And now imagine you are new to STO, just got your first ground kit, don't have any shield batteries, no one told you how to rez your BOs and the only Tholians you know are the mooks you killed right before him.^^
Fair enough, I don't tend to look through the lens of a new player. So I guess that begs the question: how much do you want to coddle new players? Do you want to give them challenges like that around level 8? Not sure I know the answer to that, but I think that looking at it that way you might want to throttle the difficulty down some, but I do think having challenging encounters in the opening levels is good.
Another alternative is to bring in some of those other survey teams that we are explicitly told are on the planet with us. Fight the first waves alone while your second officer underlines the need for reinforcements over comms, and then when the Commander shows up, you get some fire support that beams in on the side of the fight and takes pot shots while using the rubble walls as cover. Give them an immortal medic and prevent the Commander from going over there. That way you can make the Commander be super-badass and really tough, but then the badassery and toughness is overcome through numbers and flanking rather than spawn-reloading. If the player is getting their butt kicked they can just rest behind a rock while their backup keeps the big guy occupied.
AOE 1 shotted my entire team a couple of times. Taking out the lieutenants first helped a lot, then i could just focus fire and kite the comander. On a side note my officers tend not to fire on enemies when multiple are present, or use some of their skills or revive.
I would say it should be made a -little bit- easier. Not a great deal. But toning down the AoEs a bit would likely be good. Tossing in an NPC healer -- that might be helpful. My given science officer isn't terribly useful at this point as a healer. (None of my BOffs are really terribly useful at this early stage in the game yet.)
Don't go and over-adjust it -- I wouldn't want to take out all of the challenge -- but a slight tweak to ease up on the insta-party-kills would be good.