Hi, my name is Daniel, and I started playing Sins of a Solar Empire in 2011. I joined the forum in October '11 and have been really impressed with the community. There are a lot of friendly faces on here and experienced players who will answer your questions and flesh out important details that help you improve your game. I'm still improving, asking questions, learning from other players, and developing my own ideas through trial and error.
I look at Sins as a challenge, and not just a game - learning about the different structures, ships, and research, learning how to expand quickly, figuring out how to best protect my assets, scouting my opponents, and creating an effective offensive. Or as multiplayer sometimes makes abundantly and painfully clear, either delivering an early offensive, or locking the enemy down in their corner. A lot of paths to victory. I personally prefer the long game over the short, but I hope to excel at both.
On the surface, I love the look and feel of Sins. I also love the story and can't wait to see where they go with it. Beneath the surface, I love the concept of exploring space, expanding and developing an empire, building military assets for defensive and offensive purposes, researching, forging alliances, recovering artifacts of power, and dealing with pirates. It's very similar to a story that's been in my head for many years - a story that I continue to conceptualize and hope to one day novelize. That's probably why I have a lot of respect for Sins and plug into it so much.
My advice for new players is to be honest, humble, and helpful on the forum. This attitude will help you grow, becoming more experienced, and connect with other players. Be active in the community and enjoy it as you play Sins because it really is a good group.