Tom mentioned yesterday that he found a quest to kill a bunch of onion mobs until a named onion spawned and then he got some weird rewards for killing the named onion. This sounded suspiciously like camping NM (Notorious Monster) mobs for loot back in the day so I figured I should do some searching to see if I could find what it was he did.
It turns out hunts are exactly that. Square took the existing NM mobs with the myriad of ways the spawn and just tacked on a system of rewards to encourage people to camp them again long after the loot may be relevant. They still drop the same stuff they used to drop (well, with some exceptions, but those got changed for other reasons and not as part of the hunt system). But if you were going to go camp a mob for the loot anyway you might as well pick up the appropriate hunt to get some bonus rewards. And if you want the rewards you might as well go camp some easy to spawn NMs!
But what are the rewards for doing these hunts? Well, it looks like there are 2 rewards for doing so. The first is a type of currency used solely to start higher level hunts. The second is a random glyph you can insert into a socket on your gear for a buff of some kind. (Tom got one that decreased the cooldown on one of his abilities. I got a couple that increased my magic defense against certain types of monsters.) Nothing too exciting thus far, but if you have gear with sockets (etchings in this game) you might as well fill them with something.
Unfortunately it looks like nothing comes with an etching by default. You need to level a new profession (synergy) in order to add etchings to things. Synergy seemed interesting enough but certainly nothing I'm level appropriate for at this point. On the plus side the glyphs vendored for a substantial amount of money for a low level character (700g each) so I was pretty happy to have camped the two I did.