So I've been playing STO off and on since it first came out, (casual barely describes the playtime I can put in) and I've made it to Rear Admiral finally, new ship, more weapons, more officers yay! But even after reaching this new threshhold, I still feel like I'm not playing the game or using it's features to the extent that I want to.
Crafting doesn't seem worthwhile since lvling seems to get gear that is just as good or better, I rarely find anyone interested in grouping to finish quests or for fleet actions, and I don't have a good idea of how episodes play out or really work. All I seem to be doing is solo lvling, and doing the same kind of quest over and over. I love the ship combat and the ground is ok and I enjoy the game but I'm worried i'm on the fast track to boredom.
What am I missing? What can I participate in that really makes the game stand out that other people are doing in groups or fleets?
I would say the first thing you're missing is joining a descent Fleet. Good Fleets have regular Fleet Action events, STF events, mission events, and such. For some people the need to play with others is central to their gaming enjoyment - I'm somewhat the opposite in STO as I've always envisioned Star Trek as one Captain, one ship, one crew alone against the galaxy.
As far as Crafting, the first stage of the new system is going in today with a lot more changes coming. I seldom get good gear in drops: mostly greens and blues so being able to craft purples is handy to me.