Pretty much all of that I agree with but I don't know if there's anything so wrong with finding that staring off into the horizon stuff appealing, really. Cos what makes RPGs so awful isn't that, it's all the peripheral garbage along with pathetically written plots. At it's core a story about travelling around the world isn't so awful and that's what I always liked to do in those games, go from town to town. I never really cared what the stories were, whenever I was gonna buy one of those games I would look it up on the internet to check how many towns there were in it, if there was a world map, stuff like that.
yeah video games for me have always really been about the setting! it's kindof weird but i think part of the reason it takes me forever to beat a game is because i usually spend tons of time just LOOKING at stuff and running around.