You start getting free mk XII blue/purple gear pretty much out of the box with the Dyson rep. You get free items out of the rep store every time you do an XP assignment, either the 20 hour or 1 hour ones. Poor weapons will sort themselves out fairly quickly, and unless you're a fresh 50, your old hand-me-downs will suffice until then.
Although I've not been able to test any of the new content yet (an unworthy silver player here) I don't think anyone will have trouble with the new content. My BOFFs have random crappy shields and armour equipped, the only decent bit of kit being their elite fleet sniper rifles etc and I walk through PvE ground content on ELITE. It's so easy it's laughable.
That being said, can't wait to try the new content. Will watch Jurassic Park the day before the test weekend to get in the mood .
I was on tribble giving it a try...I killed a giant T'rex with a melee sword. Took me a while but highly doable on my medic kit MK X. Lots of heals but nothing fancy in terms of gears. Its how you use it rather than what kind to get