Ok, this might sound like a dumb question but if you play the campaign first can you then transition into the standard career mode with higher skills, money and better mechs? Or are they two seperate modes without any integration between the two?
When you finish the Campaign, you will transition into Career Mode.
SUGGESTION: Best thing to do in Career Mode is to try MODS like (BEXC) Battletech Extended 3025 - Commanders Edition (full Inner Sphere map, random start areas, random mechs, new Flashpoints, and combat with the Clans), (BTA) Battletech Advanced - 3062 places you in the Fed-Com Civil War. These are just some of the mods that change game play.
Once you have finished the Campaign, you can continue to play onward and the Flashpoints (if you have the Expansions) will begin to spawn in.
IMO if you're interested...
Me personally, I would prefer to start a new Career mode game if you have Expansions installed. This is because the Flashpoints are rated anywhere from 1.5 skulls to 5 skulls. If you play the Flashpoints after the Campaign, you most likely have an Assault lance and many Flashpoints will be too easy. I myself like playing from scratch and taking Flashpoints as my Career company grows.
This is of course just preference, but I feel like you would get more from playing a new Career and playing Flashpoints from there. Also, Career Mode has a scoring system over 1200 days (does continue past 1200 days), so if you like playing for a rank, that is another good reason to play a Career game.
Yeah, I have all the dlc and been playing with those in career mode. Just wondered if I was missing out on opportunities by not doing campaign mode first. As for the skull ratings I am wondering if they are pure fiction. Have played three skull missions that were easier than half skull ones. Hell, had a half skull one that threw a heavy medium and a light lance against me. Yikes.