Warning: What's going down here might be partially a rant, but bear with me, I think it's important.
I've had it with the "let's go hunt some creatures" mentalities I've seen around the mud for ages. I've done it myself and I've tried get out of that trap. It's, in my opinion, one of the worst things that can happen for our mud, people going 'Hunting' and meaning actually going to hack/slay mode on some npcs. I'm not blaming anybody, but I want to offer my view and hopefully get some insight / talk open for people.
First: Why is "let's go hunt some whatever / Let's go train on some whatever" bad?
It's bad for one reason: Because it lacks any RP. If you go training, realistically that would mean you go on a sparring and people try to better themselves by trraining against each other, including instructions and whatnot. That is fine. But, on geas the term 'training' usually means to bash some green-skin variants in and kill them till morning comes. That is bad, in my eyes, because it destroys any meaningful RP and goes just for Hack/Slay mode. People going on for hours just mindlessly smashing stuff. And sorry, 'killing evil because it's on our agenda' is no excuse.
Second: How could this change?
A few simple things I personally think would improve the situation (and am not offering a golden solution, I don't know one. I offer things that I think have bettered the game for myself in hope it helps others to improve their experience):
- Ask yourself in a given situation why your character is doing something, e. g. killing an orc. Ask yourself what the consequence of these actions are for your character. Someone who slaughters thousands of orcs is likely renowned for it and most probably has their own bit of hatred/disgust/whatever for them. Showing a reaction of some sort while going after the thousand and one orc, would improve the situation.
- If gathering a hunting party, instead of 'let's go hunt some orcs' going "I've seen fresh orc tracks near the tower west of Elvandar. I fear the worst and would like to check it out. Anybody willing to lend me a hand?" => improve, same result. You can even make up stuff like you saw a bunch of gremlins assaulting a farmer and you went after them, or that they snatched something from you. => all better then "let's go hunt".
- If you are a more experienced character in the party, offer some lore about the place you are at. Like stop and explain some wall carving, tell why people are frequenting the place, spread a war story... whatever. Immerse the young ones, even if that means slowing down. Usually there's a lot of time while resting up and sometimes you even delay for a longer time because everbody is caught up over something that was discovered.
- Attempt to find ways to change the situation on site even if you know OOCly you can't. That be trying to cure wolfmen-children, trying to capture an orc and finding out how they get their 'larder-food' ... whatever, get a little creative.
For me, all in all, it boils down that when 'hunting' is commenced, I usually find myself extremely bored quickly because there seems to be no reason at all why something is done. But then, if any party member stirs a bit of history about the place or something... I see people are welcoming these sort of thing. Why not try to improve it?