The Borg Queen wrote:
Why did they not just wait until AFTER their first warp flight before making the Federation's presence known?
What exactly were they trying to do that couldn't wait?
I definitely agree on this sentiment. After all, this was the proper thing the Vulcans did when Zepherim Cocharine took the first warp flight from Earth. Once humans learned of alien life afterward, the first contact here was allowed to evolve and develop at the correct rate, enabling Earth to form its alliance with the Vulcans, then other alien races, eventually forming the Federation. If they knew the Malcorans were about to make their first warp flight, the Enterprise should have been sent to greet them in space, and then the planet afterward. Having Riker and others there already just messed things up big time.