After watching the latest stream Joel mentioned there will be no quests in response to what I can assume was a question in chat. I think they should reconsider this, as a post launch feature of course. Several reasons;
-adds immersive content to be unlocked
-adds challenge across clans to obtain first
-gives end-game direction and option to alter their gameplay
I understand the journey steps are supposed to replace the traditional idea of quests but there are goals and rewards that can be used to give players content without giving them unbalanced tools. I dont think anyone wants a exclamation point telling them to collect X deer antlers or some lame objective but deeply rare loot and/or head trophies, defeating an outlaw or capturing him to return him for trial and other potential tasks in exchange for things like recipes or alliance or aesthetics can give a lot to explore.
I like having special thralls required to craft somethings but there should be other options that take effort. The glowing inscriptions arent exactly difficult to obtain and should add to these “quests” rather than just walking up and “learning” the recipe. Same with various npc’s offering quests to gain the trust of their tribe opening more vendors, quests and perhaps even alliance against the purge.
I hope they revisit the idea, even though there is a TON to do in this sandbox I think eventually people will want some objective to work on.