I'll also chime in on this. I've run plenty of STFs and it just seems generally harder now. I do enjoy the slight extra difficulty, but would prefer it removed. All the Elite PuGs are full of idiots who only see 'double rewards' and have no clue what their doing. The extra difficulty means that I can't solo STFs anymore with slight backup from idiots.
Yes it seems that the difficulty in ground STFs increased. I definitely don’t like that. So far I am only doing normal STFs, since I am not equipped for the elite ones currently. In most cases PUGs are able to do the normal space STFs, of course quite often missing the optional. On ground PUGs totally failed quite often and achieving the optional with a PUG was nearly impossible already before the difficulty increased. Therefore, I can not see any good reason for an increase of the difficulty on ground STFs.
I did a quick comparison of the Borg normal vs elite on Infected Space, as an example
I found that the Borg there fought with the same increased A.I. and aggressiveness they do in Elite, so I was dying a lot, but the only difference I could see was that instead of more Cubes to fight, they were spheres, but sometimes Spheres can be more annoying than Cubes despite difference in HP, they spam plasma torps every other second that your Hazard Emitters are virtually useless
This cannot be right... to hell with "love the challenge", this isn't right
Interesting, I have found KA and Cure ground elite much easier recently, yesterday we killed Armek in less than 20 seconds, fastest I've ever seen and on first attempt, that was with 4 TACs and me as a Sci, admittedly that meant there was about 12 security escorts plus the 5 of us, he didn't stand much chance against 17 guns lol. Will check tonight and report back.