Resource locks are the best example of how pliable the Interactor context can be. A resource lock requires a set combination of essences and/or specific items.
At the very simplest, this is used as a lock, just like it’s name. It can be used to require a key item, or just a generic key, as is shown in the first screenshot. Furthermore, it can be used to accomplish simple tasks that a more complicated survival game may require a “crafting system” for. Things like the brazier being lit by ERTH essence. Conceptually it’s that you’re using ERTH to manifest the wood needed for the Brazier to burn.
Essences allow a lot of contextual grace for us. It allows us as developers to take a conceptual step in defining the meaning of a resource lock, but it also serves to validate and make the lock “real” for the player.
Moving into more abstract translations of the resource lock: I imagine a bridge, collapsed. You have the HRB and ERTH required to interact and once initiated the Guardian reels back, hands glowing with power. Roots burst from the ground below, pulling debris from the collapsed bridge and reforming the path with new and old material.
Likewise, you’re blocked out from a cave, vines woven thick in the passage. You have the HRB necessary to pass and the guardian taps into the natural realm, commanding the vines to recede. As an added layer of context, the passage is a high reward place and thus needs to be a high cost area to access. So to build on the cost and to expand on the interpretation of these resource locks. I make the cave overgrown, there are actually 3 walls of vines piling up in the cave. This makes the cost of passage 45 HRB, as is intended for a high cost route. But is delivered in a fragmented way.
These only scratch the surface of how I believe the resource lock can be reinterpreted to accomplish all sorts of conceptual goals.
One unimplemented idea was to make sprouts, some sort of under developed growth, and have it so you trade resources to grow it rapidly. This could serve to grow a patch of spawns for food in a desert, or to grow a vine ladder up the side of a cliff or building.