So this subject has come up in reviews of my mission several times, and it is a valid criticism, but I thought I would poll the community to see what everyone thinks.
Ok, so when I'm making a mission, the progression from planet to planet seems important to me. Arrive at Planet A -----> beam down ------> beam up -------> warp out to Planet B -------> arrive at Planet B etc etc. Unfortunately, this sometimes means there isn't much to do on the map where you warp out to planet B. To me it would seem weirder if you beam off the surface and suddenly you are at planet B. Sure it cuts down on a map transition, and I could write around it, but I'm never sure if I can trust people to read "Beam us up and set course for Planet B."
Anyway, what do you all think, is it:
A) Better to have all the transitions accounted for?
If a purpose of a map is just for a single set of visual effects or a go from point a to point b and doesn't directly contribute your mission will be stronger without it. Some players will get noticeably frustrated if they loaded into a map simply to move five feet and then load into another one.
So I'm in the "Beam us up and set course."
Think about the shows. Did they spend a shot of an episode showing the team beam up, the ship pull out of orbit, and then warp into the next location. Or did they just go from one part of story to the next part, wherever it may be.
I've been publishing stories for several years and the rule is: "Don't need it--take it out." Besides, people hate to transition and will down grade you for excessive maps, especially if it is just going to one map so as to go to another. You can use the green text and the bottom of the transition to draw attention to the fact that you are going to another planet if you want to be sure it is noticed.
I have been down rated and called out on unnecessary transitions myself, so the popular consensus is to reduce.
That being said, if you add additional objectives to give them something to do on the extra maps, they won't complain.
Even a simple "scan this" can help. It's when you add a map just to have a conversation (a habit i was guilty of for a couple of missions, and have learned as time goes on, it's best not to do this.) that it is considered a waste.
I'll give you a personal example. In my first mission live, "When the war began", there's a critical ready room conversation at the end that is only a dialog wall of story wrap up.
It had mixed reactions, on one hand it was popular to the story lovers, but not to the action oriented players.
When I did the mirror uni version "When the war began again", i added an interesting "objective" interacting with the same scene, that has been quite well received so far.
I actually go back and forth on this in my mind. It's something I will criticize one mission for and appreciate in a different mission. I guess my criteria is that a throw-away map with dialogue that furthers the story but involves only one task of warping out is much better than a loading screen followed by another loading screen.
So, if it's a map with one objective of warping out, I need a longish dialogue to happen that makes me appreciate why I'm there, beyond needing to warp out.
Perhaps the solution might be to allow Foundry authors to create cutscenes? That way, one could create intermissions of the ship moving to planet B and the away team dematerialising from the transporter room, and cut to the team materialising into the map as before.