Honestly without that option I still feel the same way. Not being able to explore a universe with my friends in co-op pretty much makes this a non starter. I couldn't care less if we didn't run into random players often, but excluding my friends would break this.
Then this is not the game for you. The game they are making is more an isolated exploration game where encountering others is more of a special event. There might be a separate multiplayer mode where it's dog fights with others but that's not the core game.