I am wondering if playing a vulcan with the traits mind meld and nerve pinch is viable (especially for a new player). I'm not a min/maxer and I think having those traits make sense and would make the game more immersive to me. But I don't want to gimp my space combat too much either.

I would also like to be a tactical character and make use of stealth mechanics in ground combat.

Would this work or should I stick with some of the more commonly accepted traits like warp theorist for my first character?

Each player has a maximum of 4 traits. Some races come with their own, such as Vulcans. Since the Vulcans come with 2 traits, you can choose 2 more one of which can be warp theorist.

Being a Vulcan Tactical officer is perfectly fine. Frankly in this game you can have any combination of anything, all that matters is how you handle it.

I understand that, but what I'm really asking is: As a new player with no experience, will choosing Mind Meld and Nerve Pinch traits hurt my space combat and make the game too difficult.
Maybe I should have been clearer on that. It won't. As you can probably tell from my avatar I player as a Vulcan and it doesn't hurt my space combat at all. I don't remember exactly what I chose for my other 2 traits but I know they were space based so that I would have balance between ground and space. Overall this game is pretty easy so you'll be fine.

Stowiki has a good page on starting trait builds here.

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