All valid points, however the thing about sectional loading is that it is only noticable if it is done in a way that freezes the game. The shops are an example of this. They are not there and then they are as the whole shop is loaded as one. The Casino is very detailed as is the new Arcade although both re-use assets (multiple machines, tables etc). I guess Posidon is quick as although its large its not that detailed, however its still contributes to the wait time.
However, and I guess I did not explain the suggestion very well, the idea is to have an intelegent loading system which works in stages. That is to say the Transit loads in one go, while further assets load in part, or not at all for the ones fathest from and invisible to the player. As the player moves the areas closest to them, and about to come into sight continue to load with the closest taking priority.
For example do you really need to load the beach area when the player is at the transit station? (It may not be I don't know). You could think of this a bit like the way a graphics card works. A graphics card does not bother to draw the things a player cannot see, there's no point and it would waste bandwidth. This is the problem we have at present. The game only has a fixed bandwidth, even if you have an SSD in your rig its going to take time to move that data from the disk, the more data the longer the wait.
At present so much is loaded that you have a very long wait. However the load is not distance intelegent, you can tell this when you arrive at the transit station and see that the posters have not loaded, yet the Casino (which you cannot see) is now loaded.
Consider games such as Skyrim, Wildstar, Tombrader etc which have huge maps and little or no in game load lag. Yes these have level loads, for example Wildstar loads when you teleport, as there is no way that its entire world can be loaded at once, yet they take far less time than Tower Unite does and the reason for this is sectional, and intelegent loading.
For the Casino we would not load it at the start as we are not there. Instead we would load the Transit station and place the player in it. As they move we are now loading the main plaza, as they enter the plaza, we are loading items directly off this and as they move around the map you load items as the player gets near them.
It cannot be perfect. If a player heads towards the Casino we will be loading this, but they could change their mind and head to the Theater – which will then be loading as they get close to it.
However we are not loading when the player is at the doorway -the assets are already loaded - since we started doing so when they were leaving the Transit station/ half way across the plaza or where-ever the devs find works best.
This would reduce the wait to get th the plaza and also prevent a player having to wait at the door. For jet packs all you need is a sycronisation between the players speed and what loads. This could involve lower res textures for the things they are wizzing past. Probably harder to do than type...
Anyway I really hope there is no need for such a long wait, or for the player to be left hanging around waiting for an area to load.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to drown a golf ball.