I readily admit that I am not the person to ask about lore within this game. Actually, I'm pretty horrible. I think one time Nkm mentioned some person that I should know as a druid, and I was like "Who?". He was horrified. I am sure that I fail Gauss' lore quiz.
I am also really really horrible with actually reading quests when I receive them. I tend to just go "Yeah, yeah, yeah; blah, blah, blah" when confronted with quest text. I would love if Blizz took a second look at how they not only design quests, but how they think about the overall quest system itself.
Guild Wars 2 has come out with information around how they are changing their quest system. Colin Johanson, their lead content designer says:
"Traditional quest systems involve walking up to a character who usually has an exclamation point or question mark hovering over their head and talking to them. From here, you get a massive wall of text hardly anyone reads that describes a horrible or totally mundane thing going on in the world that you need to help with. You run off, complete this task, then return and talk to this character again to receive another wall of text and a reward. Traditional quest systems rely on these blocks of quest text to tell you what is happening in the world; this is just an outdated form of storytelling".
He continues with:
"In Guild Wars 2, our event system won't make you read a huge quest description to find out what's going on. You'll experience it by seeing and hearing things in the world. If a dragon is attacking, you won't read three paragraphs telling you about it, you'll see buildings exploding in giant balls of fire, and hear characters in the game world screaming about a dragon attack. You'll hear guards from nearby cities trying to recruit players to go help fight the dragon, and see huge clouds of smoke in the distance, rising from the village under siege."
What an interesting way to think about quests, eh? In the link he continues with saying how in most quests, the events that they describe aren't actually happening around you. You may get a quest to kill 10 ogres, but the ogres aren't actually attacking. They're just standing around so that multiple people can complete the quest.
Johanson's vision is to really make the game feel alive, making it a living, breathing world. The quests would have a real, visible impact (good or bad), changing the world based on player reactions.
"The core of this evolution is our event system, which allows the world to dynamically change based on actions and decisions made by the players. A single player decision can cascade across a zone, changing the direction of a chain of events until they dramatically alter the content played by players in a map."
Now maybe all of these concepts aren't necessarily transferable to WoW, given its larger player base. But definitely some interesting ideas to think about. I for one, would love questing in Cataclysm to move beyond the standard practice of give you a wall of text, and you do X. Perhaps a more dynamic questing system would get me more interested and engaged in the lore.