Let's be honest, MMO quests suck. They are boring and tedious. The reason they are is why they exist. Quests in a MMO are primarily there to give a player experience points and rewards. Usually they consist of killing X amount of things, getting Y amount of things pieces or delivering said pieces to Z. Zzzzzzzzzz
Single player RPG's are generally full of quests and yet, are fun. Why is this? The goal of a quest in those games are usually to advance the story. rarely will you see MMO type quest goals in a single player RPG but still they manage to suck up a pretty good amount of time. Of course it isn't near enough time when MMO leveling is a big part of the game.
MMO's open world presents challenges when making quests due to the multiplayer aspect.
- There could be any number of players present.
- How do you tune difficulty in an open world to any number of players?
- The whole re-spawn system changes the quest dynamic
- As other players have to be considered, your work is quickly erased and replaced.
- The focus on loot encourages repeat killings
- Dungeons and other small instances are run over and over, taking any quest significance there out.
- Puzzles are difficult in the open world
- For example, a locked door that requires you to solve a puzzle. If someone else who happens to be there does it...
So here is what I propose:
- Private ( 1 or 2 player ) instance locations spread throughout the world.
- Difficulty dynamically changed to allow a 2nd player should be doable.
- These instances are persistent to the player who enters first.
- Instances would contain full quest lines containing cut-scenes and voice acting.
- No Kill/collect quests or re-spawns
- Story focused rather than reward.
Hopefully someday, questing in a MMO will be as interesting as in single player games.