I also think that Phantom Blood was the best story arc until now. It had a certain kind of melodrama which I liked a lot. Still the story could have been developed more, especially with the relationship between Jojo, Erina and Dio. Does the Ripple still matter in Starship Crusaders? I sometimes have the feeling as if I'm watching a totally different series.
The Ripple doesn't matter anymore. There's no Pillar Men, no Stone Masks, and Joseph didn't bother to really keep his training up. Ripple still works on vampires, but if a vampire has a Stand, a Ripple user who didn't would die.
Stands are pretty much the face of the series and the main draw, and it's so weird to see so many people on different forums being like "What about the Ripple? Why Stands?" when most (but definitely not all) old school JoJo fans don't even care about the Ripple. I know I don't. Araki doesn't either, pretty sure there was a thing where he said he had done everything he could think of with it. Stands can pretty much be and do anything, they aren't tied to as many rules as the Ripple.