Put down the disruptors and the bat’leths my Klingon friends. You know this to be true even in your warrior hearts.
Eve Online is from Mars and STO is from Venus.
PvP is the bloody beating heart of Eve Online. Eve is where the libertarians and survivalists and neoconservatives go. Dog eat dog. Capitalism is the only true system of economics and trade makes the universe go 'round. The universe is a hostile place so one must be willing to preempt, to walk "the dark side", to be wary of intruders. Shoot first. Never apologise. They'd do it to you if you didn't do it to them first. If someone trusts you, you're doing them a favor by screwing them over as it teaches them a lesson they'll learn sooner or later anyhow. Don't fly anything you can't afford to lose. Pod pilots are the superior, immortal, race above humanity that will rule its destiny. Theology is merely a tool for war. Liberal cultures are corrupt and hypocritical and prone to disintigrate without an enemy to rally them. Never trust CONCORD (Eve's equivalent of the United Nations). They're up to something.
PvE will be at the core of STO. STO will be where you'll find idealists, scientists, socialists and diplomats. The Federation welcomes new ideas. It never shoots first. We almost all will belong to it (Over 70%, in an informal poll, wish to be Federation and nearly 60% PvE Federation alone). The most innovative systems in the game are procedurally generated missions and worlds for PvE, along with competative PvE in the Neutral Zone, and we're promised violence will not always be the answer to resolving situations. The Federation thinks of capitalism as a quaint phase in human evolution and has solved the problems of inequality and hunger through replicator technology (if not, perhaps, on the colonial frontiers). Crafting may well take the shape of tinkering on and improving one's own starship rather than grinding out mass quanities of goods for resale. Every player will have NPC crewmen, the bridge crew/away team, to cultivate and nurture. There may be multiplayer ships eventually, if not at launch, further stressing cooperation and mutual dependance.
Yes, Eve has some PvE content but it's as limited as I suspect STO's PvP (consentual PvP in the Neutral Zone and isolated FFE PvP areas in 'deep space') will be. An option, a break, from the central flow of the game.
STO also has avatars and ground combat where Eve's promise of Ambulation is likely as far off as STO's release if not further.
As a roleplayer I find both, to quote a pointy-eared fellow who's not an elf, "Fascinating."
Eve's player driven dynamism is indisputable and the systems very much reward PvP play with depth of design, tactical options and strategic planning and considerations. Roleplaying flows naturally from the gameplay whether or not players intend to be roleplaying. The game is the setting, the setting is the game. However, PvP is not always fun. To play the 'real' game takes a huge amount of commitment and focus though casual gamers don't even have to log in to level what they play tends to be a small role on the fringes as hunter-gatherers or prey.
Star Trek Online's approach seems to be really about recreating the 'adventure and exploration' heart of Star Trek with a side helping of DS9 flavored strategic conflicts. Big ships, big crews and going places no one has seen before (because they're being created on the fly). The cooperative nature of The Federation and PvE style gameplay should create a much cozier, looser paced, atmosphere for roleplayers to do their thing especially as the avatars for characters and NPC crew alike will be highly customizable. Invent your own race, if you like, and then play with variations on that template to create many individuals of that race if you like. When ship interiors arrive, and at least the bridge and the captain's quarters have been all but confirmed, they too will be customizable (likely within limits) which gives us player housing of a sort.
I think STO, delivering a strong sense of Star Trek (unlike SWG does with Star Wars) and strong PvE gameplay (unlike Eve Online) along with many roleplayer friendly tools like highly customizable housing and avatars (which SWG does and Eve may do) will steal away not only Trekkers but curious PvE gamers in general looking for non-scripted, less repetative, content that's not PvP only and plenty of roleplayers in general.
If it delivers, I'm ready for a little Venus myself.