One thing I always remembered from reading Fantasy novels is how each item that a character found or was gifted was important or unique.
Frodo and Sting. Thomas Covenant and the White Gold Ring. And for the Witcher, it was his Sword.
At times the hero needed to quest specifically for that item, like Elric of Melnibone and the Sword Stormbringer.
You start your adventures as the Witcher with the basic armor.
When you finally make it to the first city, Vizima, a blacksmith has a right nice set of upgraded armor, which looks about the same as the old. Basically he crafts more slots for potions and weapons onto the armor is all.
As I moved to Chapter 5 of the game, I heard a rumor from the Witcher I had slain of an infamous Gnomic armor. Noted to be quite magical and powerful.
This quest took me through tombs and mines gathering the pieces to form the armor. I then was able to return to the blacksmith (he was a Dwarf btw. We know what wonderful armor crafters they be) who was able to take these pieces and form the Raven Armor.
This made me think on how a lot of games really push the gear centrics. Drops are a dime a dozen as you continue to get various junk from mobs or at least cool drops from bosses, yet anyone can get these.
But, nothing is considered "special" for that character.
Guild Wars has a great armor mechanic I think with their gather and make pieces as you advance system. In theory this is like the above method of getting something "special".
Take the advanced armors for Eye of the North. You had to have specific favor with various factions for the pieces you wanted.
You felt like you "earned" the armor as a badge of your capabilities.
Doing an objective based quest is so much more fun in my opinion. If i have a goal instead of a time waster then the quest seems more important. I still stick to the story line system of questing where you have reasons. The filler of most MMO's for example still cause issues of boredom for most.
More meaningful reasons to do a quest is need. Wonder if any MMO down the road can learn those lessons.