Second Star to the Right...

Congratulations! You're almost ready to take the helm of your starship and go save the galaxy from Klingons, Romulans and Crystalline Entities. You just need to visit Admiral Quinn's office for a hearty pat on the back.

So approach the starbase and beam down, then head for the glowing turbolift straight ahead. You'll find the Admiral in his office. Speak with him to learn more about your starship. You've inherited the Miranda Class vessel in which you started the game (unless you have a pre-order bonus providing an Enterprise lookalike). Complete the Welcome to Earth Spacedock quest to complete the tutorial and receive your first ship console. We'll discuss ship consoles in more depth in another Captain's Log. For now, I suggest the tactical console. Equipping it to your ship will make your weapons slightly more powerful.

Accept Quinn's three other quests -- New Orders, Skills Trainer and Stranded in Space -- and then talk to Commander Akira Sulu, conveniently located in Quinn's office. For whatever reason, many new players have had trouble finding Sulu. It was such a problem in beta and at launch that Cryptic added random dialogue to the NPCs outside the admiral's office to explain Sulu's whereabouts.

Complete the New Orders quest with Sulu and learn about sector space and patrol missions. Then accept Patrol the Vulcan Sector. Now there are two more stops to make on Earth Starbase. Leave the admiral's office and head counterclockwise around the station. This will take you first to the Shipyard, where you can find Malcolm Sissel to advance Stranded in Space.

You can also customize your ship here (the first time is free with each new ship), so make sure you do. Because you can't choose other ships until you reach Lieutenant Commander in 10 levels, you'll be just one in a sea of Miranda Class vessels. So be creative with what you've got.

Continue counterclockwise until you reach Personnel, then speak to Commander Balt to complete the Skills Trainer quest. He's got loads of handy info on advancement both for your character and for your Bridge Officers, so read up. Also, go ahead and spend the rest of your available skill points if you haven't already. Once you spend the full 1,500 that you should have by now (again, I suggest maxing out Starship Command, then maybe go for Starship Attack Vectors), your rank changes from Ensign to Lieutenant. A Lieutenant you shall remain until you reach level 11.

That's it! You can explore Earth Starbase to find a few more features, including the Bank and the Exchange. But at this point, a beginner doesn't need to worry about those. Now beam up to your ship by hitting the Beam to Ship option on the right side of your screen or the icon to the left of your minimap that looks like a man standing in front of a two-way arrow.

You're officially ready to brave new worlds and new civilizations. Check out the Captain's Log guide to lieutenant progression for a little help along the way, and remember to have fun! And I know I promised to discuss the Klingon tutorial this week, but I'm just such a blabber that I've run out of room! So you have my solemn pledge that unless Cryptic patches in something crazy and exciting, Captain's Log will cover that next week.