TERA lead writer David Noonan has been thinking a lot about quests, and he recently shared a bit of insight with GameZone regarding how the team of writers at En Masse Entertainment is building better quests. Much of the team's effort goes toward ensuring the quality (and relevancy) of a given quest regardless of when a player chooses to accept it. Quests that capture a player's interest before (or after) a villain or boss fight are the ultimate goal.
"That's what we call a smart quest: a quest that's designed with an awareness of its emotional, storytelling, and world-building surroundings... When you see a smart quest... it's because someone thought through all the narrative, emotional, and gameplay implications beforehand," Noonan explains.