A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from Ruber Eaglenest, AKA El Clérigo Urbatain, with a very interesting suggestion. In a nutshell - his suggestion was to get rid of the towns, and any of the other space "between missions." All the narrative could be done with non-interactive cutscenes, and shopping could likewise be handled between missions.
He admitted that the town in the demo was rough, but expressed concern that the town added very little to the gameplay, and instead sucked development resources that could be better put into the dungeon adventuring. He also noted - very rightfully - that the limitations of 3D require a level of sparseness in the town layout, which means a lot of empty, open space. Which is boring. "The town doesn't add anything to the narrative that you could accomplish with traditional approaches. And I, like a player, just want be from mission to mission without so much waste of time in town."
Rather than just email him back with my response, I thought I'd respond here. Because he brings up a very good point. Not that I necessarily agree with him, but I think he's spot on in that the decision to the contrary demands justification.