Allot of people seem to be stuck on the idea of “how can we make the story more interesting”, but that 1: Isn’t what this thread was about, and 2: Wont fundamentally change anything about the task at hand.
So…if your focus is mixing up the task at hand, then the simple answer would be to create new, more original tasks (gee, what a surprise). When I think about this, my mind immediately goes to mini-games. But, lets get into quests that have relevance to the game’s combat…I would recommend battles with alternate goals and stakes (some cliché examples of these type of missions might be; “protect the king from enemies”, “survive a huge wave of enemies”, “escape from the enemy”, “defeat the enemy within a narrow time limit” and other scenarios where the player’s offensive, defensive and terrene/mobile objectives stray from the norm...be creative).
I’m personally one of those players who couldn’t care less about the plot/story of a quest. I play games for gameplay, if I wanted to be invested more in lore, then I’d read a book.
Of course, the reason that quests in MMOs are so similar and repetitive is because MMOs are all about making as much content as possible; as quickly as possible (hence, fulfilling the word “massive“). Rehashing the same quest concepts then slapping a different story on them saves development time (precious, precious development time!)…If you want your game to see the light of day within the next 10 years, then you too should master the art of cutting corners. I know my rambling is becoming a bit off-topic , but in conclusion: you probably shouldn’t be making completely original concepts for each and every quest, but rather; rely on a handful of unique concepts.
Thank you, thats what I was asking from the beginning. Seems people don't understand that quite a lot of players really don't care about the story for every single quest or even the main storyline for a lot of games. It does suck that developers need to rehash ideas and tasks in order to keep players busy, takes too much time and money to come up with all unique content.