The problem with Cyseal is that Larian wanted it to start out as more of a detective type game. Your to go interrogating NPCs and finding clues. The players wanted to jump into a game full of combat and action. Monsters were too tough until you gained the 2 levels doing the Cyseal quests and found gear.
The game starts off even stating the reason why your to go to Cyseal is to discover why Jake was killed. You really have no business to go outside of Cyseal until you finish that quest. Though what "we" wanted to do was something far different.
I'll continue reading your post, but to comment on this. This is what you get when you don't put quest markers/directions in games. First you have a player base that is now accustomed to that, but beyond that, with no path to go here or go there other than gaining hints from dialog, you have wanderers getting into places they rather not be. So do you want to challenge them, for them to confuse that as frustration? Xulima, has done the same thing with no direction arrows and had similar type responses in forums, the staunch defender of figure it out yourselfers vs man I'm struggling with this gamers... IMO if you are trying to maximize audience have a toggle for directions, there are plenty of people that want direction and don't feel the game is being given away because of that and honestly sometimes I feel like and nut and sometimes I don't... and that sometimes I want some direction, I want to play faster from time to time.
There was a recent SteamSpy article going over analytics of games, well written, in 2014 the number of games released skyrocketed. What this tells me is more people will want to get in and then out to the next game faster than ever. So being stuck figuring it out for enough will be a chance they put the game down.
The problem with that is they won't be there for the sequel. Say there are 4 groups of D:OS gamers. Loved it. Like it. Ok. Didn't Like. For a first release you got all those players, D:OS 2 you get the loves, some likes a few Ok's and no Didn't Likes. Looking at hours played and % Finished I think is also important to figure out if a sequel can really be a success. Some games I really liked have done nothing on part 2, to me that tells me a lot of people were curious the first go around, but weren't all that bowled over for buying into the franchise a second time.