I'm in a bind.
I've crafted the all eligible white gear I have. I equipped everyhing at rankIV when I could and rank VI later.
I'm out of stuff and I'm Cpt8 now and am not pulling any more; mostly VIIs and VIIIs.
I tried going back to Romulan space and doing DSEs and Exploring for the mats and gear. I'm getting the midlevel mats but the gear is my level because the instances generate my-level baddies.
I haven't reached that last tier agent yet; Kiyoshi O'Brien in Engineering for example.
I've hit the shops and they only sell level III and level V gear and you need IV and VI for this level (excepting kits... they require III V for some reason).
Trying to figure how to 'get to the next level' as it were.
I get that with a future captain I should just grind it out at that level before doing the episodes and leveling out of the range.