I was reading the manual last night that came with the game. I must say game manuals nowadays have become more and more "bare bones" basic. It would've been helpful to show on-screen displays and images, showing the control panel, stats, etc.
As the game states, this is a skills-focused MMO, and the leveling process, though similar to other games, is not like the MMOs I've played (or the only one I play at the moment, City of Heroes/City of Villains
). In CoH/CoV, for instance, you gain experience points by completing mishes or fighting enemies, and you level up and unlock new power sets or additional "enhancement slots" to modify your powers. In STO, you have to spend "X" amount of skill points to level your character and buy modifications/enhancements for your bridge officers and consoles. In a way, this is good because you're really developing your ship/captain's skills and abilities.
I haven't installed the game yet but am really looking forward to this. I may have to cancel my CoH/CoV subscription.