I'm sorry, a what? Yes, there are times where she needs help, but she's, what, 17 in the current season? I wouldn't call her a 'damsel in distress'.
Absolutely no way she could be 17. She's 15 going on 16 at most
, as when introduced she was ~14 years old. The Clone Wars lasted, in-universe, what, three and a half years tops?
And I think that her early character was supposed to be a bit snotty, IE, too young/inexperianced to know when she's getting into stuff she shouldn't, but by the third/fourth seasons she's matured out a lot and really is a likeable character. This development was slowly shown in the second season and blossomed in the third. Even the movie showed some of it with Rex knocking some sense into her when she raises the point about rank (though the full juice of it was only seen in the novel, sadly)
As for her considerable talents; it's briefly mentioned when Anakin comments on her "advanced talents", and being trained by both Anakin (directly) and Obi-wan (indirectly) probably helps, along with having to learn-on-the-go and actual combat experiance. Plus, she could of been a pretty promising trainee anyways.
In a sense, her development is pretty close to the main series. Started out rocky/iffy, but as time went on she found her niche just like the crew found their little niche/pace and got into their own.