New player but a bit inspired by thoughts I have seen here on the subreddit. I realize very quickly how reliant I have become on the map. It quickly demystifies the experience as I just consult the map for directions.
Taking inspiration from real life I suggest that paths instead should be the primary ways players early in a world connect different areas of interest. First you would run between places you usually visit and relying on landmark and memories. Secondly, when you get the hoe you start making paths between them (a great idea I saw on the subreddit is that paths would lower stamina drain as well). This would lead to roads between settlements.
Maps could be unlocked using leather and the some other ingredient which takes a while to get. This would also promote using boats to travel along the coast primarily, with ocean travel being realistic after you have learnt to make maps.
As for bosses and respawn points maybe there could be other ways of finding them? Something in the lines of "a past life calls on you" and as you get closer the screen maybe has some kind of hint (color or symbol). When you get a map these things would be easy to mark out. Maybe there could be some kind of item that points us in the direction towards the shrines before that? Maybe praying to a certain God on some kind of home made altar, or making a mystical item which draws you towards the shrines. It would be more immersive.
What do you other people think?