Don't know if there's a topic for this already, so mods, feel free to move or lock this discussion.
Lurking around YouTube, I recently found a video talking about a game called Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, specially about its open-world design that seem to go on the opposite way game worlds are heading. That game's world is smaller, taking place in just a few blocks of Prague, but the world seems so detailed and every inch of the map seems carefully crafted, while we have games with huge worlds, but most of it just feels empty and useless.
Then I went to this section, I realized that people always want more in terms of map size and in map content, they want more enterable buildings on a map 3x larger than GTA V's, but this not only might not be possible on current hardware, but will make a problem that was already present in GTA V even bigger: parts of the map will be practically useless in terms of missions and story. This creates a problem since most of the game will be spent travelling, which can make a boring map even more boring.
Let's take the classic comparasion: GTA IV's Liberty City vs. GTA V's Los Santos. Sure, Los Santos is more detailed, but it had more development time, came when Rockstar had more employees, it was remastered twice and still it is often criticized for its largely useless mountain areas and lack of enterable places, while Liberty City was made in about half of the time, a percentage of the budget, has only been changed in EFLC and is still considered one of the best GTA maps because of its ambientation and usage, similar story with other, even smaller maps like Vice City. Most of the times you won't need to drive half of the map to get somewhere, and even if you do, it won't take you 15 minutes.
My question is: Would you sacrifice map size for ambientation and environmental detail? In other words, would you rather drive 2 minutes through a well-crafted and very detailed map or 20 minutes through a map that is not as detailed? Or would you like a healthy balance?