First of all, let me just provide this disclaimer - this is not an attempt at social commentary, a bash against Cryptic, or a sneaky attempt at a backhanded statement about the perceived quality (or lack thereof) of the content of story missions. It's simply an attempt to investigate the veracity of a perception I've begun to have regarding the current makeup of the STO playerbase.
I have had the good fortune to find myself employed at a business that permits me to play STO while I am at work, which actually allows me a far more substantial amount of time ingame than I otherwise would have. Because my job is in the evenings (primarily) I am able to interact with people across the globe in multiple timezones, particularly a great number of U.S. players.
One common theme I've noticed, almost across the board, is a huge lack of knowledge among a great portion of the current playerbase concerning the Cryptic-made storyline missions, how they tie into the game, and why they're important. I've run into more Vice Admirals than I care to even think about who have made it to endgame without ever touching a story mission, propelled there by DOFF assignments and the various PvE / PvP events. Interestingly, when I have mentioned the existence of these missions, as well as the community authored content and the dailies, I've been met with general disinterest or an inquiry as to how to get through them as fast as possible.
So I'm putting the question out there to you guys - are we now in an era of STO where the majority of the playerbase does not care about story? Is our leading demographic now primarily composed of button-mashing pew-pew'ers who'd rather blow stuff up than seek immersion in the Star Trek universe? Is it possible that Dan Stahl's concerns that continued investment in story might not be worthwhile anymore actually have a foundation in reality?