I have read the dev blogs and the Path to 2409. I have not read the novel, and, after hearing even the devs say they wouldn't read a novel based on this game, I don't plan to.
I certainly believe that things are in a sorry state and need to change.
I toe the line between 1 & 2. If there were an option for 'the story in STO is total nonsense and what little content we have, however bad it may be, is being sacrificed for the C-Store,' I would pick that option.
1) Not all the blogs (yet), not read the novel, but I have read Path to 2409.
2) I?m still new but even my limited experience tells me some things needs to change to improve the overall experience.
TBH, I?m floating between 3, 4 and 5 depending on my mood. But I?m a Treker (not a Trekkie) and play the game solo for my own entertainment. The story is what it is and the setting is knee deep in conflict. To me, I don?t anticipate the story to really improve too much because the war-torn galaxy would be ?dull? to play without conflict.
Admittedly, in the Path to 2409 script there were very obvious ?coincidences? that made what happens in the game make sense (personal shields, quick promotions, dual citizenship allowing more races into SFA, yadda yadda yadda) but this was almost distracting to the overall arc.
A) Please indicate if you've read the dev blogs and complete Path to 2409 and/or the novel.
I've read the blogs and a ton of wiki information but have not read the novel.
B) Please tell me if you're okay with the state of things or think it needs to change.
Things need to change.
I choose #4 and #6.
4) The story anomalies don't bother me too much and I enjoy some aspects of the story. I tend simply mentally edit what I see. Just because its visible in game doesn't mean it has to mesh with the story.
6) LOL, story? Cryptic needs to focus less on story. Let players generate their own conflicting stories with no guidance!
I think too much emphasis is placed on story content when Cryptic really needs to get the ball rolling on a real exploration system and territorial PvP with the factions (Fed, KDF, RSE) to back them up.
That alone should keep them busy for years.
I like the FEs but as with all single-consumption content it's over with very quickly and there usually exists little to no reason to ever experience them again. This is a battle no developer has ever, or will ever, win.
One or two FEs a year is all that is needed. The rest of development needs to be spent on getting the KDF up to speed once and for all, getting the Romulan Star Empire in as a complete third faction, and then setting up a PvP-based territorial control system. And on top of that exploration needs to be done right and the best idea I've seen for that is to use approved Foundry missions for the random encounters.
A) Have read dev blogs but not the 'path' or novel.
B) Definitely needs improvement.
I am a 4. I think story is the the glue of the game world. The featured series and episodes embed the vision of devs into the world with more clarity and focus than any other method.
Season 6, for example, would have been an order of magnitude better if the Tholians and Starbases had each had a short series of 3 or 4 story episodes which would then cement the two main foundations of the season into the game. As it is they are disconnected and aimless with little to tie them into the wider game world.
Story, in particular episodes and season arcs, are for me the most expressive and simple way to translate dev vision into gamers minds. Every major addition to the game should have a strong story to tie it in.