first of all thanks for the quality support you definitely gave to the users with continouous patches and answers to various faq.
Sins it's a sociali-life-killer game of course too good for a game, but I'm one of the fans of evolving storyline and... ok ok I know it's not possible, I already read about it but it may exists a workaround: achievements.
As far as I played SOSE achievements are some sort of independent goal: you light it, you've done.
What about if with one of future patches the achievements became linked to some game mechanics or other?
Here follows an example: reach that ach and you discover a new system/scenery or you obtain a research plan for some hidden ship or you discover some strange ancient artifact you can use in all of the next scenery and go on.
It'll be a more intense game experience and also without a plot by enhancing achievements you can successfully simulate and evolving history. Also for multiplayer it'll be thrilling: imagine some mega experienced user which should face a fleet with unknow ships obtained in the single player scenario
Regards and please continue as ever.