Leaderboard: Are you sick of MMORPG quests?


When World of Warcraft was in beta and I first gave it a go, I remember being absolutely captivated by questing. It wasn’t as if no MMORPGs before hadn’t included quests. Most of them had, in some way or another, be they Ultima Online’s escort quests, EverQuest’s epics, or Star Wars Galaxies’ missions. The thing that made all the games prior to Blizzard’s 2004 spectacle so different was that questing wasn’t the primary thing to do to advance your character to the cap — it wasn’t the core gameplay element at all. So those of us who were tired of grinding out mobs to level up welcomed a different paradigm, not quite realizing that we were seeing a huge shift in the way MMORPGs were going to be designed from then on out in terms of what players were expected to do — and what we would no longer be able to do at all.

Fast-forward to today: Now when an MMORPG is announced and looks to be primarily quest-driven, at least to the cap, players moan and groan about boring and tedious quest grinds. Just another themepark, people say. I’d rather log out than do one more pointless quest.

Are you also sick of MMORPG questing?

Are you tired of MMORPG questing?

  • Yep, I'm so over MMORPG questing and really want something else instead. (19%, 87 Votes)
  • I'm tired of some questing in some MMOs, but not in all MMOs. (16%, 77 Votes)
  • I'm tired of the currently available MMORPG questing, but I think questing as a concept still has potential. (33%, 155 Votes)
  • I'm only mildly tired of questing, but hey at least we're not grinding kobolds! (13%, 61 Votes)
  • Nope, I love quests, moar quests please, nothing could ever be better. (15%, 72 Votes)
  • Something else (tell us in the comments!) (2%, 10 Votes)
  • No opinion / just want to see the polls. (2%, 8 Votes)

Total Voters: 470

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I like some questing. SWG missions are the best mix IMO. Do some grinding, grab a few missions. Stuff like that.


When you dev a game based on your audience having a max attention span of 15 minutes… we need to talk about this?

Truman Barney

I think the biggest problem with MMO’s these days is not the questing but the fact they simply are not challenging at all. I would say over 95% of all the content these days is completely solo-able to the point where you could close your eyes and press 1-9 and win (even though sadly you usually don’t even have that many skills anymore to fill 1-9)

I’m banking on Pantheon to scratch that itch for me I just want a modern yet old school MMO that forces socialization with crafting, challenging content and bringing back the trinity class system. Hopefully they stay humble and don’t get too ambitious so they can cater to the niche and still maintain a healthy income for their staff.

Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

I like main quests that tell epic stories within an mmo and side quests that flesh out details of the world. Quests can also be fun tutorials of how the mmo’s work in general and how a particular mmo works in specific.

That was one of the nice things about Guild Wars original recipe, the low level 20 max level meant the questing was more about telling a story and exploring the world, not merely for leveling up. Prophecies and subsequent editions were well-designed so learned about how to play the game from levels 1-10 and then went from the starter zone (Pre-Searing in Prophecies) and went into the wider world from levels 11-20 at which point you arrived at Lion’s Arch or the port city that let you travel to another continent.

Yes, it would be nice to do stuff in addition to just questing: crafting, exploring, resource collecting, trading, defending a realm, and even “(bounty) hunting” for those with that particular bent. Guild Wars 2 idea of going into an area and discovering things to do, are Star Citizen’s plan of the economy generating missions (a planet needs food so will pay players to import food or if not enough players do so, then NPCs will do so, meaning pirates might prey on them, and if the pirates are successful enough, NPCs will offer jobs to escort trade ships and/or put out bounties on pirates, etc.) which I think is akin to a more blend of sandbox / theme park, “sandpark” style of play that might be interesting.

Does Eve Online have “quests”? Isn’t it all sandbox? Also Arche Age? I wouldn’t mind trying out sandboxes if you could shut off PVP so they aren’t just gankfests (which is what they have a bad reputation for being).

Kickstarter Donor
Chris Neal

The idea of a quest as an epic undertaking has to be brought back to the fore instead of a honey-do list of limited slaughter. Leave that for the mercenary notice board if players want to pick those up for extra credits or reputation.

Zen Dadaist

Inevitable “no elf butts option” complaint here.


A lot of this has to do with the player… are you playing the game or are you playing your character.

Some players don’t care about the story or lore, others do. Well written quest that give lore and background to players can make a game feel rich and immersive. To some players those same quests are just walls of text with meaningless garbage, all they want to know is what the objective is.

I’ve been both, even though a lot of it has to do with how well written the dialogue is. It can be easy to see in some games if a quest was just some kind of filler or if the devs spent time figuring out how they wanted a quest to fit into the overall story.

Patreon Donor

True. I’ve had great fun in some MMOs reading all the quests, but I’ve also seen plenty with only “filler” text, where the devs clearly wanted people to rush and didn’t bother with a good dialogue or story.


Having played LotRO for 10+ years I got tired of what I consider the ‘current generation’ of quest design. I used to love going to hubs, pick up a dozen quests, complete them all -even if 9 out of 10 were lazy design ‘fetch’ quests- and port back to receive massive xp.

Ever since Cataclysm however, games seemed to follow suit; get 1-2 quests at point A, complete them so you can be sent to point B, where you get 2-3 new ones, which you have to complete before opening up point C, … You were on a beaten path, an extremely linear form of questing removing all sense of exploration, restricting you in so many ways -don’t like this quest? Sh*t outa luck, you’ll complete it or you’ll not open up the next ‘point of interest’-.
LotRO had the good old-fashioned quest hub mechanic ’till lvl 65 or so, once you hit… whatever it’s called it’s the same lazy linear questing. Rift? Taking things a little further even. WoW? I feel like they started this nonsense. SWtOR? Same old story. Wildstar? Oh boy. Linear² with a bad game built around it.

The only game to actually grant me the freedom I like -or should that be crave?-, from character design to skill setups, from crafting to questing; ESO. Quests are ‘out there’. You stick to the beaten path? No problem, you’ll get there, but you’ll miss a lot of quests hidden left and right.
With the exception of LotRO and WoW, I never played the same MMO for 2-3 months. ESO? I’ve been playing for over a year, still very much in love with it. I haven’t even considered going back to my true love LotRO anymore.

So no, when done ‘right’, I love them. When done… well, the way most MMOs do them? No, it’s a very good reason for me to not even finish the free month.


That is the wrong question to ask.
It is not quests as a concept that people are sick of, it is the way mmos use them to push story content on to players, aka on rails themepark story driven. WoW invented this kind of mmorpg (earlier mmorpgs suc as everquest were not story driven), and every mmo since have just followed this concept (even sandboxish mmos).
So yeah the question should not be for or against quests, but if you like to be spoonfed content as quests or would rather want open ended questing where the player has freedom to choose their content and thereby create their own stories (how everquest worked fyi).


So, quests, the very word is getting a bad wrap. The problem isn’t that there are quests required to progress or that leveling is a part of that. The problem is that quests aren’t really quests. There is little skill, and often tedium in these tasks that amount to nothing more than a time suck.

The innovation in questing is not in removing them or finding new ways to level. The innovation is in making them compelling and worthwhile to such an extent that they are part of the larger narrative and not a to do list.

Easy to say, but hard to do? Yeah, sure. But there are games that do correctly out there right that now.