Sorry about your bad first experience. As Yeti says, its a community game. As such it helps to hit the place at the right time of day. Typing /who will tell you the population of the server. If its below 30 the ability to get help is obviously more limited, particularly as the emu allow multiple player characters at the same time. We have a population that includes Europe, the US, and Australia.
Use the New Player channel to let us know you are there.
As for getting around, another volunteer site - enbmaps.de is your most current road map to the galaxy.
Search the forum for the Quick Reference Sheet for key commands.
The wiki for the game is accessed through the main Net7 site, left hand column, scroll down, click on wiki, use same name and password as for the Net7 site. Enter Skill-Acquisition in the search box and you will be taken to a link page for walkthroughs for nearly all the initial missions. The wiki has walkthroughs for nearly all missions you may encounter afterwards as well.
I'm just another player in the game and not on all the time as life does call. However, I have created welcome wagon alts at Mars, Jupiter, and Earth with free gear that is not the vendor brand x to make your initial progression easier. I do not know when someone first joins and can only rely upon postings in New Players.
I have sent my alts to escort new Progens to the shipyards knowing that its a challenging journey. Often offering the service prior to any request if I know they're headed that way for the first time. It's all about catching one of many of the other helpful players in the game being on.