When I first began playing Runescape I had enjoyed its rather straightforward system: you kill things, harvest things from the environment, or make things and level up. Couple that with a simple system of inter-player trading and you have yourself a multiplayer, competitive game. As I advanced in levels (namely towards 40 defense) I realized that there was some questing to be done in order to get access to some of the higher-level and more complex content in the game. For a very long time, this is all I saw questing as; another hurdle in the way of getting my ice barrage, dragon scimitar, barrows gloves, or what have you.
Upon taking some time to reflect upon a few of the feelings involved with questing, I realized they ran a bit deeper. After completing dragon slayer, yeah sure I was given the ability to wear the rune plate that had been standing at the ready in my bank with some levels in strength and defense; but when I teleported back to Lumbridge from Elvarg's volcanic lair there was something else. I felt a sense of accomplishment. Take away the notion of a “rite of passage” that almost everyone has done and you have yourself quite the heroic accomplishment. After all, you solved a generation old mystery, risked life and limb sailing to a god-forsaken desolate island and defeated a dragon that ravaged a nation. I personally felt like I had done the impossible. I however shoved this feeling aside, as most of us do, because I was bound for greater things. There were even higher levels to be gained, more money to deposit in my fledgling bank, and more cool items to unlock. Fast forward a bit and I have myself looking at higher levels and a bigger bank but the whole game experience felt strangely empty. I always claimed that I hated quests and I was never able to put it together. Finally it hit me, I was looking at it the completely wrong way (from an enjoyment standpoint at least). One of the reasons I'll always be attracted to roleplaying games is the story. Forget the maximum hits, the bank values, or the xp counters, the game would more or less be a lost cause without Gielinor's distinct culture and history. Would we have Godswords without the God Wars and the Troll Stronghold quest? Where would chaotic weaponry be without the Bilrach's desire to release Zamorak and the Fremennik wanting to keep the whole area under wraps?
However I digress, questing seems to give a player a sense of personal achievement and pride while exploring some of the deeper content of the game. About a year ago I started to quest more actively, seeking to get that fix that the rest of the game failed to offer. There's something to be said for summoning eight of the more epic heroes into battle, being able to call yourself the savior of kings and the renowned champion of the lands. If your game seems a little dry, I recommend getting to know it a little better and exploring some non-mechanical aspects of it.
It appears that Jagex has realized this and is beginning to tailor its quests to this mindset. Looking at recent history; sheep shearer has been done away with (who wants to be the world's greatest wool shaver?) along with Romeo and Juliet. When the removal of Sheep Shearer first happened I was a tad disappointed that the oldest quest in the game had been scrapped but when they eliminated R&J I was mortified. What was to happen with the snarky, off-colour humor that I came to love from the very beginning Runescape quests, the quirky cultural references, or even the finding of the one true descendant in Defender of Varrock? However with The Blood Pact, Gunnar's Ground, and now The Void Stares Back I see their intent. The more serious nature of the adventures leaves some humor to be desired but it lends itself to increasingly deeper gameplay.
With that I'll say questing is an important aspect of the game not just from a content unlocking or achievement standpoint but from an entertainment one. If you take the time to analyze the characters, the stories, it'll be a lot easier to cut loose and enjoy yourself while undertaking that next great adventure.