So, I'm a new player, and at first, I was really enjoying the game and considering buying a subscription. But, I hit Lt. Level 9, or something like that, and now I can't seem to complete any missions. I encounter ship battles where the foes out maneuver me in crazy ways, it takes nearly half an hour to burn down the shields of a single ship and I have to destroy 4 more just like it.
I'm still using the first ship given to me, and I did buy the most powerful shields and weapons for it that my rank allows. I've trained up and tried to focus on weapons training and maneuverability. But I did not ignore shields and repairs.
I spent an hour just trying to get started on a mining for dilithium mission, and the mission text does not give enough information about what you need to do to prepare to mine. I need an environmental suit, and I discover I need dilithium to buy one from the Ferengie at the mining outpost.
I ask in Chat if there is another way to get the suit as I don't have dilithium to buy one. I'm informed that I can buy one from the Exchange or pick up a mission to get a suit. At first, no one tells me where to get the mission, and when I ask, I'm told to get it from "The" Ferengie. There are two Ferengie neither of which offer a mission to get a suit. If such a mission exists, why is it not made more obvious. None of the "personnel" at the station even hints that such a mission exists. If someone does, I don't know how I missed it.
So I go to DS9 to try and buy one off the Exchange, and I failed to write down the name of the suit I need, so It takes me some time to find some environmental suits on the Exchange. I am not certain if they are the right ones, and am reluctant to buy as I wouldn't want to waste EC on the wrong suit. (had to log out, maintenance)
So, when I log back in, I guess I have to go back to the mining station to note the name of the suit I need, then go back to DS9 to buy the suit from the Exchange.
At the moment it doesn't matter what suit you get. Any will let you mine. You can buy one for 100-200 dilithium from the dilithium store. It's in the upper right corner of your screen where all your other menu icons are. It will have a dilithium crystal picture on it.
What are your power settings at for space combat? Do you have your weapon power at max? Are you also training your boffs as well?
King of Lions rawr! Protect the wildlife of the world. Check out my first full-length foundry mission, Perfection, part 1. Also check out my accolade grinds missions such as Beast Grind (500 Kills).
If you are still in your first ship it has to be a T1 light cruiser and can't be in anything else.
If taking out enemies is so difficult here are some things worth trying;
Check your weapons power (look for a 4 rows of numbers - it's the top row followed by shields, engines, auxiliary). Chances are they are all /50 so set it to xxx/100 by clicking the 'X' just above these numbers - this will divert power to weapons.
The other 3 buttons next to the 'X' are for shields, engines and balance.
As you're new to the game and trying things out see if you can upgrade your ship equipment using the items you've picked up. Mk2 will be the best you can equip but the next rank (lt commander) will allow mk3-4 and so on. Common mk gear is basic but green, blue then purple give great boosts like power or shield capacity or more attributes like dmg and accuracy.
Beyond that try focusing on a single shield facing or use bridge officer abilities like Tractor beam to do more damage, heal you etc. I can't possibly go through them all but use the early start of the game to experiment although read the description first and bear in mind your abilities will be low tier and you won't have many points invested to make them better.
For dilithium mining, go to any exchange on any space station and use the filter on the left side, search under "personal equipment" and then set it to "personal armor". Just buy the first, cheapest EV suit you come across, this shouldn't cost more than 1k EC (energy credits)... no dilithium needed to get one.
For space combat, make sure you have set the difficulty to easy, and have all power set to weapons. It's the small, crossed-sword-symbol in the middle bottom screen (where you set throttle etc, it's the very left of the symbols on top of this element.
If for any reason you still run into any problems, let someone help you with that mission. You can play that mission with a friend or more, up to 5 people are possible even in the same mission. There are always some points among the missions that will feel a bit harder, don't worry. If you can't be bothered to play a certain mission for whatever reason, you even can just skip it, then play the next episode mission, and return to that skipped mission at a later point, if you like.
Well, personally I like to set the shield power at max, because that way I can take hits while I'm targeting or figuring out which power to employ next, but that's really a matter of personal preference.
Other than that, though, this is all solid advice. (Except the part about the Tac escort; for one, the OP specified that he's stuck at lvl 9, which is still the initial light cruiser, and for another the Escort ships are kind of glass cannons, and if you aren't already pretty good at flying starships you're just setting yourself up for more annoyance.)
"Only a fool fights in a burning house." - Commander Kang, "Day of the Dove"
There is only one mission I'd suggest skipping and that's the "needs of the many" because you will spend three weeks trying to get that one explore mission to appear in the nebula.
Second, the explore missions are actually the best way to get some EC to buy a suit you don't have to have the ones in the dilithium store to mine.
Foundry missions do give you plenty of dilithium I suggest just doing one of those it's the fastest way of getting dilithium altho I do believe you can do starbase 24 at your level in the PVE que.
I'd suggest using your token once you get to the next level to buy the type of ship that works best for you.
Altho I have no idea which career you chose or which ships are your favorite types, I am science captain and in those early levels I chose science ships because they have good maneuverability, the enemies have lower resistances to science skills so they were easier to take down, and beams were my favorite weapon.
The cruiser is very hard to maneuver so if you like maneuverability I'd suggest using an escort or science ship. Doesn't matter which type of captain you are you can use any ship.