That are not defend or explore. I ran into this problem around I believe halfway from LTC to CM. Bout 16ish. And i've ran into it again around level 27. Basically I like tackling the main storyline and the patrols but the defend/explore just seem more side quests. Thus I treat them as such. Many of them are the same design and flow so I generally don't do them for an area more than once because I notice in other areas I will draw the same type of situation.
However, because of this I am catching up quite often in the main story and patrol quests and then it leaves me sitting with not much to do. Now the problem i'd like to note is that the explore ones don't give many points on completion. I can only take so much combat coming from the more mainstream quests, thus I tend to avoid the defense. So in turn I'll be faced with having to do explore again and again just to make up the difference so I can get to the next level and unlock the next set.
Recommendation is, giving exploration a slight bump. That and providing another means of skill points. Maybe answering a distress call that just randomly pops up like the enemy contacts. Or heck another Fleet Action. It was a really good setup going with the Fleet Action mixed in as that provided the alternate means of gaining some points. However since hitting the Romulan area all there is, is the Entity. Reading a mess of people arguing about tactics in Zone isn't quite as fun as it should be.
Oh and lastly, Fleet Actions really need a form raid type of function . I'm sure the game will get better in time. It has a good start so far.
I definatly agree i keep running into the same problem am at captain rank 4 now and having to farm explore quests i dont mind doing 1 or 2 but having to farm them everytime i run out of partol/story quests gets a little annoying.
there definatly needs to be more fleet actions for higher lvl's i dont like going into the low lvl ones ppl complain am there farming the loot lol (tho when i do group i allways offer the loot to anyone in the group).