The game picks up after the Star Trek movie. What we know for sure is that the Romulan homeworld went KABOOM, Spock and Nero got transported to an alternate timeline. What happened next was that the Klingon/Federation peace treaty got dissolved and voila, instant MMO setting. And that's where it stops as well. You get a general overview of what has happened, voiced by no other than Leonard Nimoy. I assume, you have to discover for yourselves what has happened. So far, I'm still trying to figure it out.
You can choose to join a faction: either the Federation OR the Klingon Empire. Once you've done that, you can choose your race. So far I joined the Federation, so I can only comment on that faction.
As far as races for for the Federation: Human, Bolian, Vulcan, Bajoran, ... As for Klingon: Klingon, Orion, Nausicaan, ... Now you can buy additional races such as Trill, Ferengi or Liberated Borg at the Cryptic Store. Now comes the first of my gripes about the game. You can customize one race. Basically you can create your own race. So far I haven't noticed anyone running around with such a character, but I still don't like the idea of one.
Each race has several traits. For example: creative and spiritual. Then you can choose an additional THREE traits. Such as soldier, Luck, Techie, ... Think of it as The Sims in that aspect. Then comes the next aspect: departments.
There are THREE departments to chose from: Tactical (DPS), Engineering (TANK) and Science (HEALER). At the moment, there is a large group of people who opt for tactical.
So for my next gripe: customization again and colours. We're way in the future, when you consider the last series (Voyager) and movie. I completely understand the new uniform choices, and I have no problems with that. BUT you can choose the colours in such a way that you can be running around in a pink, green and yellow combo if you desired to. Furthermore, tactical is supposed to be YELLOW as well. I do understand that Engineering would be yellow, Tactical would be yellow and it could get confusing. I'm a nitpicker I know
Next up: SHIPS! So there is space combat AND ground combat. There are three types of ships. The cruisers (aka tanks), the escort classes (DPS) and the science vessels (healer). So it basically doesn't matter what ship you choose. You start out with a cruiser (I did) and when you level up to Lieutenant Commander you can get a different class. I stayed with cruiser because I'm aiming to get the Galaxy class down the road. Go go geek
Each 'ship type' has THREE different classes. Basically the ship stats stay the same, but you can change the look of the ship... and you guessed it: the colours. So far the weirdest thing I've seen is a green ship. Let's hope it stays that way.
One of the few things I did like is that you can visit the bridge and sit in the captain's chair. However, I must have done something wrong, I kept sitting next to the chair. Ha >.> Also you'll see your NPC crew working at their consoles.
Now leveling up is by ranks. You start out as Ensign and that is divided into 10 levels. Then you go to Lieutenant (they skip Lt. Junior Grade), then Lt. Commander, Commander, Captain and finally Rear Admiral (is the cap at the moment). You rank up by choosing specializations. For example: Tactical. You need to spend points in order to level up, you don't level up automatically.
Same for your NPC crew. As soon as you've reached Lt.Cmdr. You can promote your crew to Lt. which also has benefits. Thing is, you NEED to level them up as well with points. So you've get points and your crew gets points.
You get a NPC crew, you can buy them and sack them. They are also helpful in ground combat. Away teams consist out of 5 people, you and 4 crewmembers. The only exception to that rule is when you dock at a station, then you beam down alone. Stations usually provide armour (ship and yourself), weapons, consoles etc. Also an 'exchange' where you can put stuff you don't want anymore and people can buy. Also in space there are cargo ships (aka traders).
One last thing before I stop writing, there are also medals called accolades. By doing certain missions and things you get an 'accolade'. Say defeat 10 Klingon ships, you get an accolade. Defeat 50, that accolade is update... again with 100.
The major thing I hate about this game is the fact that the emphasis lies with space combat. You have to keep sure your ship is up-to-date and every now and then you get beamed down, and then you're in a pickle because you didn't pay attention to updating your character enough. It's quite a drag.
Also the fact you're almost constantly fighting irks me. There are no negotiations, no talking to enemies, no hailing them. Star Trek wasn't about Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway (I don't like Enterprise, bite me ) fighting and killing enemies all the time. I miss that.