Ah, you EQers... How I loathed you (I played Asheron's Call religiously ). You and your crazy death penalties.
STO is a great gateway MMO on both ends. I've played a variety, but haven't played many lately just because I don't have time (after college I got a job & a social life). I'd play one every so often, but wouldn't get past the first month just because I kept having to quit out (joys of being on call 24/7). STO helps me out a LOT with that, and while many people gripe about the lack of a death penalty on normal difficulty, I'm incredibly thankful. When work calls, I don't usually have time to finish the mission I'm on, and may have to drop everything to head to the office. Same if friends/girlfriends need something (or we're going to make a Taco Bell run, which is infinitely more important than STO).
Good luck finding an MMO to play with your friends. Guild Wars was good (and F2P). Not sure when GW2 is coming out, but it'd be a good choice, I'm sure.
Before STO I was playing WoW day in, day out, and all weekend just about. Now, I'm still subscribed to WoW, but only because friends play and I'm on there maybe 2 or 3 times a week. Granted, I now spend a lot of my spare time plugged into STO, but not all of it.
Last known statement from CFO Eric brown from Feb:
Thereís also more talk about development cost and other things, but bottomline is the game will not launch before March 31, 2011. April or May are still possible, but like with every MMO game itís likely to be pushed even further.
I played WoW on and off since release. I absolutely loathe the raid design in that game since the best of everything is restricted to that single facet gameplay and requires the minimum investment of a part-time job to see any real benefit. It's pretty unfun and unhealthy.
However, I love the idea of Fleet Actions and their Drop-in/Drop-out implementation in STO and if they get the right kind of tweaking and attention, could really set this game apart.