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5 Eastern Kingdoms haunts for roleplaying villains

Anne Stickney

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. In World of Warcraft, that player is you! Each week, Anne Stickney brings you All the World's a Stage with helpful hints, tips and tricks on the art of roleplay in WoW.

Kael'thas Sunstrider wasn't just your typical, run-of-the-mill villain. When his diabolical plans in Outland didn't work out, he headed to the Isle of Quel'Danas with an even more diabolical scheme. Tempest Keep may have been a setback, but Kael'thas had a contingency plan in place -- and a second lair in which to set up shop. Sure, we may have mowed him down in short order, but at least he had a backup plan, right?

When you're roleplaying a villain, the last thing you want to happen is to get caught and have all your evil plans foiled for good. Therefore, a clever doer of misdeeds should make like Kael'thas and set up a backup plan, just in case the first one doesn't pan out. And if you're looking for a second evil lair (or simply didn't find the appeal in last week's Kalimdor locations), the Eastern Kingdoms has plenty of places in which your evil villain can plot to his heart's content.

5. Rise of the Defiler

Perched high above the Blasted Lands is this evil summoning area, used in a quest chain in the area. However, when there are no questing players to be found, this place is perfectly deserted and perfectly suitable for a bout of evil summoning. Featuring a large demonic circle carved into the rock face and several petrified remains of foolhardy adventurers, this location has a creepy vibe suitable for any villain's diabolical plotting. And since it's in relatively close proximity to the Dark Portal, the Altar of Storms and Karazhan, it's a perfect position of power for a villain to conduct grand schemes.

Located at coordinates 44, 26 in the Blasted Lands, this location is at the top of the peak. If you have not done any questing in this area, you will have to fly to get to the top of the peak; the spirit at the base of the peak will not teleport you up. For low-level characters, it would be recommended to get a summon or a ride up to the top; the Blasted Lands is crawling with level-56-to-57 mobs that will make short work of low-level villains.

4. Temple of Atal'Hakkar

The Sunken Temple may be loaded with mobs for dungeon-running players, but the outside of the instance is relatively mob-free, and the shady atmosphere makes it a perfectly suitable location for a villain's lair. Since most players are using the Dungeon Finder to run instances these days, you aren't likely to run into very many players wandering around the outside of the instance itself unless they are questing through the Swamp of Sorrows. Since the Sunken Temple got a revamp in Cataclysm, the exterior as well as the interior has changed a bit from what long-time players may remember, but it's a perfect place for a villain to lurk.

Located at coordinates 69,53 in the Swamp of Sorrows, the Temple of Atal'Hakkar requires a little swimming to get to. Once inside, there's a veritable labyrinth of places to choose from. Level 85 roleplayers can pretty much walk around the few mobs in the area unmolested, but lower-level players may want to steer away, as the mobs are level 50+. There's no need to fly to get to this area; it's easily accessible on foot. Full of abandoned altars, hanging vines, and ancient artifacts, the Temple of Atal'Hakkar is dripping with villainous atmosphere and ripe for the taking.

3. The Maw of Madness

If your villain is obsessed with the Old Gods, why not set up shop at the base of one of their fallen servants? This spot is a little trickier to get to, and it's not recommended for low-level players at all. There are two phases of Iso'rath in the Twilight Highlands. If you've quested through the zone, the tentacles of Iso'rath will be dormant, as shown above. If you have not, they'll be wriggling and active. After Iso'rath is defeated, the eastern side of the tentacled monster is relatively free of any hostile mobs, which means your villain can set up shop without worry of hostile activity.

Located at coordinates 49,9 in the Twilight Highlands, this disgusting mass of tentacles makes for the creepiest backdrop a roleplaying villain could ask for. However, it is in a phased area. If you are roleplaying with a group, you'll want to make sure everyone is in the same phase; otherwise, you may have difficulty being seen (although if you're looking for a good hideout, that may actually work to your villain's advantage!). It takes great power to try and harness a dormant servant of the Old Gods -- and it takes an appropriate level as well. Since this is in a Cataclysm area, low-level players would be best advised to seek elsewhere for a suitable lair.

2. Karazhan

Speaking of power-riddled areas, there's none quite so powerful as the site of Medivh's former home. Nestled in the southern end of the appropriately named Deadwind Pass, Karazhan still remains as one of the highlights of The Burning Crusade raiding. But Karazhan isn't just a raid instance, and the surrounding towers and peaks of Karazhan are now easily accessible with a flying mount. The smaller tower to the north of Karazhan proper, shown in the screenshot above, is completely devoid of mobs, and players can also access the Master's Terrace from the outside as well. Though the little town and cellars nearby may look tempting, be warned that those areas do contain level 70 mobs that will make short work of low-level players, so they should be avoided.

Located at coordinates 49,72 in Deadwind Pass, Karazhan is surrounded by plenty of high-level mobs, so lower-level villains may not want to make the trek. However, a quick summon to the northern building or the Master's Terrace should allow lower-level players to roam the deserted areas freely, as long as they don't stray too far. It's been stated in lore that the site of the tower is the point of a magical explosion at some point in the distant past, one that weakened the fabric of reality in the region and heightened the magical power in the area. Because of this, it's a perfect spot for a power-hungry villain to take up residence for whatever misdeeds he might be plotting.

1. Ruins of the Scarlet Enclave

Imagine a town bustling with life and joy -- and then imagine that town torn to shreds by the unwitting servants of the Lich King. The Ruins of the Scarlet Enclave isn't just a location, it's an entire city nestled in the southeast corner of the Eastern Plaguelands. Formerly the home of the Scarlet Crusade, the Ruins of the Scarlet Enclave is now a desolate wasteland that is completely mob-free, thanks to the death knights of Acherus. Death knights level through this area as part of their starting zone, but for most players, this place is just a deserted reminder of the struggle between the maniacal Scarlet Crusade and the ruthless army of the Lich King.

Since this place is so vast, it's perfect for an entire army of villains and minions. The main hall is in ruins, but the cathedral, inn, town hall and a few smaller buildings are all intact and ready to be inhabited. The only way to get to this area is through Tyr's Hand. If you have quested through the Eastern Plaguelands, this area should be mob-free. If you haven't taken the opportunity to quest in the zone, the area will be populated with undead mobs in the low 40 range. Simply travel through Tyr's Hand and head behind the main hall to get to the Ruins of the Scarlet Enclave. If you have a flying mount, you can simply disregard any mobs along the way.

Located at coordinates 93,70 in the Eastern Plaguelands, this deserted town is free of any hostile mobs. Low-level villains can simply get a summon or hitch a ride with a higher-level player if they cannot make the trek through Tyr's Hand on their own. If you are a roleplaying death knight, be aware that you'll need to complete the starting zone quests before you can travel to this area -- otherwise, it will be phased full of mobs to you, resulting in a grisly demise. This area is not phased for other players; you should still be able to see each other regardless of whether you've done the quest lines in Eastern Plaguelands or not.

Whether your villain is trying to harness the power of a dormant Old God or warp the magic surrounding Medivh's former home, these five areas ought to give you some good ideas and locations for roleplay. But Azeroth isn't the only place worthy of roleplay; there are plenty of amazing spots much farther away -- like say, Outland. If you're looking for remote locations, Outland is about as remote as you can get. Come back next week for more scenic vistas and fantastic roleplay locations.

All the World's a Stage is your source for roleplaying ideas, innovations and ironies. Let us help you imagine what it's like to sacrifice spells for the story, totally immerse yourself in your roleplaying or even RP on a non-RP realm!

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