The ND-3500A/G usually arrives with firmware 2.16 installed. This firmware is fine until you get used to the drive. 2.18 is the latest firmware for the drive and countless un-official modified ones.
My advice would be. Get used to the drive first, burn a few discs, then take a look at the NEC forum here on cdfreaks and then judge if you need a firmware update or not. Keeping in mind, an un-official firmware will void your guarantee.