Was playing regularly, but real life issues interfered for a bit, so now I need to catch up...
When I left off, I was a RA, level 54-ish, doing the borg missions through the risa trans-warp conduit. Infected and terradome had just come out, and I was having problems finding groups to go tackle them. In addition, even with the high tech purple kit you could buy in that area, I was finding that my escorts were really taking it on the chin...not enough tank.
1. Is it absolutely necessary to complete those borg missions to progress in-game? (infected + terradome)
2. what are the new missions, and where do I need to warp to find them?
3. what else is critical for me to know as I get started again?
Lastly, what are your overall impressions of STO so far? Broad, I know, but I am curious. I feel like it's a good game, but PvP needs some work, and starship equipment fitting could be a little clearer.
1: You don't need to do the STFs to keep playing. They're just 5-man content. You can continue doing the regular missions as well as DSEs and Defend missions.
2: There's new fluid space missions and new weekly missions. For fluid you simply get them from the same contact that gives you the Gamma Orionis missions. For the weeklys you simply have to go into the new space sector. You can get there from Beta Ursae or Eta Eridani.
3: There's not a lot of missions between RALH and VA. You'll need to do Defend and B'Tran DSEs to get enough XP to advance all the way to VA1.
I like the game but it's not for hardcore power gamers. Content comes slowly and leveling can go quickly. STO's the type of game for people to play 5-10 hours a week (1-2 hours a day, max) to keep themselves from running out of content. STO's a good second game unless you really like to run several alts.
There are a few more missions in the fluidic space sector which is next to borg space. Then, recently, there have been the weekly Breen episodes located in Oreilus sector. Look on your galaxy map to see the best way to access those sectors. There should be another set of weekly episodes which are set to begin some time this month.
Infected and terradome are STF's (Special Task Force missions). They are designed for a team of 5 players (bridge officers not allowed), and are the most challenging missions in STO. A lot of people say they are too hard, but once you know what to do, they can be fun. Infected is part of a story arc, so once you complete it, there is The Cure, and then Khitomer Accord (in which you can get a sci borg BO btw). All these are 5-man missions. They can be difficult with a pick-up group, but with a fleet, they are definitely doable.