Just to be testy (), that's not a prep issue, but more in the toolbox of in-play DM altering of things. It's a convenient tool, to be sure, but not one of the prepped details hard coded to be overcome by PC actions that's been discussed.
To me, that says that prep isn't everything, and it's a spectrum, and no-one's actually at either of the ends as imagined.
What is being altered in play in the manner that is being advocated in this thread? Everything I stated above is the design and prep of the game. I designed and prepared that structure and the fictional conceits that underpinned it. During play, it was just a matter of letting the PCs act in that sandbox with their understanding of the structure and their chosen goal: defeat the dungeon.
The fun thing about most of those plot based adventures you reference is that they're really a bunch of linked locations, for the most part. I mean, I don't have a huge experience recently due to be penchant for homebrew, but I did run SKT and played in CoS, both of which had excellent location-based portions linked through Plot(tm)!
I address this a ways upthread. Plot-based games have to have locations. But location-based games don't have to have plot. My next campaign is a hexcrawl with a megadungeon at the center and three towns. There will be no plot. Players will do as they please session to session. They don't have to follow a storyline.
Also, if I may, but my impression is that you're a pretty gosh-darned good DM. You also put a lot of work into your games, and the combination of the two is really great. I'd be careful taking the wonderful reception you get from your games as a general trend towards your recent preferences in game design. I have a feeling that you might be able to find a way to make F.A.T.A.L. an enjoyable experience and that it's actually you, rather than a design principle, that's the draw. I say that because I'd like to think I'm not a slouch at these things, and my players vastly prefer games with plot, even though I'm less of a fan. Also, there's that whole Critical Role thingy that seems hella popular.
Thanks for the kind words. I have the benefit of working with some other DMs who are also presenting, some for the first time, things like hex crawls and dungeon delves, having run chiefly plot-based scenarios for years. They are seeing the same response that I'm seeing and I've got decades of experience on them in the chair. So, while obviously what I'm seeing is anecdotal, there's a demand for this regardless of DM (or so it seems).
That said, as I mentioned above, I'm not even advocating for one single thing, just that people try to do things they don't normally do. I do the whole spectrum of games, not just the one. It keeps you on your toes.