Mankrik's Wife Was Never Hard to Find

So seeing Lazy Peon wonder about what people found so hard about finding Mankrik's wife finally gave me the push I needed to finish this post. I first wanted to write it after seeing this video by Tips Out, in which he talks about the Lost in Battle quest and Vanilla WoW questing in general. I don't disagree with the general gist of it, but it did bug me how he made the quest out to be this big mystery that gives the player no information and just asks you to blindly go out into the world.

I never really understood why this particular quest became such a meme to be honest. I did it on my first ever Horde character without having any issues, and I was quite surprised when I learned later how infamous it was. I guess because the Barrens were full of little kids that didn't have the greatest reading comprehension skills? Still seeing adults go on about it more than ten years later is weird to me though.

This is the original Lost in Battle quest text (emphasis by me):

We battled in a small tauren camp when we were separated--she held three of the Bristlebacks off by herself. But the odds began to overwhelm us. I led some away only to see her overwhelmed by newcomers. In my rage, I turned to face my enemies, but they brought me down easily with their vast numbers.

I awoke to a tauren druid tending my wounds--he had come across me on the Gold Road as I fell.

Please, [class], find some sign of my wife.

So right there, we know that the battle during which Mankrik's wife was lost didn't just take place anywhere; it took place near the Gold Road. Where is the Gold Road? If you're at the Crossroads you probably already know, but even if you don't you should notice as soon as you step out of the gates to either the north or south, as the Gold Road is the big road running through the centre of the Barrens all the way from Ashenvale down to Thousand Needles, and the UI tells you when you're on it, both in small and larger letters.

(As an aside, I logged into my Kronos account for the first time in ages to take these screenshots, and it was harder than expected as they actually lock you out of your account pretty quickly if you enter the wrong password too many times and I'd totally forgotten mine. Once in though, I was quite shocked to find that there were only 28 people online on the entire Horde side - I guess Kronos' golden days are over. Someone quickly whispered me trying to find people for a dungeon group - not like they had a huge pool of people to pick from - but I had to politely decline.)

Anyway, from this we can deduce that Mankrik's wife is to be found somewhere along this line:

That's admittedly still a pretty big area, but it's far from "she could be anywhere". And there are additional hints in Mankrik's general dialogue as well as in the other quest he gives, Consumed by Hatred.
Mankrik's introductory dialogue starts with: "I came to the Crossroads from the south seeking help", which means that anything north of the Crossroads is out. And in the quest text for Consumed by Hatred he says: "Perhaps instead of heading north to the Crossroads I should have headed to Taurajo." This further narrows the site of the battle down to somewhere between the Crossroads and Camp Taurajo, which is already a significantly smaller area, and not really an unusually large area to search by Vanilla standards.

If you then also consider the fact that the Barrens are very, well... barren, so that things like huts are really easy to see from a distance, and that you'll be roaming pretty far and wide for a lot of Crossroads quests anyway, Lost in Battle requires very little effort at all. I remember finding it much more challenging to find those missing guards in Elwynn Forest for example, and I'm sure there were other quests that had vague objectives that were much harder to find.


  1. I have never done much on the horde side, but I seem to recall from stories back in the day that it wasn't so much the location of Mankirk's wife that was the issue but the fact that it was called "a beaten corpse" or something like that. People were expecting it to be called "Mankirk's Wife" or "Mrs. Mankirk" or something I guess, so would see the corpse the dismiss it as a possibility.

    1. Interesting, that's not an angle I'd heard before. Still, again there were other quests that had the same thing going on. The guard quest I mentioned for example sent you looking for Rolf and Malakai, and what you find is a "half-eaten body".