SWTOR: planet-hopping madness

I posted recently about load screens, and last night’s SWTOR leveling trio demonstrated the excess number of loading screens during normal play very neatly. Partly it was my fault for not following mission directions to the letter. We’d reached the end of our respective class story-lines on Nar Shaddaa and, as per normal, split up to do our stories individually. All three of us found the fights in these missions challenging to solo. My bounty hunter end mission actually consisted of eight or so steps including some back and forth on the planet for conversations, a tough fight and some galactic planet-hopping (three different planets just to finish off this story step!).

The planet hopping meant a lot of loading screens. I interrupted completing my mission half way to help our healer complete his story on Korriban (adding a fourth planet to my hopping).

Sneak peak at the world of a Sith Sorceror

Sneak peak at the world of a Sith Sorceror

Korriban isn’t a planet a bounty hunter should visit probably, so trying to return to the station I had no “go to ship” option, only a “shuttle to station”. Then I made the honest mistake of taking the newbie shuttle for a free ride to Dromund Kaas. I traveled to the bounty hunter training hub but there was no mission marker, only a taxi point lit green telling me to go back the way I’d come. I then went back and forth a couple of times before checking the wiki and finding that I had to literally travel to DK on my own ship for the mission not to bug-out (why hasn’t this been fixed by now?). So I used my fleet pass and had to fly back and then travel by taxi yet again to the training hub all the way from the spaceport.

It was at this point, due in part to tiredness, that I was cursing Bioware’s highly instanced and compartmentalised game design. The other two friends I play with were sat waiting for about 30 minutes while I tried in vain to progress to the point where I was ready to go to Tatooine. I’m still enjoying the story-telling in SWTOR but the amount of loading and multistage journeys in the game has begun to annoy me. Playing solo it’s less of an issue, but trying to level with friends the variances in the pace of the different class stories can sometimes become roadblocks to just having fun together.

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One Response to SWTOR: planet-hopping madness

  1. Jonny 5iVe says:

    Words can’t express how much I was put off by the hoops that you’d have to jump through to get from the main “city” on the fleet, to your desired destination on a given planet.

    1) Head over to the hanger on the fleet.
    — LOAD —
    2) Board your ship.
    — LOAD —
    3) Run to the navigation console, and fire it up.
    4) Pick your destination planet.
    — LOAD —
    5) End up on a halfway space-station (probably the worst design idea, ever).
    6) Run through this useless halfway space-station.
    7) Take the shuttle down to the planet.
    — LOAD —
    8) Run to a public transport shuttle.
    9) Fly to your actual destination.

    That’s four load screens, and about 5 minutes of playtime. All of which is spent not actually playing the game at all.

    Then, you’ll read the mission text a little bit more thoroughly, and discover that you needed to speak to someone on the fleet before you departed. That’s another 10 minutes of non-gameplay to correct that error. Oh, and eight more loading screens.

    Exciting stuff.

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