Few things here:
1. Marks are like achievements. They aren't quests. They're basically there for bragging rights. You're not supposed to get all the marks (some are mutually exclusive, some are based on your race or class). Levelling out of Lasler before you do all the stuff there is much harder now than it used to be, but honestly your game isn't totally screwed if you miss a mark. I feel like you're making a bigger deal out of this than you need to. I've played MM off and on for years, and rarely had this issue nor noted it.
2. Quests can and often are tightly timed, it's true. So this is why it's a good idea to really explore the city and surrounding area first before you start taking quests. I usually start in Rune. Rune is pretty easy to get around in, and you probably won't get randomly PK'd while running around. Ask for a quest from Lord Agrippa, or whatever his name is, and see if you can do it. Remember, of cour se, that the idea is that you're not necessarily going to be able to do every single quest the first time. You obviously want to succeed more than you fail, but if you explore first and then quest, you'll have a better time. Honestly, both the complaints about quests and those about marks have a backward feel to them. The reason you had an issue is because you 1. tried to rush (in the case of marks) or 2. tried to get quests in an area you weren't familiar with. Many of the quests have perfectly good reasons for being timed (Agrippa wants a birthday cake and you need to go to the baker to fetch it, obviously that's probably not going to be viable forever), and many of the marks are simply not a challenge if you do them at higher levels than those suggested. Honestly, I have never, ever levelled out of Lasler without doing all the marks there without having deliberately run around trying to grind experience in there, and now that the level limit is even higher, th ere should be fewer issues yet.
3. Rune Forest will take you well into the 30s or low 40s. That area has been there for awhile, but now it's much more newbie-friendly. There are several bosses, a couple of hidden areas, and a whole ton of quests.
Frankly, the reason I don't normally play MM is because it's huge and unwieldy for me. It feels extremely grindy. That complaint, at least, I can get behind. I feel like it's a slog till you become an archon, and after you become an archon it's a whole different sort of slog. That, and I'm not a huge fan of PK, which is one of the game's apparent strong points. I love a lot of the bits and pieces of MM, I just don't love the way they're executed a lot of the time.
This new mushclient thing looks nice though. I may (key word, may) dust this off and have another go.
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