Diablo® III

Quest line alignment issue

It seems that when you join a game who's host is further in their quest progression than you, your quest line will conform to theirs erasing everything in between. I speculated this conclusion when I joined a friend's game despite our difference in progression to make the mobs more difficult and grant more exp. I did this action pretty much right after defeating the Skeleton King. As I got out to the Field of Misery instead of dealing with sword fragments, my only quest indicated for me to find the Staff of Khazra under the quest line Trailing the Coven, we were flabbergasted to realize our quests had suddenly become the same. The leap in quests also appeared to be a permanent one, since I tried to re-log multiple times with no success.
Now Deckard Cain is dead for some reason and I've got a new mercenary, leaving me reasonably confused as if I were reading a book with missing pages. This is to say the least a discouraging condition. So any advice on the issue would be appreciated, especially if there's a trivial remedy for it.
A more outlandish thought I had was that all of this could have been a consequence of the aforementioned friend opening a trade screen with me or giving me an item, but that can't be so ...right?
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Gotta love finding the obvious source of the dilemma minutes after you've put up a thread on it, false positive on a hallucinatory bug.
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