I'd say a merge of both would be the perfect combination.
The old system used a place as the explorer, an area. In that case, when you enter that area, you get the explorer and that is about it. The new system is annoying as you have to REALLY look HARD to notice it. For example the Demonweb, I went through the entire place 3 times and there is one area where that red web thingy for explorer was just below a ledge and I stood over that ledge countless times and never saw it. That is just annoying!
On the other hand, the lore is quite impressive, the voice-over is well done and I wish that they bring back area-explorer with the new system's lore. Either that or allow us to target the object from a far or give us some hints from the quest journal as used to happen. I am OK with 40 explorer points, but it is not quite helpful naming them 1-40 AND placing them in the map at random.