Players fly into the middle of enemies and full stop. We're talking shutting the engines off, and begin firing. Then because their turn rate is terrible, they assume that dual cannons are worthless and switch them out for beam arrays... on escorts.
I played with a guy last night who didn't know you can change power settings. This was at captain rank, he was complaining that everything took so long to kill. Another guy on DS9 was asking about where to get entertainment provisions, when I mentioned the exchange, he had no idea what it was. He didn't even know you could buy or sell things with other players. He thought 80k credits was a lot.
I know we all hate running through the tutorial when we already know how to play, but there's a lot of stuff in the game that just isn't being explained to new players. Most players aren't proactive enough to look it up either, so they play the game not knowing you can switch power levels, let alone what the effects of doing so are. I think players need to be shown how to do these things, not just told that they can. If I recall the tutorial talks about all of this, but never requires you to go through the motions. I think a lot of players are skipping through the dialogue and play the game hamstrung by their own lack of knowledge.
Manuals are a waste of paper, honestly. Very few people ever read them because they expect to learn everything in an ingame tutorial.
Well, at least then there could be an HTML one, or a PDF file or something somewhere. Just because some people don't use them doesn't mean nobody does. Besides, I'm one of those people who jumps in and then refers back to the manual later to figure out something I get stuck on or just "zomg, wtf is that?"
True a manual certainly couldn't hurt, either way there's a lot of game mechanics that take digging on the forums to even know about. I think a lot of the people who complained about difficulty are unaware of these things.
There was a debate in zone chat the other night on difficulty, and one guy commented that he thought it was "just right." I asked him some questions about his playstyle and found out he never knew about power settings and had been running on balanced the entire game.