“but now on the continent almost every quest involves travel to/through zones packed with much higher level mobs you can not avoid.”
That really doesn’t make any sense. I’ll use the Stygian path as an example:
- You leave Tortage and go to Khemi
- There are quests IN Khemi you can do like; finding a lost message, running the animal contract, look for a lost buddy, get the guy some ale etc…
- Then there are the quests that send you elsewhere; 2 guys in the souk that send you to the follow on zone of Khopsef Providence, that’s the direct vector quest to the next Stygian questing area.
- Then you do have vector quests to all the other questing areas; the priest has you tracking down a coffin > to old Tant, The guy on the waterfront with his ‘drink’ > to Gateway to Khitai and Furs? > Conanh Village.
The thing is I can’t think of any quests that would have you travel to/through zones packed with much higher level mobs you can not avoid …
(OK just thought of one; you get the wine delivery quest to Old Tant and go through it ((totally safe)) and give the wine to a guy just inside the Noble District. Now HE wants you to take it to the Tavern which would have you going through very hostile territory. The thing is you just take the quest and save it until later, there’s no time limit on how long you can wait to do a quest).
The quest progression is pretty much set up as 'finish this zone, here’s the vector to the next zone. Now granted the farther you get in, you’ll sometimes get quests to the other edge of the map, but you work your way questing over to them, not try to ignore what’s in between.
This might help: Quest/leveling guide - starting mainland