worth it to place DoTs up. If the mob lives for at least five seconds, cast Pain. If it lives at least seven seconds, cast VT. The ideal time to cast DoTs is when it would be replacing Flay, but you can substitute Blast if the mob will live longer. Make sure to cast Bolt on cd though!
Tiragarde Sound and Stormsong Valley are both fairly similar zones, but Stormsong is a little longer, meaning that you might not even have to finish it to hit 120. Tiragarde also comes with a bit of a warning. There are plenty of side quests to do in the zone after you finish the story quests. Don’t do them. It’s not worth the time or the experience you’ll get.