There is an amazing amount of preparation that you could do, if so inclined, for quests in this zone; in one series every quest requires an item that could be obtained from the Auction House. Also, many quests relating to Badlands are really disguised pointers for you to go to Uldaman, the level 40-50 instance in this zone.
You should have one quest still from Thousand Needles: Fizzle Brassbolts – Martek the Exiled. Go to Thelsamar in Loch Modan, where you can pick up: Chak Healtouch – Badlands Reagent Run, and to Ironband’s Excavation (also in Loch Modan) for: Prospector Ironband – Find Agmond.
The Badlands is also an almost featureless flat (with some rocks) expanse, and it is hard to navigate without referring to a map. NPCs are distributed all over the zone, and most of the zone is covered by wandering animals, of sufficiently high level relative to the quests and tightly packed enough to cause problems.
This is where the main NPC camps are:
Martek the Exiled/Rigglefuzz. Has a vendor (can do repairs) here. Go south from the Loch Modan/Uldaman entrance, about half way in a gulch to the west.
Prospector Ryedol/Sigrun Ironhew (53, 46). On a hill south of the entrance, SE of Martek.
Lucien Tosslewrench/Lotwil Veriatus. West of entrance, west of Angor.
Theldurin the Lost. South of Martek, southern edge of zone.
Garek. East of Ryedol, at entrance to Lethlor Ravine.
Kill animals for the reagents quest on the way to pick up a couple more quests; rough levels will be 35-37. Run west to find Rigglefuzz – Barbecued Buzzard Wings. Wings also drop from much lower level buzzards in Desolace, and possibly in Arathi – if you have been there, stock up, as the highest mobs to kill for this quest are the buzzards. Watch out for stealthed panthers, 36-38 south of Angor. Then go due south from the entrance, and climb the hill behind the excavation site to find: Prospector Ryedol – A Dwarf and His Tools. Kill into and around into the site, and find: Crumpled Map – A Sign of Hope (53,33). The map is on a table on the upper level of the site, usually/always?.
Next will be: Sigrun Ironhew – Mirages. The ogre camp (Camp Kosh) is NE of the excavation, approximately east of where you enter the zone. Ogres will be roughly 36-38. The supply chest is at the back of the camp, to the left, and you should be able to see it easily from outside aggro range.
Pick up: Market the Exiled – Indurium. South of the hill south of Martek is a trogg camp. At the east extreme of the camp is the skeleton of Agmond – Battered Dwarven Skeleton – Murdaloc. Troggs will be 39-40, with Murdaloc 42. They have a small aggro range, so clear a couple and you should be good for a single pull.
Back with Martek, you get a quest to save for when you feel like a trip to Thousand Needles: Martek the Exiled – News for Fizzle.
From Lotwil Veriatus – Study of the Elements: Rock. You will find them on the hill sides west of him: for the first quest, Lesser Rock Elementals; the second needs Rock Elementals, which are further west. The main Horde base for Badlands is right next to there, so be careful on PvP servers. This is also a popular area for people to farm valuable vendor items for their mount, as well as Elemental Earth for the AH, so competition here can be fierce.
If you bothered to go to the Auction House, buy a Frost Oil and a gyrochronatom; the two cost me 3g on buyout. The gyro recipe is sold in Alterac, and gyros can sometimes be bought from a vendor in Ironforge. These will complete: Lotwil Veriatus – Coolant Heads Prevail, Lotwil Veriatus – Gyro…What?, and allow you to progress to: Lotwil Veriatus – This is Going to be Hard. You need to kill a level 45 elemental that is spawned after some business by the gnomes. Reward is a stopwatch trinket: +40% run speed for 30 seconds.
When you have the third in the series, Lotwil Veriatus – Study of the Elements: Rock, you need to find Garek. On the way, make sure that you have: Sigrun Ironhew – Scrounging. Dodge lots of animals, and watch out for the horde leather trainer just south of him. Garek – Tremors of the Earth. The sign required by Garek actually drops from the Boss ogre, who walks a path around the zone, from just north of Dustbelch Grotto, passing through Agmond’s End and by Martek the Exiled, with a group of about half a dozen 39-43 ogres. Wait for him to straggle to the back, and he can possibly be single pulled (I always end up with one of the casters adding, sometimes two if I am clumsy).
While you are waiting, kill ogres (39-43), and Greater Rock Elementals (42-44).
I have a lot of undone quests for the Badlands; some, as noted above, are just pointers into Uldaman. Others are significantly higher elite quests, and most of the others are with Rigglefuzz, Lucien and Lotwil, requiring items purchased in the Auction House.
There are a couple of potentially good grind spots here: the rock elementals in the north, if no one is questing there, and the dragonkin at the start of Lethlor Ravine, before the elites, close to Garek. There are some good vendor drops from the elementals, and good tradeskill drops from both.
Prospector Ryedol – A Sign of Hope 35 -> Uldaman
Rigglefuzz – Powerstones 36 (Uldaman?) by Martek
Lucien Tosselwrench – Liquid Stone 37 (healing, lesser invis potions)
Rigglefuzz – Pearl Diving (elite) 37 (9 blue pearls from Stranglethorn)
Rigglefuzz – Flash Bomb Recipe 37
Theldurin The Lost – Solution to Doom 40 (Uldaman)
Theldurin The Lost – To Ironforge for Yagyin’s Digest 40
Lucien Tosselwrench – Stone is Better than Cloth 42 (patterned bronze bracers, AH)
Sigrun Ironhew – Fiery Enhancements (elite) 45
Corroded Black Box – The Black Box 55 elite (Zaricotl, ->IF)
(Gerrig Bonegrip (IF) – Theldurin The Lost 40)