I'm creating this post for members of COMSFFOREE, but it should provide some good info for most new players. Most of the info will come from from links to other articles by much better writers and players than I, but I want to emphisize the importance of these subjects and will update this post as often as I can with different topics.
On our recruiting post in the forum, I wrote that one of our biggest priorities is training, and I've noticed that some of our members have gotten the weird idea that STO is some kind of game where you can kick ass in ground and space combat. Good news... you're right!
That being said, STO has some fairly sophisticated mechanics involved, that if you master them, will make you a better player. If not, other people (and in some cases, the game itself) will kick your ass! Besides which, if you're only "shootin' stuff", you're missing about 2/3 of the game. To be clear, I'm not going to get into advanced subjects like DPS and engine power calculation. I just want to go over some of the basics.
There are two primary resources that everyone should be familiar with. The STOwiki website at www.stowiki.org and the forums.
There are several subject areas you should study to make your self a better player, and not embarrass yourself, or your fleet.
As always, the senior leadership is available to answer any questions you might have, but please do not expect detailed explanations regarding these systems. That's what the STOwiki and the following links and explanations are for.
The topics are...
Bridge Officers are extremely important, in that they are the personnel who back you up in space and beam down with you on your away missions. You must train them in the proper skills, outfit them with the best gear (next to your own), promote them as soon as you can, etc...
Important note: Ask any of the senior officers of a specific discipline to train your BOffs to their highest levels. Try to keep this within the fleet, because you never know who might steal your BOffs.
As always, you can turn to anyone in the fleet leadership for advice on BOff skill training to maximize their effectiveness for your style of gameplay.
Duty Officers are a function of the game where you can send officers to perform special assignments (up to 20 missions at a time) while you play the main elements of the game. You shoot the bad guys, while they work behind the scenes to accomplish a variety of tasks, and in most cases provide you rewards. These rewards range from expertise and Bridge Officer skill points, to dilithium, Commendation Experience Points (CXPs), commodities and sometimes even new Bridge and Duty Officers. Also, Duty Officer missions count down whether you're online or not. So, you should never log off without loading your mission queue.
If you're not using the "DOff" system, you're missing a MASSIVE, HUGE, IMPORTANT part of this game.
The Commendation system is a way for you to build your status in any of eleven categories. As you move up in ranking, some of these accomplishments will grant you 'unlocks' within the game. For example, as you rank up in the Diplomacy category, you'll be able to transwarp to various locations around the quadrant, not just the Sol System. You can also unlock new titles and costumes. You also receive free Duty Officers in each category. Another benefit... when you reach 110,001 Commendation Experience Points (CXPs) in any category, you can trade 10,000 points for 75-100 Fleet Marks. It may not sound like much, but I've converted a ton, and have the leaderboard score to prove it.