The mission text tells suggests to you to look for glowing items around you that might help him. Once you discover the 3 items it then advances the mission to finding enough of those items to make a healing potion for him. The failure there was that you didn't bother to read or pay attention to the initial text. No one's blaming you for that, but that's not the game's fault. That's your fault.
Why does anything have to make you go anywhere for it? So that you can use the running time to look at the map and environment around you. A game isn't just about getting objectives. The travel time is your way to experience the world they have placed you in.
This mission chain is generally considered to be quite good. I would say you are in the minority here - though I think most of your problems stem for you missing key text points that then soured the mission for you.
My only problem with Coliseum is that one of the melee weapons you can pick up is a Tsunkatse "falchion." This is some great big sword like a Roman gladius. The problem? There are no weapons used in the game of tsunkatse. It is a hand-to-hand combat competition. Swords of any kind were never used. And the game is played deep in the Delta Quadrant anyway, so there should not be any such artifacts there in the first place.
All I think is, the sword itself is a fun weapon. They just need to re-name it to match the canon.