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).
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.