Blizzard Community Manager Nethaera has posted a blog providing both back-up information and useful clues about the events taking place in the areas surrounding Orgrimmar, giving players the heads up on the various new elements being introduced to those zones, how they are used and the stories behind them. As the devs commented in the recent live Q&A, this is a new angle on maximum level questing for WoW, and it's pretty fun. Again, beware spoilers, but you can also check out WoW Insider's initial look at the goings on in the area.
Final spoiler warning! They lurk ominously after the break. Watching. Waiting.
There are several new elements going into the Barrens area, which, as Neth explains, start with a pop-up quest to meet with our old friend Lorewalker Cho
Without going too heavily into the detail, the quest takes you into two scenarios: Dark Heart of Pandaria, and Blood in the Snow, before sending you over to Durotar to continue the story. Once you get to Durotar, there are various changes to contend with, explained by Nethaera in her blog.
In patch 5.3, we're turning up the heat between the Horde and Alliance with a new chain of level 90 quests that will take you further into this ever evolving story. Beginning with a letter and quest (War is Coming) from Lorewalker Cho, you'll be asked to seek him out in the Seat of Knowledge within the Vale of Eternal Blossoms.
Dealing with Trolls
Both the Alliance and the Horde have quests revolving around Vol'jin. If you're a Horde player, you'll need to meet up with the big blue guy in the region of Sen'Jin Village, where the Horde's assault on the Kor'kron will begin. You'll then carry on to Razor Hill, and later to Orgrimmar, in an attempt to quell the Kor'kron's efforts.
The Alliance are also in direct dealings with Vol'jin, but they go about it in a less obvious fashion, given, of course, that they are not generally the best of friends. Alliance players will be sent to seek out SI:7, where they'll dress up as a cat and curry the favor of a druid who will take you to Vol'jin himself. Neth's blog pitches this as the Alliance being smart, securing landing points and ensuring that they facilitate the Horde tearing themselves apart from within.
Both sides are looking to steal supplies from the Kor'kron, arming the rebels via Vol'jin. There are various new elements being introduced in order to facilitate this, almost all of them being in the Barrens and surrounding areas.
Crippling the Kor'kron
There are various ways in which both factions can undermine the Kor'kron's efforts. After you've completed the lead-in chain, you'll receive a weekly quest to collect four different resources: Kor'kron Oil, Kor'kron Lumber, Kor'kron Meat, and Kor'kron Stone. Completing this quest will reward Radical Mojo, which can be used at the Quartermaster to buy various items. How do you get the supplies? Well, there are various methods.
Firstly there are four spots throughout the area where they can be collected, and you can kill Kor'kron, as well as the Kor'kron elites which will spawn periodically in the area. These rares hit hard, and you'll need around three to take them down at current PTR levels. There are also caravans traveling around the Barrens area, which have zone-wide announcements, and either require escorting, if they're a supply caravan, or looting, if they're an overturned Kor'kron caravan. Supply caravans will award a buff to their defenders, as well as a bag on on their safe arrival at their destination. The amount of supplies you receive will be measured according to how long you stayed with the caravan escort, and how many stacks of the escort buff you have acquired. The longer you stayed and the more buff stacks you have, the more supplies you will receive. These supplies can be used to purchase vanity items, and Latent Kor'kron Armor will drop, which can be upgraded with the aforementioned Radical Mojo.
As Nethaera explains, these world events won't last forever, so be sure to get your fill of caravans and Kor'kron before 5.4 appears! You can check out her full blog for more information.