Yeah the joy of discovering the big new areas is one of the things I miss the most about my first experience with the game. In fact whenever I get the itch to replay BOTW it almost always comes with the urge to revisit the giant canyon in Tabantha where the Forgotten temple and the random windmills are. :blink: I can never actually justify bothering though as there's nothing more of interest to discover or learn or experience there outside of the nice visuals and atmosphere. Regarding the food and armour upgrades i'd say it's a good thing (just speaking from experience) that you didn't bother with them much. As I learned from this video Foolio and Noqanky directed me to the armour stats basically work as flat constants so if you upgrade your armour too much you can essentially end up negating all damage from most any enemy, which tends to result in a fairly boring game :/. I do feel bad criticising Nintendo for BOTW a bit though, they obviously put loads into their open world Zelda, and it does feel kind of ungrateful to ask for more. At the end of the day I did get two pretty fun playthroughts out of it, maybe that's enough
So armor really can break the game. I wonder if that's why they become such a pain to upgrade after the first time, so it perhaps stops lots of people from doing that. Either that, or it was harder for me since I generally skipped out on large sections where I could collect lots of stuff, so I never had many ingredients or parts for upgrades.
Since you are giving constructive criticism, nothing to feel bad about with that. You have fond memories and enjoyed the initial experience, and just wish that the next time they do an open world game, they can improve on certain points. They have a solid base with this game, so if they can change some things and build on what they did, it can get even better. Once I finish this play through, I will most likely have a hard time getting into it again, since by then I will have tired out on the open world aspect, and unless this play through changed my opinion somehow, the story bits won't entice me to play it again.