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  1. #1

    How would you write the Jailer to be interesting?

    Many people complain that the Jailer is a completely dull and boring villain. And it is true. So how would you fix that? How would you make it even a little interesting?

    Personally, I would just make the Jailer right. If all the Covenants (we will not touch on the other endless realms of the Shadowlands) had some kind of huge flaw that makes mortals suffer (we clearly see this in Bastion, mortals are forced to give up their memories and some of them become Forsworn) and which the Jailer would like fix, for which the Eternal Ones (who could not see the righteousness in his words and the imperfection of their own ways) drove him out. After the ages of imprisonment in the Maw, he could become much angrier, but the only thing he would like is to take revenge on the Eternal Ones for unfair exile and correct their Covenants. No desire for absolute power.

  2. #2
    If he's going to be a Thanos rip-off, they could at least give him a clear-cut & sympathetic motivation. "Fixing the unjust nature of the afterlife" doesn't really matter when you then go on about how everyone will be forced to serve you


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Skirdus View Post
    If he's going to be a Thanos rip-off, they could at least give him a clear-cut & sympathetic motivation. "Fixing the unjust nature of the afterlife" doesn't really matter when you then go on about how everyone will be forced to serve you
    i thought I saw a glimmer of something to work with in the Primus quest. The Primus paused, looking at his reflection of the Runecarver and said, "Broken. Chained. This is the fate Zovaal intends for all existence.".... And my thought was "isn't that what was done to Zovaal?" I mean it's not much but really. There's very little backstory on the matter anyways and I'm not at all interested in looking at it now, but something could work but is likely just gonna drown next to ANYTHING Sylvanas related.

  4. #4
    I think the concept that made the Jailer coolest initially was the concept that he was not only 'jailer of the damned', keeping the worst of all souls hostage and behind bars, thereby making him one of the most threatening in the history of everything because he was bigger and badder than the worst souls, but also that he was also locked up -- he was Warden and Prisoner, but he was the biggest prisoner in the yard while also keeping everyone else locked up with him.

    The imagery of chains, of shackles, those kinds of things are what gave The Jailer a kind of thematic specialty and a way to make him special and unique to everyone else. Him just being "another guy after power, in a normal suit of armor, or trying to do what he thinks is right," is pretty a-typical for a Warcraft villain. If he was just the biggest dude in a very big prison yard he would have been a much bigger detraction from a lot of other villains in the setting because in-so far as the idea of that which evokes a kind of mood and feeling, I think the idea of jail, the idea of that kind of fantasy of this ghost prison warden biggest prisoner sort of identity is what makes The Jailer as cool as he could have been going into it.

    But right now, the most threatening thing about The Jailer is that he has so much anima, that it is composed of so many souls over so many years, thereby making him infused with so much power of so many countless mortals. That kind of power is immense, but it doesn't really speak to the fantasy of what The Jailer is really.

    I think The Jailer speaking more to the fantasy of the character, and really playing into what makes the character appealing in concept is what would be ideal to focus on.

    I guess what I'm saying is, put the dude in a huge ass prison, cover him in tons of chains, have him chain up tons of souls, and have him thrash about with tons of chains on lots of other souls, and that's more The Jailer than anything and that's the kind of imagery and idea I would want to see with the character before anything.

  5. #5
    Merely a Setback SensationalBanana's Avatar
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    The Jailer? Is that code for SyLvAnAs?

    No, but seriously. The Jailer is just a plot device for Sylvanas, that much is clear. I would make him more interesting by giving him some actual f-ing personality, first and foremost. Also, his appearance. I would not make him a dudebro.

    Lol, maybe he could be more like Hades from Hercules? That'd be a nice change of pace!
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  6. #6
    Thanos was teased but he didn't really get any real introduction. He didn't need one. He just showed up and started fucking shit up. His motivation was that of Thomas Robert Malthus, a deeply influential economist from the 18th century. Obviously he didn't get his ideas from Malthus, but because his ideas are so quintessential Malthusian and there are so many people around us that have Malthusian ideas, his motivation immediately makes sense to everyone. And of course Malthus didn't invent the fear of a population outgrowing its boundaries. It's an idea that pervade human nature itself. It's a deeply primitive urge to look at resources as a zero-sum game and belly-ache about the scarcity of it all.

    That's the home field advantage that Thanos had. He stands for an idea that gnaws at us all. Whether he's right or wrong doesn't even matter, we recognise where he's coming from.

  7. #7
    the bare minimum is putting in some explanation of why he is doing what he is doing or some backstory, instead of us having no clue and then getting some explanation after the fact maybe.

    like honestly, some quest or cutscene of him actually being in chains was too much?

  8. #8
    If they intend to drag out who he is or why he exists, then they shouldn't have shown him at all. Let him be a mysterious entity that we know of, but can't quantify. His first reveal should have been when he pulled the obvious betrayal against Sylvanas.

    In all honesty, having him as a cunning, intellectual devil type that uses reason and logic to manipulate people's emotions would have been a good start. His boring blandness just serves to make Sylvanas look dumb and desperate more than anything else. What a trainwreck.

  9. #9
    LEt's ask a few questions.
    What does he actually want to achieve?
    Why does he want to achieve it?
    What motivates him?


    From his mumbling we can gather that he believes the First One's design is flawed, but how? What part does he take an issue with? How does subjugating all of existence fix it?
    Ok. We don't really have the what.

    Why is he doing it? Well we know he doesn't know shit about what the vault holds so it can't be that, he started being a dick before getting imprisoned so can't be that initially. Does he want revenge on his siblings, for imprisoning him? IS there some other grievance from an alternate source? (Say the light)



    His characterisation basically boils down to "Evil bald cunt, who mumbles all the time." so at this point you could make the estimation that he is evil because he has given in to his male pattern baldness. Makes about as much sense as anything else. That kind of also really reduces the amount of plausible reasons why Sylvanas would join him besides. "Eh, fuck it i got nothing better to do anyway."



    But for the sake of somethign creative let'S say that the other cosmic power's representative entities were jealous that the Shadowlands got to have all the mortal souls, by default and wanted to sieze them, with one particularly bad attack against the Shadowlands from the Light, which still scars Ravendreth to this day being the final straw. Zovaal enraged pushes his siblings to use the sigils and unlock the vaults so they can get the power they need for retaliation, but he is denied so he tries to take the sigils by force, which fails and his realm is twisted by domination magic into the Maw. Broken and bitter he schemes his revenge against everyone and everything seeking to turn the order of death on it's head, in the process.

  10. #10
    He'd have the hiccups and an angry cockney accent.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrod View Post
    Same problem they had last expansion with sylvanas. “I AM DOING BAD SHIT FOR REASONS WE’LL EXPLAIN LATER!!!” is not to exciting.

  12. #12
    Over 9000! Kyphael's Avatar
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    Not all villains need a good reason to be evil. It helps with the better ones, but for world-ending events like an Endgame, or Crisis on Infinite Earths, you just need an unstoppable force for the good guys to have to sacrifice and fight to the bitter end against. Thanos' reasoning was hardly relatable, but he was interesting because he put the heroes through the ringer, to hell and back (literally humiliated and spiritually and physically broke most) so you want to pay to see him get his ass whipped.

    Take Apollo Creed for example. We don't know much about him back in Rocky, we just know he's the best, and he wants to win. He doesn't cheat. He talks trash, sure, but we still want to pay to see the good guy overcome him and shut his mouth because the good guy lives in a shitty stinky apartment; he's the every man.

    Zovaal is more comparable to a Hades, or a Boogeyman like Michael Meyers. Locked away for one reason or another, and they were bad to begin with, but they're an unstoppable force, not meant to be reasoned with, understand, and especially sympathize with. Zovaal is not Illidan or Arthas, he's an endgame threat, and I don't need to find out if his daughter was killed in front of his very eons ago before he was imprisoned to rule over the dead for whatever reason.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Theosis View Post
    He'd have the hiccups and an angry cockney accent.
    And a monocle.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyphael View Post
    Thanos' reasoning was hardly relatable, but he was interesting because he put the heroes through the ringer, to hell and back (literally humiliated and spiritually and physically broke most) so you want to pay to see him get his ass whipped.
    Surely you have seen discussions about the environment or environmental disasters devolve into rants about how fewer people is the only way we can get out of this.

  14. #14
    The Patient Zendhal The Black's Avatar
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    By not making him to be behind every god damn major plotline in the history of the warcraft universe...

  15. #15
    i'd give him some character development to start with. sexy squidward that does nothing and says almost nothing isn't exactly interesting or scary.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Zendhal The Black View Post
    By not making him to be behind every god damn major plotline in the history of the warcraft universe...
    this would be my 2nd action. though probably should've been my first given how fanfic this kind of story feels.

  16. #16
    For me, 4 things would help : More insight into backstory, into inner thoughts, more appearance during leveling, and some smarter decisions. But to break it down

    Let's say, we get to see, that he was the original arbiter, with his own covenant. He was created by the first ones to judge souls. After a while, he saw that it was not this black and white thing, and unfair system, far from perfect. He also grew tired. So he wanted to just quit. But it was his tasks, and he alone could do it, so the others forced him to stay. So he rebelled and wanted to undo the whole system, and a war broke out, in the end, his covenant was utterly destroyed and his sigil was taken from him, and he was imprisoned in the maw. Where he was originally not that in control, and the souls he sent to maw were there to torment him until he learned a few new tricks there.

    So yeah, first of all, something like this. Where you can see that yeah in a way it was a bit unjust what happend to him, he overreacted and stuff, but he had no free will in what he was "created" for. And also it creates some grey area for the current eternal ones as well, since they totally destroyed his covenant, so they are also not perfect.

    Second, it would have been great to see some kind of storyline like this unfold over the leveling quests. Maybe some archives with some of Zovaal's thoughts, how this all happened to him, some cool flashbacks, maybe we see how his thoughts changed from maybe wanting to find a peacful solution to being tired and frustrated, to rebelling.
    Also some of his banishment past could have appeared during the whole stygia farm.

    I loved how in wotlk, they had Arthas appear in the zones not just endgame, but during leveling. Like in Drakuru questline, wrathgate, also in dragonblith, some cool quest when he first took up frostmourne, and of course the amazing heart quest in icecrown. I just loved this, you get some more interaction with the villain, some personal touches from them, was really good I think.

    And the last one, I don't know, it just makes them look so so stupid, after building them up to be this all powerful, mastermind behind a lot of things, but hey, Sylvanas can stay at our mercy, yeah she knows all my plans, but I'm just too cool to deal with this. Also, the mortals who put up a good fight, and are actually a threat, the maw walker who is a bit wildcard, nah lets just leave them and go. So bad.

  17. #17
    Any sort of personality/individuality in his dialogue would help. He has been written according to the boring stereotypical villain rulebook, all powerful, uncaring and arrogant right until he is defeated. Never involved directly into matters, always working through agents, never shown.

    Give him some clap-backs. Make him pop out of nowhere ala Deathwing one-shotting you just to remind you where you are. Make him taunt you while you are dead too, out of Bwonsamdi's book. Make him do anything really.

  18. #18
    *sigh* I don't think there is much you can do to make the guy who rules over hell and wants to enslave everyone more interesting. the only way I can see it working is instead of trying to redeem Sylvanas at the very last minute make it so she overthrows the jailer and the jailer is suddenly in a position where he needs our help to put things back in balance.

  19. #19
    Elemental Lord clevin's Avatar
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    I mean, the problem is really two fold. First, he just appears. No history, no background. But second, it's that we're told that he has a better way. In Spires, Devos emotes that he showed her the truth and that his way convinced her. Sylvanas is shown telling Anduin that the system is unfair and the Jailer has a better way... but neither actually tells us what this is. Face it, if Sylvanas wanted to convince Anduin... why not tell him what she's learned from the Jailer? Why beat around the bush with mere assertions, especially when Anduin has zero reason to trust her?

    And, how can people like Sylvanas and Devos really believe The Jailer's way will lead to freedom when he reigns over a hell that enslaves and torments souls for eternity?

    "My way leads to freedom and a better life!"

    "What about all the souls being enslaved and tormented?"

    "Oh, just ignore that..."

    Come on. This is crap writing.

  20. #20
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