So, from another thread, it brought up a a good point.

What reason is there to explore?
We have all this hard work, and we need reasons to enjoy it, once we've gotten over the 'wow!' factor of seeing the game for the first time.

In that Other Gametm you only need to explore enough to find a significant deposit of each element, and then you are done.
At least until the deposit runs out.

And the environment has a kind of 'stuck on after' feel.
No depth.
Like stickers instead of a painting.

So there's not a lot of point

Even in a good world, with rich and detailed biomes, there is only so much 'looking around' you can do before it simply fades into the backdrop.

Consider the most amazing and beautiful place you would ever want to visit on earth. How impressive it is to go there, how wondrous.
Now, consider the people who live there, to whom it is simply trees, and water and sea.

I have no doubt that we'll be impressed when we get to look around. Moreso with each update.
But after a while it will simply be a backdrop to our activities.

So we need reasons to explore, besides 'ooo pretty!'
So we can appreciate the pretty, as a nice backdrop to what we are doing.
Because it will get boring eventually.
Exactly how long depends on the person.
but it will happen.

my suggestions, for when the survival aspect of the game gets going, is to spread out the resources.
Give us a reason to range far and wide.

The simple resources like wood and dirt will be easy to come by, and thus should only do the most basic of things.
Ditto food and food animals.

Also, allow us to clear/mine/hunt out an area, so that we have to move on to get more food/leather/medicinal components.
Because if we can just go back and forth across the same patch of [favourable biome] to get what we need, there's no point going further.
also it lends a sense of impermanence to our actions.
IT makes it a little like what we do doesn't matter.
So let us make a permanent mark on our world, for good or ill.

add story goals to go to specific far away places.

mobile resources, like migrating herds that you have to find and follow.

Explore to setup warning beacons/spot disasters coming ahead of time, so we can pack up our base and move, or dig in to survive it.

Seasonal changes, giving us reasons to move to follow the herds/fruiting plants or whatever.

Missions/quests to go a loooong way away. like, at least 50km.

But i think the major thing is to make things permanent.
No respawning resources.