Adventure = Story Elements/Game Mechanics that force you to learn about something
Explore = Once you have been introduced to this new something you use it some way... such as a new area. Once you know it's there you then look around it for new quests, gear, mobs, ways to kill those mobs, glitches, and just cuz it's pretty and you want to see what it all looks like so you can improve your character
Improve Character = Once you have done looking for and doing all that stuff you either use it or don't, but generally you are done with it and to access the next cycle you have to make some sort of character growth due to gating or because the next cycle is just that much harder and once you do... you go on your next adventure...
Basically this is the overarching cycle of just about every game out there... your cycle is more of what i would consider the "improve character" phase and doesn't encapsulate the full experience of games.
I separate story because while I think there are players who consistently play just for the story I don't believe that that's the central reason why people play RPGs, especially if you consider MMOs. If story was the core reason, this audience would be playing lots of different games which have great stories, not caring if they're RPGs or not. (This isn't entirely true as there are crossover players, obviously, who WILL play lots of other related genres, such as Adventure games, and skill may be a barrier to playing some games with great stories for some RPG players.)
Learning is important, but I wouldn't define it as core gameplay, rather a byproduct of it. I think also that exploration itself isn't self-justifying in a traditional RPG unless the game rewards you SPECIFICALLY for exploration in a manner that would rival combat. The same is true for questing. WHY do you quest? What gameplay does questing lead to?
It's important to understand that I'm not so much trying to encapsulate the full experience of an RPG. I'm trying to drill down to the core loop which drives it and ask what other loops would substitute, what activities they'd be made of and why they'd work.