This is an amazing question. Very glad you asked. Where else would someone post such a question as their first topic and a new comer to the forum. You are asking about speed, power and number of passes in the Problems and Support
question which specifically requests that posts refrain from departing from Proofgrade and default settings. which might garner a reply something like, this is beyond the scope of Problems and Support. But most likely didn’t realize this. Who needs a manual for something that is drag and drop, click and print, no questions needed. So in reality, the answer to your question is no. This question might go best in Beyond the Manual (whatever manual that is referring to still needs some work for basic operations and best practices.).
Never fear. The forum is the place for questions like this and I am super eager to help folks figure this out and there are tons of posts that address this question and many like it. You will have to dig and there will be math.
Have you received your shipping information request email? If so, you are close to getting access to the user interface and that will help, especially for understanding workflows technical references, if so, have you gone through the first prints page on the support tab? There is not a comprehensive manual with all this in a format you can download and print that is consistent, up-to-date and comprehensive in the explanation of the Glowforge’s mechanical parts and operation.
There does not to seem to be a good perils and pitfalls manual that explains best practices. The First Prints section in the support, how to, demonstrates a workflow for producing your own custom luggage tag from scratch.
But if you don’t have access to the GFUI then the tutorials are the best place to start.
My advice is to read a few of the basics tutorial that @Jules has curated. Then come up with a design you would like to try. Even if you don’t have any experience in using design software and just post a picture of something you drew on a napkin, we can walk you through the steps.
As to speed, power, passes, different engraving settings. You will not have to know much about this to have success. However, the more you do custom designing on custom materials, the more you need to understand these concepts. But the good news is that it doesn’t take long to see real world results of tests to get the idea. Even some things are fairly easy to comprehend and understand, like, go with the fastest possible and adjust power accordingly. You get an understanding of these settings by doing catalog designs with Proofgrade and then looking under the hood by clicking to manual. The default settings will be visible.
In fact, there aren’t too many esoteric materials that require starting from scratch. You’ll be able to get a good sense of non-default settings from the existing settings that are pre-set for Proofgrade materials.
Good luck and set some time aside for study. In the end, figuring out settings is not that challenging, especially since you can see the defaults.