There's no way I can play on elite. I couldn't even get past the first group of Klingons. I try to target the Swordmaster and command all of my BOs to attack him, but I'm dead before I can even do that much.
I had the same experience, I was being 1 hit killed through my shield at one point, I just said "screw it" and dropped it.
There was this guide about finishing Otha (ground pvp warzone) at a low level. Assuming that you don't have to worry about pvp, then you get a rare item for winning the round. Sell the item on the exchange and profit.
It sounds like you are going about this all wrong from the start. Crafting is a horrible money sink and the gear you can make is not all that exceptional from free reward gear. Crafting is best suited for outfitting fleet mates or alts.
If the whole point of this endeavor is to get yourself outfitted. You don't need money and you don't need to craft it. Just get an explore mission suited for your level and start grinding for marks. You'll get all the gear you need, a hefty amount of XP in the process, a load of data samples you can sell on the exchange, and even a fair start into Diplomacy xp as a bonus.
All without having to beat yourself up on higher difficulty.
I have earned all my money from selling loot. I played on elite and sold all blue drops. My main has about 4.2M and my alt 5.5M. The problem is there is nothing to buy for the energy credits. I am not going to buy new Mk. IX stuff for those insane prices. Moreover i have switched to normal as I am tired of being insta killed by übermobs in every second ground mission... All I can do now is just BTran grinding so why to make the gring even more unpleasant, right?
This post is not asking how to get energy credits, as I already know how to acquire them. This post is asking how to get a lot of them, and very fast.
So, I decided to work on my crafting, and I didn't start until Commander. So, having as much energy credits as I did, I figured it wouldn't hurt to buy any data I'm missing on the exchange. Yeah, right. I need 12 encoded data for one item, and each encoded data is about 15,000 energy credits.
So, basically, I need to know how to get rich fast.
At the moment there's some kind of bug in explorations where you only get red data samples on exploration maps. But in the exploration space, you can still scan anomalies and get technolgical samples only. Unfortunately physical and energy types are not working.
But Encoded Data samples are technological type - so you could have picked some up for free in Eridan Belt, Hromi Cluster and Afehirr Nebula.
I would never buy the data samples from the exchange. 15,000 credits for one encoded data sample that costs zero and can be picked up free? Who the heck decided that price? If they were selling it for 100 credits each, I'd buy all my samples.
Well I would have never spend time on that so called crafting (no, upgrading an item is not crafting, it is still upgrading an item) when you can get the same stuff from missions or missions rewards. As I said, the best way to get money is sell loot at exchange or to a vendor for half the price.
My answer isn't going to be about how to gain energy credits fast. Rather, it's going to be about how to quickly level R&D.
Level two characters to RA without touching R&D, but save every data sample you acquire and bank them.
Then create a third character. Send all of the data samples to him.
As you level your third character, gather as many data samples as you can and use the ones you have banked. You will hardly have to spend any energy credits at all, and in the end you can complete the whole process in 6-7 weeks, if you play 20 hours a week or so. Maybe faster.
I watch the exchange to some degree. Some items, if I find they are being significantly undercut, I'll buy the undercut price and repost it.
Ex: I was selling some ship weapons and found one that was less than 30% ofthe price of the next higher item. I bought it and posted it and my item for sale at a 2k discount over the (now) lowest value.
Both items sold in under 10 minutes and I made a nice profit.
I also shop around when buying from the exchange. I look at price and quantity. Why buy an anomoly for 1k when I can buy 20 of them for 10k? Sure I might end up paying a bit more up front but the return is better IMO because I'll use those parts.