My review after 3 days. Just one veteran MMO player's opinion. Setting aside the usual post-launch bugs, issues and downtime (which were not unexpected) -
Space Combat: A-
Ground Combat: C-
Progression Curve: B-
Overall Rating (after the first 3 days): B-
Although the space combat is, in some ways, retooled from the old Starfleet Command games, there is nothing wrong with that. It was (and is) a fun system. More importantly, it's unique versus every other MMO out there and fun to play. Space battles with dozens of ships run pretty smoothly and have that "epic" feel in my opinion.
The ground combat just isn't that great - pretty much button mashing and not all that interesting button mashing at that. Some of the environments look pretty cool, but I'm already at the point where I internally groan "Great, another bug hunt - let's get through this so I can blow up more stuff." I do like how in a mission story arc there is a linear plot that evolves between space and ground - the ground combat just has to be more interesting. The expose/exploit mechanic has some promise, but needs to be better developed and implemented.
I think they've done a pretty good job with the story and missions thus far. They have the right "feel" - like you're playing through a Star Trek episode. I'd like some missions that were a bit more mystery/puzzle oriented and require you to figure things out a more, rather than being spoon fed. Having said that, it's almost inexcusable that you can't wander around on your ship and do things, have missions, and trick out your stateroom with bling (Romulan Ale, Gold Pressed Latinum bars, wall plaques, cabinets with ship models, you get the idea).
The progression curve seems flat, with not enough tangible rewards/upgrades versus game time played in my opinion. I just made Lt. Cmdr. and there honestly doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference between what I was doing when I started and what I'm doing now. This may pick up further down the line, but lack of a sense of progression is an MMO killer - it's the textbook example of what causes people to feel like they're grinding for no reason. I need more little stuff along the path.
PVP is buggy as hell and I keep getting booted, unrewarded, or confused whenever I attempt it. Maybe I'm not doing it right, but my sense from reading other posts is that there are a lot of problems. PVP definitely needs to be in this game, for all the obvious reasons, but they might have been better served keeping it limited to one on one and small scale stuff initially and ramping up to zone wide and system wide skirmishes with a more tangible reward system in place.
Sorry about the novel. There's lots of positives in this game and the space combat alone will keep me going for a couple weeks, I'm sure. I hope Cryptic gives some definite plans to address some of these things down the line. I'd really like this MMO to have some staying power and I think the right building blocks are there.