Well there seems to be two schools of thought here. One is that co-op hurts the single player story, and the other I believe helps it. Well ofcourse co-op hurts a single player story, it's not single player anymore, but if you played the game then you know that the co-op is seperate from the single player. The single player is it's own entity, and I don't believe that the online developement took away resources that were available to produce a decent single player. The game was in developement for 4 years, they could have made a single player RPG as good as FFXIII or Star Ocean. I think that the ball was dropped in another way there.
And the story isn't bad. It's not great, but I have this feeling like it will get alot better down the road. There are weak parts, suchas the characters and the lore, but the basis for the knights and the long dredged history of the world is fascinating. I have so many questions about the history and lore regarding the races and the cities as well as the construction of the knights. Does anyone else care? The best part is these "holes" in the story are set to be filled in the next installments of the game.
The co-op was not at all meant to add to the single player but to the overall game experience. After playing Valkeria Chronicles everyone ranted about multiplayer. How do you add DLC to a single player RPG? Add more levels? The story is over! What does adding sidequests do? So they have online co-op to give the up coming DLC, which EVERYONE demands everytime a game is released, some subtle meaning.
My webseries about the accomplishing 40 trad climbing routes, The Road to SPI