My last couple of weeks has been devoted to main story and sidequests, so I kinda wanna share my thoughts over whole aspect (plus I haven't wrote much recently).
Game design is not simple (duh) despite how it might look like from first sight. You really often have to face with things you decide demand more work than the others, this is especially true, when your experience is low and you have tons of ideas. You basically have to make sacrifices and be prepared with bad results. This is not exactly about me, but more of a warning to those, who decide to start their own projects. Thankfully, I frequently question myself over what is the best course of actions, so amount of stuff I have to throw away into the trash can is fairly low.
Speaking honestly, Strive is fairly troubling genre, because of the limits I went with when started planning over it. I started with pretty simple "I want like FC but more personal" or "I want like JONT but more slaves and sandbox", but then quests came in with combat following behind. The problem is that while core gameplay is very managy-sandboxy, and combat somewhat complements it, main quest used to serve as kind of tutorial with some more plans to expand it to provide more goals. Character quests, on other hand, are very out of picture from this. You could say they break the usual routine with introducing characters with special abilities or being time limited. Well, to be honest, originally I only thought about them as little side stories with niche rewards for their completion, but as stuff kept piling, I couldn't quite hold myself back from getting into small story writing (i guess quite shitty fan fiction level would be applicable here).
You see, originally I thought about them as small fun pieces with little details, but as I went working on them, I just can't help but want to explore more options with them (speaking of which, you will be able to find some new pieces for existing sidequests in next patch). In the end I feel like I dedicate them much more time than I originally intended and that's not very fair to people who want sandbox management game first and rpg-ish experience second. So I will likely be focusing much more on gameplay (locations, combat, management, etc) until the point where I'll be able to draw a line and say "Yes, this certainly satisfies me enough so I can probably try writing some new sidestory now".
Now, about the main quest. As I already mentioned, I have fairly vivid picture of it in my head already, so my most questioned part was "how much stuff I want to put into that". And, I think, my reasoning here should be pretty straightforward: we already have heavy focused management gameplay and few fairly rich sidestories about characters and the world with always existing option to add more, so the best solution would be to make main story fairly short and easily consumable with as few sidesteps as possible. Basically I just want to make it and put it away instead of endlessly dragging it akin to temptation I have with side characters.
One last thing I want to bring up in this post. I feel like I quite lacking in community connection department (although I'm arguably not very socially active person overall), but I do have more initiative to share my thoughts, reasonings and ideas now. There'll be a vote a patreon on what would you like me to do, be at monthly Q&A, more insights like this, maybe something not quite related to strive but to other games/gaming in general, or even some sort of streams (unlikable). You are still free to express your thoughts just in the comments, naturally.