Tons of side objectives not tied to any quests, collectibles to find, shrines to unlock and recieve blessings with permanent bonuses to health, stamina, etc. Zelda Breath of the Wild, Kameo, etc. Getting lost in the world should be fun. You should constantly be seeing something interesting in the distance and going "Oooh what is that??" and being able to travel there from the get go.

There should be a large but enclosed starting zone like the Plateau in Breath of the Wild. It should be huge, but the rest of the gameworld should make it appear tiny by comparison.

Ranged weapons used for utility like hitting switches, cutting ropes, etc. Zelda-esque utility for items and weapons.

Vertical exploration

Maze-like dungeons, ruins and cities. Hostile cities complete with merchants, citizens, etc, but mixed with a dungeon.

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