Hi there. If the final objective is to make as many points as possible, what's technically the best option to choose when using the plunger at the beginning of each ball? Start Mission, so we can reach Final Frontier mode as son as possible?
Borg MB is the only thing to go for because of the progressive worth of the jackpots. Lock ball is a good way to start the first few balls. It will not give this option after those. There is also a tricky thing to think about with hold multiplier, this can prevent getting the 8x bonus extra ball after draining. So I don't go for Warp 4 or 2, I start modes. Just get good with shooting the lock orbit from a rolling ball from the left flipper because starting a mode will often feed the left flipper. I'm not overly fond of Final Frontier. First reason is the camera bug "stuck on plunger", second reason is a crashing ROM that can cost you the game. Happened to me twice, and only during Final Frontier. And last reason: because I only go for Borg MB, even while modes are running, I don't collect a lot of artifacts. This keeps Final Frontier relatively low on scoring.
I always go for Warp 4 on the first ball. Later, (especially after reaching Warp 9) I will go for either 'start mission' or 'lock'. It varies depending on how many balls I have left and how close I am to Final Frontier or multi-ball. I usually favor Final Frontier because I'm an artifact hog. I admit, this may not be the most efficient way to score but it's how I usually play (and I've managed a top score of 47 billion).
I do agree with some of the comments Slam23 made. Final Frontier can be buggy. I've encountered the camera bug a few times, as well as a ROM crash. I've also had the ROM crash at least once while NOT in Final Frontier mode. The point about hold multiplier potentially costing an extra ball is also good.
A few more suggestions to help get high scores... Try to start Borg multi-ball while Q's Challenge is running. They stack and it stops Q's timer, so that can lead to huge scoring. Doing this, I've managed 1.7 billion from Q's Challenge alone. Also, if you can complete the Shuttle Simulation, always pick it from the Holodeck. It's usually good for 159M + an artifact. Poker may be fun but it's not worth much. Even best case (beating Riker with a royal flush) it's only worth 75M. I hope this helps.
You guys know that you can still choose progress towards Borg multiball even after the first instance? The Lock Ball option will be Light Holodeck instead... but this still lights the lock (still saving a shot) since it drops the drop target out of the way. I go for that every time.