i hate to use the whole "do it like WoW" example.. but they sadly do have it pretty square on in terms of how to explore maps and sh*t.. mobs arent to tightly grouped, mobs dont chase you across a whole map so you can actually explore without having to explore in the direction of the exit. you can solo mobs after lvl.10 (which they should be doing anyways so yay) and finally, the whole you explore the map and it opens up as you do thing.. tis a good incentive to explore ^^
I've played some MMO's now (Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings online, Aion for a short time and ya, even WoW is on the list) but something was allways the same in those games: Go kill 10 of this and 15 of that, collect 20 of this...and so on, personally this quests did not really make me explore the areas more :D.
Exploring was awesome in SWG with all the planets and stuff and the collections system there made me explore a lot.
In LotRO exploring was a lot of fun too, finding all those places from the story where this or that happened.
In WoW I did my most exploring only to find a not very crowded place with no or less bots to grind my exp.
My big hope on SE is to make the layout, artwork, storyline and atmosphere of FFXIV in a fashion that I want to explore all areas just to have seen them, like the way I do/did in FFXI, regardless if there are mobs to farm things from or finding a ??? for a quest or whatever.
Just my 2 cents.