Snark EggSucker in the Grindlands wants you to kill 40 Elder Boars, and bring back 25 Baby Boar Tears from the newly orphaned piglets.
Elder Boars Slaughtered 0/40
Orphan Boar Tears Collected 0/25
So, you perform the dark deed, and Snark now wants you to talk to his buddy half-way around the world, who just wants you to go back and collect Boar Livers(and for some infuriating reason most boars are walking around without livers), which you bring BACK to Snark's buddy so he can make a soup or something.
Rinse and repeat until you've hit the level cap, at which point the "real" content finally begins.
There is something seriously wrong with the above. I simply can't understand why we haven't moved on from this model of questing. And if you've played WoW (and many others), you've had to do these quests. By the end, all you care about is killing that last stupid boar so you can run back and make Snark fork over a couple thousand exp and some gear you can't use.
I am vehemently opposed to the "Roller Coaster" Questing structure. Now, you don't have to quest. You could just go kill stuff on your own, but that would be like breaking off of the rails, and sitting in your little coaster car in the middle of a field for an hour while all the other players are doing loop-de-loops.
Sure, it's fun for a while, in a mindless sort of way. But eventually an MMO starts to feel like work, and that should never happen in a game.
But fear not! Surely, we the players can think of another way! How would you do quests (if at all), and what would be an example of a "fun" quest in the generic fantasy MMO?
For me, I would love to see more meaningful objectives. I know each round of boar slaughtering has some lore reason for doing it, but seriously, no one reads quest text. So, perhaps next time there is a pirate camp outside of town, or bandits on the road, or some cult brewing up evil stew, you could defend the town from real attacks.
Now, if you hate reading and just skimmed up to this point, this is a good spot to skip to:
Right now, the only action the town guards see, is if some idiot mob wanders accidentally into camp. What if, there were legitimate attacks on civilization made by the trash mob fodder that we usually kill for their livers? Quests could be spawned on a need-basis. If the general picks up some intel that bandits are about to attack, 50 quests pop up around town, NPCs rush to battle stations, and you can help!
If you have any crafting skill, you can construct barricades that have collision detection. Alchemists can mix together explosive liquids to pour from the walls. People can operate cannons, or blast arrows/magic from fort walls or towers. You might get cash for each invader that you kill, and It would all end with some elite boss mob with phat loot!
If a town is taken, a small army will be dispatched from the main city to quickly reclaim it. There are plenty of possibilities. Temporary quests that appear only under certain circumstances. That's one improvement I would make.
What about you?