Thanks for the reply Jbarrios, you bring up some good points! I've been letting the idea percolate for a while now and I think I have a better way of framing it.
Like I was saying in my original post,
Static quests are boring
Quests from NPC's are not engaging
Games such as MMO's are the most fun when played with a community
VR can make social interactions in games way more compelling
To frame the idea, lets use an example of a game that could have the framework built around it:
A town where at the center of it is a dungeon with multiple levels. These levels are generated by the game developers and increase in difficulty as you progress through them. Essentially taking the elements of a roguelike for the dungeon, slapping a town around it, and then populating it as an MMO or auto-populated lobby.
With the above environment I would want to create a system where players are incentivized to dungeon dive but are not directed to do so by developer created quests. Rather, to progress through the dungeon, there is a need for the player to interact with others. This interaction would be needed due to potential limitations on what class a player had chosen, what professions they have picked, or what roll they played in a party. Essentially having only 30% of the puzzle pieces but the need to complete 100% of the puzzle. This effectively removes the need to "quest" but also creates the social interactions that most MMO's or other social games are based on and thrive from.
As VR develops, the ability to socially interact with others is going to become a driving factor in how we play through a game. While I'm sure there will be games out there that fit the traditional mold, I envision games where this social interaction can drive the story from start to finish rather than just being a parallel mechanic.
In my redoubled efforts to determine what game comes closet to this concept, I again came back to EVE:Online and it's player driven economy and storyline. While there are NPC quests and new expansions that further the overarching story of the universe, the majority of in-game events are completely player driven:
People mine for minerals and sell them on the market
People buy those minerals and ship them to processing facilities
People build ships out of those processed minerals and sell them on the market
People buy those ships and then use them to PVP and kill the miners and shippers
Factions take offence to these killings and redouble their efforts to exterminate the pirates
All hell breaks lose and you have high quality social interaction that never needed quests to be fun
In what I envision, the social climate of EVE:Online could be replicated, made a tad bit less dry (more fun), and then supercharged by the fact that it's being experienced in VR. The town/dungeon described above would be player populated, run by a player made economy, and supports the exploration of deeper levels of the dungeon.
If people can mine for literal hours in EVE:Online, then I'm sure some of them would want to be a blacksmith in the town, fulfilling orders for would-be adventurers haha.
I'm not sure if this concept can be fully realized in an effective manner that would be more fun and engaging than EVE, but I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on the matter!