There is a virtual plethora of ideas mmos or rpgs could take on doing with quests. Fresh would start out a novelty then be emulated by others so different is only different for so long. Unfortunately not only SE but every other rpg developer is guilty of choosing a format and sticking to a particular type for most of the game rather than drawing from all games before. I don't know if the reason is budget, time, or what factor draws this out but it is what is. Before I share my thoughts again on this subject I just want to point out that I do like ARR, I think the game will do good, it is not an SE exclusive problem, and I doubt it will get fixed. I don't like the quest format SE chose, but either deal with it or move on. This isn't the saga of one person, it's the saga of a whole playerbase.
1.Personality- Character is what makes each interaction feel different. You can do the same thing with various people. And every time it will be a little different. If every person or npc had the exact same personality, it would vary less.
2.Mood- The emotional and contextual feeling behind an activity. Different activities/quest evoke or different emotions. Fear, joy, mysterious, funny, sad,anger, resentment,etc. Quest that do not take you through an emotional roller coaster seem bland and don't feel too different.
3.Setting- Everywhere we look real life or game, we all do most of the same things daily. Yet experiences vary due to whether you are alone, with someone, or with a lot of people. Where and when it happens can also affect how impactful something is. Is it a trivial or mundane quest or is it something vital?
4.Introduction- How you learn about quest. Do you eavesdrop and pick up clues? Does an npc flat out ask you for something? Do you stumble upon a quest as it is happening? Do quest have multiple branches or one root? Do you have to coerce it? Is the quest objective evident like a natural disaster or do you read about it?
5.Mechanics- Does every quest require the same way to be dealt with? Why if everything has an opposite? Kill or save, sicken or heal, deliver or take-away, reward or steal, gather or scatter, fortify or sabotage, follow or escape, love or hate, distract or attract, escort or attack escort, brute force or wits, etc. People with weapons might seem to only focus on the outcome, but they each have different motives and ways to realize their goals.
6.Rewards- Why is the only reward currency, an item, or experience points? What about honor, social standing, love, friends, enemies, alliances, skill bonuses, etc.
I could go on but it will fall on deaf ears, I am not a game designer, and I'm sure game developers are busy enough as it is. The point I was trying to make is there are various shades you could add to each quest to differentiate them. Does every quest have to be unique? No, but most quest shouldn't fall into the 1-2 dimension category. The wheel doesn't have to be re-invented, but use every wheel that has been invented not just three brands or types.
I enjoy the game currently and will play until I no longer enjoy it. But please stop making it seem like SE is the only culprit here guilty of taking the easy route.