For starters I like that any episode now scales to your level. I also like the way you can look at the episode overview page to see easily what's next and/or what's available in the main story missions.
I would however, beg you on hands and knees, to change how the episodes are currently tacked together. My play style very rarely has me playing the main story line (my main tribble character had not even done one romulan mission before hitting VA). There are some favorite stories of mine that I would love to play, but can't bother doing the work to get there when there are story arcs in between where I'm at that, I just don't enjoy.
Could the Episode arcs be granted based on level again instead of based on mission progression? To facilitate this could there not be sub-tabs on the mission overview page? Say for instance you go to the Romulan episode arcs and then from there you can choose which arc? And any that are available based on your level would then show up? For new players you can still keep the arcs in order so they know which comes first, but then anyone who knows what they're doing wouldn't be forced into a playstyle that is feeling more and more like a linear single player game than a story driven open world MMO.
Another thing bothering me that is tied to this, can we please be granted Borg sector access based on level again? I decided to do the Tour the Universe Event today, imagine my annoyance when I found I cannot complete it, (I appreciate the expierence granted on a per region basis especially now), until after I had done the Romulan arcs, and the Cardassian arcs?
Please I really enjoy this game, all I want is the freedom to play what I want, if I'm high enough level to do it.
I have to say I kinda like how the episodes are linked up, BUT I do agree that it needs to be loosened up a bit.
Perhaps stagger when a different "series" is unlocked, as was suggested, by rank.
But also I think instead of having just 1 large series, break the series up into arcs.
So as I'm doing the Klingon series, I've reached, say, Lt Cmdr 5 (this is just a random choice on my part) the Romulan series unlocks. OR if the Klingon series is broken down into arcs. I don't have the game open now, but lets just say the Klingon series can be broken down into 4 story arcs. So lets say I've done the 3 arcs, the Romulan story arcs can now be doable.
I think bite sized arc series will work better and give more options to players.
I could have a break from the Klingon series and do a litttle Romulan stuff. Then once I've unlocked the next series I could do a bit of the new ones, then I can go back and finish off the Klingon series, etc