You will always be outnumbered. You will be lucky to find one or two people who will go along with whatever plot you choose. The simple fact that you must acknowledge and come to accept is that the World of Warcraft is full of many, many people who want to be the hero, and very, very few who wish to be the villain. All of those heroes will be rushing to stop you at every turn. It can be frustrating, but the RP can be quite rewarding if you keep a few things in mind:
- Find a fair way to stay alive and functioning. Don't god-mode; it helps no one. Yes, it can be frustrating when everyone's out to kill you, but there are a number of ways to prevent that scenario. Don't antagonize to the extent of people wanting you dead. Be backed by a larger (canon) organization. Shift blame. There are a number of ways to keep a good antagonist up and running without resorting to frustrating combat situations where no one wins because no one wants to die.
- Coordinate with other antagonists. Form a posse. You're stronger when you have people to assist, backup in times of need. Your plots can also be more elaborate and interesting when you have multiple motives to contend with. Find a few people of similar mindset and start scheming.
- Have a good, solid motivation. "I'm evil" doesn't cut it. The world of Warcraft is an exercise in shades of grey -- if you're doing something morally reprehensible, why? What drives the character to such lengths? Leave the shrug-off answers "Because he likes killing people," or "Because he's insane," at the door, please. Mentally sound or mentally unstable, find motivation. Try to make it logical. You'd be amazed how many more people might sympathize with you (or at least hesitate to hate you) because they can relate to what you're doing in some sense.
- Play smart ICly. A good antagonist will know when to strike and when to wait, when to keep pushing and when to lay off. Running around attacking people isn't much of an interesting conflict (without significant motive.) Plan. Don't rush. Quality over quantity. A well-placed bit of evidence destroying a relationship can be much more satisfying than trying to kill some schmoe on the street.
- Be courteous OOCly. Planning on torturing some guy? Kidnapping his kid? Bombing his home? Talk to him OOCly first. If your victim-to-be is a solid RPer they may see the potential for interesting RP coming from such a conflict and work with you, giving details you may not have known for further use in antagonism. There aren't as many "No thanks," responses as you might think. Now, people are free to say no, and should that happen you should respect their wishes. There are a ton of fish in the sea.
Note that this does not mean you have to share every detail with your victims -- some things should be kept secret -- but by and large, a little planning with your enemy can be a good thing.
- Be respectful of boundaries. Some morally reprehensible acts are a bit borderline for the tastes of some. If you're going down that road, ask tactfully and respect the answer you get, even if it's a rejection. Never make anyone do something they're uncomfortable with on an OOC level.
- Maintain the IC/OOC line, and keep character knowledge separate. This is a general RP rule but holds especially true in conflict RP. It's imperative you respect what your character knows vs. what your other characters know vs. what you know. Keep it apart, and operate based on the knowledge of your character. If you can supposedly find out information about someone through your character's resources, talk to the person first.
- Accept that you're going to lose sometimes. You want the protagonists to give up something of theirs; be mindful that the same will be expected of you. Give a little, get a little.
- Come to grips with needing to close a chapter. Conflict RP is great and fun and highly enjoyable at times, but as time goes on, the need for some sort of resolution begins to become clear. Work towards a conclusion eventually. Note that this does not have to include anyone's deaths (and probably shouldn't) but should come to a close somehow. The evil item behind the character's madness is destroyed. The motivation for the character becomes obsolete. Remember that conflict RP is one of the primary vehicles for character growth, so find a way to grow from the experience.
Credit for the original writeup goes to 'No' from Thorium Brotherhood.