Q: Where is Sulu?
A: This is something of an in-game joke, similar to Aion's "Where's Tutty?" Commander Akira Sulu is in the Admiral's Office, second floor of Earth Spacedock. The turbolift to the Admiral's Office is between Club 47 and the Shipyard. BTW, mobs all over the Spacedock are constantly saying things about Sulu, like "Last time I saw him he was on his way to the Admiral's Office" hence the general amusement when someone asks "Where's Sulu?"
Q: Where the H&#@! is this <object name> I am supposed to use for this mission step?
A: All interactive objects in STO will flash like a badly rendered Matrix object. Also, the Tricorder (press 'V' to use) will usually point you to the closest interactive object during away missions. This could be an anomaly or the object you are looking for.
Q: What are Commodities for?
A: Certain missions will have a planetary governor asking for assistance of some type. Usually, this is for 10 orf a particular commodity that they need. Commodities can be found on some missions in flashing boxes but can also be purchased from passing merchants. Of course, if you don't have them on you and have to go buy them you may have trouble re-locating the planet or outpost that needed them!