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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,630
# 2
11-26-2012, 07:26 PM
1) There are difficulty settings - advanced and elite are a greater challenge. Some enemy factions you encounter as you progress are also more dangerous - Romulans are the first big step up. Tholians and Borg will come later, and Fek'irhi are probably the worst, Feds only face them in high-tier fleet events or Foundry missions. Most queue content has either stronger enemies or simply more.

2) Not a whole lot, no. It's a passable source of dilithium. Not the best, but one of the best that doesn't involve group queues. Most people hit points where they finish episodes faster than they unlock, in which case patrols and exploration are the go-to for leveling to the next mission.

3) There are queue events - more of these unlock at level 45 (Borg special task force), and more yet at 50 (New Romulus related), and there's some that are gated behind fleet membership (for starbase and holding advancement). There's also the duty officer system, which is... sort of another kind of questing I guess, but you send your crew off to do the quests and collect the rewards when they get back, rather than doing the work yourself.

4) Crafting is pretty underwhelming. There's only one really worthwhile bit of gear from it, and that's the Aegis set. And that's not bind on pickup, so you can just buy it on the exchange or have somebody else make it for you, or start getting better sets as early as tier 2 in the reputation system once you hit 50.

5) At endgame, the exchange is an effective way to get the gear you need to tune your setup. It's also a major source of duty officers, whether for your own ship or your fleet's starbase. There's not much use for EC between cheap stuff and ridiculously expensive stuff, though.

6) Sort of - if you press M to bring up the map, its view range is generally longer than your own. Not by much, but usually enough to, for example, track down a flagship group in a deep space encounter or find the ship you missed clearing an exploration system. Sounds like you need to watch the objective waypoints more than anything, they're more useful for this sort of problem. Aside from deep space encounters, your targets are almost always in or very near a marked area on the map.