In traditional MMOs, there’s usually quests. Lots of quests. So many, in fact, one could say the MMO genre is based on quests. Granted CE is an open world, sandbox survival game, so its probably not ever going to be quest-depending like MMOs. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be ‘any’ quests.
But the devs are working really hard right now on patching and fixing the game. Many of the latest patches have been outstanding. The game is running much more smoothly on PC (and I’ve noticed the subtle changes to improve the game). Thus, devs don’t have alot of spare time to devote to a full-blown mechanic like quests.
So I got to thinking of a simple way to add quests without a ton of work. Message Board. Each of the major factions have a “city” or major encampment. Each message board could have a posted job for something like a ‘bounty’ on a certain NPC (who isn’t traveling alone – maybe a warlord or hunting party or slavers or ‘vicious beast’ or whatever at location X marked on the player’s map). Basically the message board acts as the quest giver (no dialogue or voice acting necessary). The mechanic is a simple spawn (using existing assets, and maybe assigning a random new name from a list to give the NPC a unique name for the quest). The player hunts down the target and gets rewarded an experience bonus for leveling (and the NPC would have the “loot” from a reward generated loot table of existing game assets).
From there, it can be made more elaborate if this works well. Maybe the message board in New Asgard wants the “Black Captain” of the Galleon eliminated. In this case, the NPC is already spawned in the world.
The message board could also be used for crafting quests. The Set Priest in Sepermeru wants x20 snake arrows and is willing to give Set’s blessing (experience) for them.
So, this technique would hopefully utilize a great deal of existing game assets (so that new objects won’t need to be created apart from the messages and message boards) and add an additional play mechanic to the game.