Leveling with another player with a lvl gap?

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So, my friend is new to the game, and wants to hang out with me while I play my main, so I thought, can I party with her and drag her level 5 self to a level 20 area and just start cutting things down while she hides behind me? Would she level faster, or not get any experience at all, because they're so much stronger than her?
They would still level, however there is a penalty for grouping with someone much higher than the character. Likely it would manage to do a few things..

1. Your friend would have no clue how to play on their own and pretty much learn to be carried through content

2. They would likely level but probably at a similar rate as if they actually played.

3. The would have no idea where things are, nothing is worse than grouping with someone who doesn't know where to go to get in an instance.

4. You would not be able to use LFD if the two characters are far apart in levels, without knowing how to properly play the game, any time they entered LFD, it is a wipe waiting to happen.

Lastly, why bother paying to play a game if you don't want to actually play it?
Your friend's toon would level very very slowly for two reasons.

One, the mobs are a much higher level than she is, so her experience is reduced. Two, she is grouping with your higher level toon, which also reduces experience.

If you want to help her level, roll an alt with her and do quests at the same level. You will level a little faster this way.
... stupid Deathwing, making the forums laggy...
I agree with what's been said so far -- plus, right now isn't a good time for a new player to be tagging along with someone more experienced, because nearly everything will be new for both of you. While yesterday you could say "go here and do this quest," today that likely won't be the case.

Also, I've been guilty of holding someone's hand, and it's just not a good idea. She'll need time to figure things out on her own, so she'll have the same experience under her belt as you've had. It can be very difficult to give someone a crash course in how to play when they're still figuring out how to move their toon.

At the very least, go to her, don't make her follow you -- not only will it give her more experience, she won't be aggroing everything in the zone. Or, quest in separate places, but talk with each other in party chat.
The amount of XP awarded by a kill is determined by the highest level toon in a group. If the mobs are grey to you, she'll get very little XP.

An alternative to grouping would be for her to tag the mob and then you kill it.
As noted above however, you're not doing your friend any favors by not letting them learn to play.

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