Tol Barad is a world PvP zone very similar to Wintergrasp. A battle starts on even intervals of time, and the winner of the match gains access to the Baradin Hold raid, as well as a number of special daily quests that grant reputation and currency. In addition to this, both winner and loser gain access to the standard quests in the zone.
There are three destroyable towers, three capturable buildings, and three underground prisons for daily quests.
Battles initially last 15 minutes with 2 hours and 30 minutes between battles. For every tower destroyed, the battle is extended by 5 minutes. The battle is won if the offensive team can control three buildings at the same time, or the defending team successfully prevents that for the duration of the battle.
Towers are destroyed via siege vehicles--however unlike Wintergrasp, players can park these vehicles and dismount, as they will continue to do damage.
Buildings are captured when a faction has more players near the flag--similar to tower captures in Eye of the Storm.
Between battles, players can skin, herb, mine, do daily quests or run Baradin Hold for PvE and PvP gear.
Tol Barad, pronounced (Tohl bar-AHD), is a ravaged island kingdom located west of Gilneas.
More than one thousand and two hundred years ago, Arathor built the citadel of Tol Barad. During the Second War, Tol Barad was a strategic staging area for Alliance forces. The Horde viewed Tol Barad as an obstacle in their path to the Eastern Kingdoms and mounted an assault on the island. Unprepared for such aggression, the Alliance were expelled from Tol Barad and the citadel was razed, a charred symbol of the Horde¡¯s brutal victory. Some of the original Stromic population remained.
Following the Second War, what remained of the blackened, derelict battlements was left to languish until the wizards of Kul Tiras claimed the isle for a new purpose. Towering walls were again stacked high from the war-scarred stones, but in their cleverness, the arcanists turned the citadel¡¯s defenses inward, designing a mystical prison to hold the most powerful criminals. Serving the Tirasian magi, the Stromic population formed the Baradin's Wardens: charged with ensuring that the deadly prisoners locked away in the mystic Baradin Hold never again walk free on Azeroth.Even the Kirin Tor imprisoned some powerful demons in the repurposed stronghold.
When Stromgarde started to suffer a series of catastrophes, the town of Rustberg was abandoned as its population were recalled home. This settlement later became the base of a group of pirates that struck the towns along the shores of Baradin Bay.
With the Cataclysm, Tol Barad once again became a battleground between the Horde and the Alliance. Warchief Garrosh Hellscream sent the elite warriors known as Hellscream's Reach to the island, charged with taking it from the humans. Defending it against them were the Baradin's Wardens, the army that originally guarded the prison. However, as the two forces fought for supremacy over the island, something sinister was taking over the prison fortress of Baradin Hold and the whole island in turn, with prison guards murdering each other or letting their charges free, insanity amongst Alliance soldiers, undead corpses rising from their graves, and spirits reliving their final battles.
Added in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Tol Barad is an outdoor PvP zone, very similar to Wintergrasp in Northrend. However, the island is also similar to the Isle of Quel'Danas in that it is a major daily quest hub. Battling for control of the island are the Baradin's Wardens for the Alliance, and Hellscream's Reach for the Horde. Whichever side controls the prison on Tol Barad gains access to more dailies and the dungeon instance Baradin Hold.
In World of Warcraft, Tol Barad consists of two zones:
Players can enter Tol Barad by portals from Stormwind and Orgrimmar once they reach level 85 or by means of a mage portal, Portal: Tol Barad.
At the beginning of battle, the faction that won the last battle is set as "defending" while the other is "attacking". Defending players start on top of Baradin Hold (players can float down the central chains or off the edges), and attacking players start on the Blackstone Span. To win, the attacking force must capture all three buildings at the same time: Ironclad Garrison to the north,Slagworks to the southeast, and Warden's Vigil to the southwest. The battle lasts for 15 minutes, but can be extended by 5 minutes for each of the towers the attacking force can destroy using theAbandoned Siege Engine which can be piloted by any attacker who has earned an honorable kill in the current battle. The defender's goal is primarily to prevent the attackers from capturing all 3 buildings, and secondarily to prevent the extension of the battle time by destroying the active Siege Engines.
Buildings are captured by a simple presence mechanic - the faction with the higher number of players near a flag will move the capture meter in their favor over time, very much like Eye of the Storm. The rate of capture based on presence is steady, but is affected by two new mechanics. Each time a member of one faction is killed in the immediate vicinity of the flag, the capture meter is "nudged" in favor of the opposing faction. Also, the attacking force gains a 200% capture rate while they control 2 buildings and the defending force also has a 200% capture rate while they control all 3 buildings as of patch 4.0.6.
The time-out between battles is 15 minutes. Winner is rewarded 3 per battle and 3 for weekly quest  Victory in Tol Barad.
Several daily quests become available to the controlling faction in between battles in the center of the map at Baradin Hold. One set of quests is always there, the other focuses on one of three cellblocks around the island.