Thanks to Sente for linking to this piece by Sanya Weathers. Basically, Sanya interviewed a bunch of MMO industry vets who all pretty much say that players don't *want* story in their quests, players don't even want quest descriptions, players only want to Kill Ten Rats (TM)
I just have to chime in with my 2 cents here.
If you force players to grind for hours on end to reach the achievements that they so heartily desire, of course they're going to try and short-cut that as much as possible.
Minimizee the freaking grind? Stop allowing your business model to dictate your game design? Oh no, knowledgeable industry insiders keep using the same old business model and instead blame it all on the players. As though they're not the exact same demographic that also like to play single player RPG's, in which story is king and if you skip the quest text you may as well uninstall the game.
Step 1) Take out grind.
Step 2) Replace with gameplay (various challenge levels, twitch-based or strategical or a combination) and story.
Step 3) Profit.
A handy by-product of this is that without the grind, friends who get the game at different times can actually play with each other. What an exciting age of game design that would be.
Or, you could continue to go with the tried and tested "AAA" MMO strategy:
Step 1) Copy WoW
Step 2) ???
Step 3) Close up shop within a year from release because nobody is playing