While I PREFER offline story mode, there is NO reason you can't have a game that implements BOTH offline AND online effectively. The idea that Rockstar put less effort into the offline because of the online isn't really based on FACT. I happen to think that the online is a bit disappointing, but that is due to SEVERAL factors that have NOTHING to do with offline.
Perhaps GTA is not the type of game that TRANSLATES well to online multiplayer gaming. Most people that play online are first person shooter fanatics, who expect the SAME kind of experience they get playing Call of Duty or Battlefield. I think those games are DREADFUL and repetitive, but that's just MY opinion. They ARE very popular in SPITE of how I feel about them, so it's not a stretch to say that this type of open world game that involves FAR more than simple kill or be killed objectives may not be what most people want to do online.
The activities and jobs play out MUCH better when surrounded by a STORY in which ties everything you do TOGETHER. Piling up XP and trophy achievements may not be enough to make these jobs and activities worthwhile for many. I haven't played online for more than 1 hour at a time since Valentine's day. I HAVE however, been playing Max Payne 3 again, which NEVER gets old. Perhaps it's because of it's simplicity where the online objectives are simple.
In SPITE of Rockstar's massive effort put into the Online aspect of this game, I don't really feel like the offline story mode was hurt in a significant fashion. The story mode is actually FAR better than the online. could it have been a little bit LONGER? Sure. It would have been GREAT if it was similar in length to San Andreas, but it was STILL a great story mode, and free roaming AFTER the story is finished, is STILL better than roaming around Online.
The Offline free roam is better because there is a TON of content that you LOSE Online like:
Animals. Whether it's hunting, or simply watching nature at work, Offline HAS it, Online does NOT. You don't realize how important this is until you spend a lengthy amount of time Online.
Weather. The Thunder and lightning that is so awesome Offline, is nowhere to be found Online. I have NO idea why, but it's not there.
Traffic. The traffic Offline is busy, seamless and smoothly consistent. Online can feel like No man's land at times. The open world loses the "living, breathing world" GTA is KNOWN for.
Hopefully, there will be future DLC for Offline, because frankly, I'm not sure there's much you can do with the Online to make it more appealing for people suffering from Call of Duty syndrome. That being said, I'm NOT disappointed with the Story mode, because I don't get the FEELING that it was neglected for the online. It's STILL a fantastic offline, and in MY opinion, only finishes 3rd to the greatness of San Andreas and Red Dead Redemption.
That's NOTHING to be ashamed of.
A little excessive capitalization, but well said.