So it seems there are two ways it could work:
- the World of Warcraft model, where you literally go from one zone into another, it's all one big map active at the same time (and sharding is used so peeps on one end dont lag out peeps on the other end
- the game stays the same; with managed raid instances. Maps have two types of exits, one that takes you to another map and a second that takes you back to your hideout
The first bullet point is terribly unlikely.
- Would servers only support 30 players logged in at a time? Would the flea market be limited to them or would it be cross-servers?
- How long until bodies despawned? How long until loot refreshed? What if you just sat there and watched the marked room door self-close and self-lock?
- What would stop a streamer organizing a group of players, 100 strong, from just wiping the entire world and farming Labs endlessly?
- Who wouldn't see where their favorite streamer is playing and go to help/harass them? It would become a nightmare.
- The servers already buckle with fewer than 10 PMCs at a time, what in the world gives anyone the idea they'd collectively support hundreds or thousands?
So the only concept worth seriously exploring is the second one.
- When you take an extract to enter another map, your character despawns and you enter a new queue in the new map. The new raid starts when a sufficient number of players at different extract locations enter the queue.
- The map couldn't take multiple players from the same extract going to the same map, or else those PMCs would spawn on top of each other.
- That new map starts the same way it does now, with other players who also took extracts for that map.
- Spawn locations are predetermined to correspond to the extract you had taken on the prior map.
We know that some maps are going to be a direct intermediary for some maps; from your hideout, it won't be possible to reach X map without first going through Y map. This would create an awful bottleneck where most players are trying to use the same spawn location, and then using the same extract to reach the next same spawn location of the next map.
I think both ideas, the open-world concept, are pretty bad. Functionally speaking, I think the game is done. We'll get new weapons and maps, probably, but this is what it is. This is the game.