I believe a good short story is good for a lot of reasons. Oh sure a lot of people would tell u its all about your character, witch is true but u could have a great character but no story. No reason for your audience to like them. Conflict, and what side of the conflict your audience is on helps tremendously in my opion. Pair conflict, that the audience will side with the character on, with over coming relatable obstacles n i believe it doesn't matter how well a character is developed the audience will find themselves in that character. Say your a young farm boy who yerns for adventure, love, or just ten minutes of somthing other than the same old dirt, in a time of social and civil unrest, who has recently lost a loved one, who was a parental figure, when one day outta no where adventure lands in your own corn feild in the form of a ship from another planet and the beings inside promise you untold glory and adventure, and pleaded with you to come with them for the future of the galaxy rest on your shoulders. See the story hooks u especially if u are a person who longs to shake things up in their own lives u start to live vicariously through the character, but any development of that character that conflicts with your own personal experience start to pull u away, say he kills the aliens and pees on their dead bodies. Not so loveable now is he, but that would happen, the loveable farm boy would be happy to leave the same ole same ole for a chance to be ahero.
Again in my opinion stories need more than characters they need conflict. Lets try again this time your a general of the largest army in exstance. You whant nothing more than to do your job n help bring in a unified system of government to a war torn area, when you are attacked, ambushed on your way to a peace treaty where the leaders of the rebelling armies have agreed to surrender, shots being fired at aircraft n a small platoon envades and destroyed your comand center,when after searching for your would be assassins you find their leader is no one other than your own estranged son trained to kill you and is so distraught by learing the truth he lunges to attack u and instinctivly u defend yourself causing him great injury as he falls to his almost certain deth as u morn silently and are forced to return to your duites. Hopefully the way i decribe it u would feal some sort of sadness for the general, and not realize i just described both Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. My point is with out conflict and context characters are just characters.