Remember when Star Wars The Old Republic first came out? You were excited and ready to tackle your first instance with a group. Half way through the instance there is a cut scene with dialogs and because its your first time you want to hear it all but of course the people who you were doing this with skip it and are pissed that you are holding the group up? Or how about how in an MMO you are told over and over that you are "the special one" like in Word of Warcraft's Legion or in Elder Scrolls Online? Yes you are "the one" along with a million plus other souls.
Today I would like to make an argument that MMOs do not need a good story, or any story really. I think a good story should be reserved for a single player game. I will gladly take a great "world" over a great "story" any day of the week.
Think back to the days of Ultima Online. It was a world. It was a living, breathing world. The world was the story. The same held true for vanilla World of Warcraft. You are just another character along with many others, setting out into the world for good cause or bad, living off the land. Some zones had small stories, but there was not (nor did there need to be) this large, overarching story.
When did MMOs become more about the story? I am thinking this started happening sometime between 2007-2008. Right about the time Lord of the Rings Online came out and right before Wrath of the Lich King came out. I think MMO fans started asking for more lore and more story. Ten years later and look what we have. In WoW we have millions of players running around with the Ashbringer.
I say give me an amazing world with good gameplay. The story should be secondary in an MMO.