…For me, it was all about the exploration. The expectation that behind every tree, over every hill was an adventure, beneath every rock there was a treasure or mystery to be explained, and behind every closed door was something wonderful or terrible waiting to be discovered.
I'd love one of these Wilderlands-style encounters or discoveries to be around every corner. I want an open-ended game-world bursting at the seams with details, mysteries, mayhem, adventure, and wonder…
…In an RPG, you don't want the player to have to go moving around too long or too far without stumbling into something to do or a decision to make. Big, empty worlds are boring.
Likewise, the modern design school of blocking off all the "uninteresting" parts is also frustrating to my exploration-seeking mind. As someone who is always wondering what is behind the next door, it's frustrating to find that all but three doors in the town are merely backdrops, untouchable and unenterable, and those back alleys and side-streets are blocked off. As my brain is always seeking what's beyond the horizon, I'm always disappointed to have those horizons taken away from me.