These are notes from the SOELive 2012 Mechanics and Tradeskills panel. I did not include all of the slides (thanks Omougi!) from the presentation, but included the ones of most interest to crafters.
Yes, the level cap increase is for adventuring, tradeskills and guilds.
The 280 AA will be 2 baubles to /claim that you can use on your level 90+ characters if they are lagging behind on AA still. (I may cover the group xp changes in the expansion panel writeup later)
No further explanation needed right now :D
Again, do you really need more details before this goes live in 3 weeks?
What used to be the tradeskill AA line has been removed from AA dependency and instead will be 40 spendable TS specialization points that are earned between levels 10 and 18 as a crafter. No more trying to figure out if you should spend those AA on tradeskills or adventuring! Those who are above level 18 should get the points automagically.
Tradeskillers will now earn a tradeskill prestige point every 20% of a level starting at level 90. This means as a level 92 crafter on expansion day, you would start with 10 prestige points already earned. Be aware that the third row of abilities will need 15 points spent in their line, so you will have to make some tough choices on which route you want to pursue.
The first prestige line is for refining and salvaging. The gathering goblin mentioned will be much like the pack pony, BUT it can also harvest rares. What is mentioned on this slide regarding salvaging and refining is about all the detail I am going to give right now, as open beta has started, and the details on timers, examples and so on can/will change between now and launch.
Mass production and material conservation are the second line for tradeskill prestige points. Again, details can wobble some in the next couple of weeks, so I'm not going to even try to quote hard numbers or examples that are likely to change during beta.
The third tradeskill prestige line includes experimentation. You can see from the above image that it can really beef up an item, BUT the more you experiment on an item, the higher chance that you will overload it and the item will be destroyed. (Great reward comes with great risk. Be ultra greedy only if you can afford to lose the item in question!) While it has already been requested that the penalty for failure be decrased on this, they were pretty clear that they want you to risk losing the item if you're going to have a chance to make the crafted item extra-special. (Also note that experimentation works on crafted items, NOT drops)
While our current pattern of adornment levels would make the white adorns for T10 be for level 96+ gear, the white adorns will be for level 91+ gear for this tier, so folks can start transmuting and adorning the top tier gear with T10 crafted adorns. With reference to the tinkered adornment removers, there will be one that pops out a single adornment from your item, and another that can reclaim all adornments on the item (but destroys the item in the process). With regards to expansion content dropping pre-adorned items, be reassured that they may drop with yellow (heroic) or red (raid) adornments already in place, and this should not impact crafted white adorns, which are separate slots.
Tinkerers will be able to make certain green adornments, or spirit stones, that grow based on specific criteria (different spirit stones will grow in different ways.) Other spirit stones will also be drops. These spirit stones can fit in ring and necklace slots. (And if you pop them out using the tinkered adornment remover, the item will keep track of any growth it already has.)
This is an example of a spirit stone when the player first obtained it versus what it was like once it finished growing via the player gaining adventure xp. (I am guessing this is a dropped/quested adorn, not a crafted one, but that wasn't brought up in the panel.)