Wrath of the Lich King moved away from world objectives in favor of world PvP zones by introducing Wintergrasp. This outdoor battleground was a source of not only PvP rewards and mobs to farm, it also opened up a raid instance to whoever had control of the battleground at the time. It was continued in Cataclysm with Tol Barad, but Mists didn't appear to have any world PvP element at all.
Until, that is, the upcoming patch 5.1.
With patch 5.1, Krasarang Wilds will be transformed into the world PvP zones we remember. There are no raid bosses or raid instances to be found. There are, however, towers, graveyards and other objectives to snag in the name of the Alliance or the Horde. Graveyards represent areas to resurrect, while other areas offer useful buffs for those in the immediate area. At this time, these buffs don't appear to be zone-wide like the buffs in Burning Crusade -- they're simply available to players questing in the surrounding area.
Towers increase health and damage done, while the oil fields on the Horde side of the continent provide a run speed boost and a decrease in the time it takes to summon a mount. There's a tower on the Alliance side that provides a damage buff as well, and a set of ruins that increases run speed and also gives players the ability to mount underground.
Each of these objectives appear to be useful just to players that are completing quests in the area. So far, Horde dailies are restricted to the Horde side of Krasarang, and Alliance dailies are restricted to the Alliance side -- which makes capturing these graveyards and buff areas fairly useless to the other faction. While I have not personally completed the reputation grind for Alliance or Horde as of yet, it does make one wonder if dailies will eventually send players to the other end of the zone ... which would make these objectives far more useful and worth grabbing.
Although it's not quite the return of zone-wide buffs, the ability to capture towers and graveyards still brings back fond memories of Burning Crusade. Perhaps we'll see more development to the world PvP objectives as our reputations progress ... or as the patch progresses. If you've been wistfully missing the days of Halaa, this should be a pleasant return to the days of old.
Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.