Here’s a slightly updated version of the hacky “full MMORPG view” map, where I’ve begun setting many regions as “ocean” regions. In this case, I’ve told the MMORPG region generation routine that I want two main continents, much like WoW has. It’s pretty trivial to adjust this to have one huge landmass, or lots of tiny ones, or anything in between. I think that having the water there really does help a lot.
This still has about twice as many regions as the basic initial WoW release did (WoW has more regions than almost any other MMORPG out there, which is why I keep using it as a benchmark for playable game area), but it’s a lot less intimidating like this than it was in the previous screenshot I took. And it’ll be easy enough to remove more regions if it really becomes a problem.