And then he says, "Kill ten rats!" And you say, "But I already killed ten rats!" And he says, "But not before I told you to! Go kill ten more."
In his weekly editorial, "The Cutting Edge," Garrett Fuller examines the problems in today's current questing system, especially in MMOGs. Throughout the article, Garrett points to a few common threads that most MMOGs share and tries to find some answers to the persistent problem. If you've been frustrated by the "point A to point B" type quests, definitely give Garrett's article a read!
Even following a story line creates linear game play. Why not give players a chance to impact the story line on their own? The game Fable - though far too short in my opinion - gave players options on how to do their quests. If you did them correctly and followed the rules, you eventually got a halo around your head. If you did them poorly and followed the dark path, you looked like the devil. (Evil is good.) This is the first step in creating a broader theme for players during quests.
Read it here at Ten Ton Hammer.