If you played the prologue, then the flow of the story and character introductions felt natural. However, after the prologue and the first meeting with Xion, everything changes. Almost all remaining story "quests" are simply cutscenes with the very rare combat scene, or the exceptionally rare full story mission (there was only one in Episode 1 about two thirds of the way through with Melfonseana). I'm assuming this is because we're way behind on content compared to the Japanese version, but it removes a lot of the context and actual joy of progressing through the story naturally. I didn't realize until I had finished most of Episode 1's event scenes, that the story-only characters would actually show up in the lobby and would have different things to say depending on where I was in the story. Story is a big deal for me, and so I created a new character on a different ship in an attempt to try and unlock expeditions, ARK missions and client orders that more coincided with the events of the story, but your progress it tied to your whole account, not just the server or character you're on.
Don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely ecstatic that we finally get to play an official English version of this fantastic game at all, but there's actually a ton of story and character development here, which as a fan of the original single player games back in the day, is where my passion for this series really lies, and this current set-up feels extremely disconnected and ultimately falls short of delivering the story experience it seemed eminently capable of from the Prologue mission.
My sincere hope is that this is simply due to starting us off with access to all of the expeditions, races and classes of the first 3 episodes. When we eventually get access to Episode 4, hopefully, we'll get to play through the story the way it was originally meant to be played.
Anyway, still tremendously in love with this game, but as a fan of story and character development, I'm hoping for full story missions in the future episodes.