I had this idea last week for D&D, that locks into another process that I've been doing for some years now. Basically, its like this.
There are a lot of "services" that can exist in a D&D world that are not necessarily associated with trade (or specifically, the price of things): inns, warehouses, water wells, hospitals, naval & army posts, arsenals, bridges vs. ferries, stone roads vs. earthen ones, town halls, baths, money lenders, churches, cathedrals, guilds vs. free artisans, barns, schools, auction houses, the black market, almshouses, workhouses, fishing ponds, etc.
It seems to me that what's wanted is a scale that says, first, this exists or doesn't exists - followed by, if it exists, then this, and if it doesn't exist, then this. Introduce a series of grays in there and you have the skeleton of a more gritty wilderness crawl.
For example, there is a clean water supply, i.e. wells, which reduce the likelihood of disease. If there are no wells, then the likelihood of disease is higher.
That's just one consequence - potentially, there could be fifty or sixth, each of which would indicate this hex would make a better jumping off point than that - for solid, defineable reasons.