I know there is a thread from 2009-2012 about this - but didn't want to revive one so old.
First off - I am not a gamer by any title when it comes to the PC other than the occasional dab in Battlefield 1942 or Rollercoaster Tycoon. My gaming has mostly been on the Xbox 360, Xbox or Wii. When I ran across the f2p version of Star Trek in Steam (Oh yeah, Portal as well - completed that masterpiece), I was a bit skeptical in watching the video gameplay. I told my wife that if the actual in play was anything like what they showed, then I would play it. So, I downloaded it and was instantly transported into what I now call my full time game I play exclusively when I have the chance.
I started playing it and like most people advanced pretty fast to Lieutenant Commander, and then Commander. It was then, that things became pretty more interesting and more fun to play, from being part of Q's winter wonderland this last Christmas and being turned into things to actually falling into some of the story lines in this game.
I should clarify one thing - I am not a full time player in that I sit and play for hours on end, It is more my exclusive game I play usually 2 hours or so in a day at the most. More often an hour. Having played since around November, I've advanced to my current rank of Captain (34). During this time, I have conqured enough ships to hone my skills as a soldier and more or less very strong in the tactical department. It wasn't until I started dabbling around in some of the other areas of the game which I think people overlook like Diplomatic missions and exploration where I realized the depth of this game. It isn't just another space shooter.
As a f2p Player, I've learned a few things as well that have helped me along the way to build up energy credits pretty quickly, dilithium ore and even GPL (Gold Pressed Latinum). Then, as slow of a process this is, have recently discovered I can turn the refined dilithium into Zen Credits (85-90 Ore units per Zen usually). Thus allowing me to build up a bank of Zen credits later on to build my dream ship.
I often see forum posts (elsewhere) that this game is pretty boring and there is not much to do, I can kind of see that, but have also seen where Cryptic is actively developing new Seasons to this game much like the TV series. It has been fun to read some of the trivia that flashes on the screen (usually can't see much as it loads quickly), updating where some of my favorite show characters have moved on to, their children introduced in the series set and more. As a Star Trek Fan myself, it has been fun to see something happen to my favorite characters long after the shows have ended.
For anyone who hasn't played this in a while, pop in and see what has happened. Lots to be seen and done!