You might be right in a way. There is a - let's say "underdocumented" - way to progress: The "Reputation".
Your current reputation level is shown next to your money in the upper left corner of the screen and indicates how trusted you are by the townsfolk. This reputation level also triggers certain quests on level up. You gain reputation by completing quests, so you may need to do some daily quests to earn enough repuation to level up.
Could you tell us real quick what your current reputation level is and how far you've progressed on the reputation-bar by now?