In Guild Wars, we're all familiar with the quest system and the giant green exclamation point. In such an immersive and beautiful world, it's admittedly a bit jarring when an NPC has that strange floaty thing that sticks out like a sore thumb -- or like a giant lime-green exclamation point. Filling your field of vision with a big black rectangle with a few paragraphs of text and a "check yes or no" acceptance option didn't exactly alleviate the problem.
Once you accepted the quest and completed it, the overall world was still unchanged. You were the hero of Tyria but overall, you didn't seem to be making a difference in the world around you. As Johanson points out, if a villager is asking you to kill 10 ogres who are about to ravage his village, they shouldn't be standing around picking daisies. They should actually ravage his village if you don't help.
The Guild Wars 2 team is working to remedy the questing problems of the past, offering some exciting ideas for a "living, breathing world" that changes as its citizens interact with one another and their surroundings. Take a look at what Johanson had to say about how the world of Tyria is going to change, and check out the gallery for the latest Guild Wars 2 screenshots.