Maybe make players level scale to the area theyre in so killing enemies is more than a trivial chore when youre the same level or especially when youre higher level than them. Having challenging enemies regardess of what level the player is would maybe make it less repetitive questing in the exploration zones.
There's will be higher level exploration zones in other parts of the game. We've unlocked so little of it, you quickly outpace the areas you have access to. Patience, Guardian...