As a fun way to learn more about Azeroth and advance the story line, quests form the foundation of the World of Warcraft adventure experience. From simple tasks such as gathering supplies for a local blacksmith to complicated endeavors such as infiltrating the stronghold of a twisted cult, quests are a constant source of risks and rewards for characters of every race.
Thanks to their wide range of complexity and the sheer numbers, quests will continually provide players with engaging and worthwhile challenges, regardless of how often those players can play each day. And while many quests can be finished by individual players relatively quickly, others can require multiple players to adventure together for a week or more.
Performing the actual work involved for a quest has its own rewards, but an additional experience-point bonus will usually be awarded once the character reports to the appropriate NPC (non-player character) to conclude the quest. Characters can also receive money and/or magic items in exchange for completing quests, not to mention trade-skill recipes, spells, buffs, and much more. Also, World of Warcraft features a flexible reward system: players are often able to choose from a selection of quest rewards that best suit their character or their tastes.
Quests are easy to find and acquire. Most commonly, players must simply talk to an NPC with an exclamation point (!) above his or her head. The exclamation point indicates that that particular NPC has a quest available. A question mark ( ) above an NPCs head makes it easy for players to see which NPC they must return to in order to complete their quests. There are also indicators to let players know which NPCs will have quests available in the near future. A number of other ways to activate quests exist in the game, which we'll leave to players to discover.
Quests that have been accepted appear in the players quest log, color coded by difficulty level. The details of each accepted quest -- including the quests requirements, which NPC to speak with once those requirements are satisfied, and the reward(s) that will be available are easily accessible in the log. Quests can be abandoned at any time, and they can easily be reacquired as well. Furthermore, quests are divided up in the log by region to help players identify which ones to work toward completing depending on where they happen to be in the world.
Quests are themed to specific areas. For example, quests found in the Undead regions of Azeroth are much different from those found in the Human regions. Quests often have multiple reward choices. Players can select the reward that interests them the most.
Quests help players explore the world, gradually leading them into new areas. This helps players become familiar with their surroundings at a good pace and opens up new challenges for them as they expand their boundaries. Single-step quests are available for busy people without a lot of time to play, and large, multi-part quests that build to epic conclusions are available as well.
Many cool things can be found only by completing certain quests.
A Sample Quest
Resting in Pieces
The Mass Graves, southwest of Garren's Haunt, were made to accommodate the...impressive...number of deaths Tirisfal suffered when the Plague first came. The bodies in these graves have so far been spared an undeath, but the Scourge now send Rot Hide Gnolls to gather the corpses and use them to bolster their armies.
Per the wishes of Brill's Magistrate Sevren, your task is twofold: slay the Rot Hides at the Mass Grave and Garren's Haunt, and gather from them the Embalming Ichor that gives them life.
Your task nearly complete, you kneel down to inspect the belongings of a recently slain Rot Hide Graverobber. On his maggot-ridden corpse hangs a small purse of gold, and clutched in his arms you find a grotesque severed head--a head that looks like it has something to say...
You don't look like a rot hide. Good. I had lost hope...
My name is Alaric, and I was once Thule's head servant and bodyguard. He used his magic to "protect" me from the Plague of Undeath, but instead his spell gave me an unlife from which I cannot escape. And after creating the cursed rot hide gnolls, Thule beheaded me... and gave my head to the gnolls as a plaything!
Please, take me to my body. I believe the gnolls buried it in Fenris Keep, near the stable, in an unmarked grave.
The head calls itself Alaric and implores you to carry it to the remains of its body. According to Alaric's disembodied head, its once-attached carcass now lies in a grave located near the stables of Fenris Keep. Feeling perhaps a small bit of pity for the head, you graciously decide to accept the quest and so begin the journey to the crescent-shaped Fenris Isle, located south of The Undercity, within Lake Lordamere.
More servants of the Scourge have taken up camp at Fenris Keep. After battling your way to the stables, you find a shallow grave that matches the description given by Alaric, containing the remainder of his person. Delighted at the reunion, Alaric hastily reassembles his anatomy. He gives you his thanks as well as a pair of boots he declares he no longer requires. This quest is at an end, but Alaric has further use for your able body should you be willing to assist him.