I see your point about having multiple layers to an item. But Cryptic hasn't figured out how to do this... they add content on a very linear plain. (which makes for a very linear game)I am sure that some day they will have something like this... speed boosts, craftable warp engines with a speed boost, etc. But as for right now I agree with many of the other people... join a good PvE fleet. Most fleets run Infected in 45 min- 1 hr The Cure in 1 hr 30min - 2 hrs and Khitomer in 1 - 2 hrs. It shouldn't take you 6 hrs. so in truth they are very manegable.... (when the bug was out where you got 2 sets for doing RA and VA at the same time, me and my fleet mates went through all of them in 4 hrs ) so yeah grab a fleet and take ur game to the next lvl
You seem to have an issue with doing group content. If so, why are you playing a multiplayer game? most of the endgame is STFs and PVP, both of which are group content. Are you just doing mission replays and dailies at endgame? sounds boring to me, but thats my opinion.
There is a set for everyone through crafting, the aegis set. They don't have a set from PvP yet because there is no way to offer it as a reward for being a good PvPer. Reason is there is no ranking system or tracking of wins and losses. How can they offer a reward for being good at PvP without a way to show you are good at PvP. Yes they could offer a set from some sort of marks from PvP, but that isn't a reward for being good it just a reward for showing up. I have seen that in other MMOs and people just AFK farm the currency. The game needs a PvP rank system before they can set rewards like this.
They need to have items that reward people for being good at the game. Not just giving it away through cstore or emblem grinds. "everybody wins" is a poor policy. Why have a game where this is no challenge and everything is just handed to you?
The first time I did Infected, half my group left... Same with The Cure. It was annoying....
Then I did Infected again with a group that were kinda not sure what they were doing, but this time I read up on the mission and we did it in 2 hours. It was fun... if not annoying at times due to the multiple spawning of Borg drones. Good thing I have Force Field Dome handy.
My point... I eventually appreciated the STFs after learning that it takes teamwork and some reading to win. I still can't jump though which makes me glad The Cure doesn't have that... and fleet mates will be going with me on a run this weekend.
To me , the OP is saying "I understand STF's are hard. I understand there is top tier gear that is to be rewarded with hard social work. What I do not understand is why I can't do some OTHER kind of social cooperative activity and get reasonably equivalent in utility (sector space speed) gear without the STF's, ESPECIALLY given their buggy nature".
My answer would be twofold
First, the Aegis set was designed really for fleet crafters. Sure, you can make it solo, but it will take a bit of time. Even a small fleet with a single good crafter who focuses on it can make Aegis for everybody in a (relatively) shorter amount of time. The Aegis set doesn't have the same procs as the Borg, and no, it doesn't offer a Sector Space speed increase. I think as the amount of Crafted Specials and STF gear improves, this will be fixed at some point.
Second, in the larger sense, the top-end most coveted gear in the game is going to be tied up in these hard-raid, multiple social type missions so that those who can complete them have a reason to feel like they've accomplished something. An accolade is great, but it's hardly a visual representation of how much of a bad dude one has become. Someone sporting a full set of Borg attachments is making the statement they have completed the "toughest" the game has to throw. Is that strictly "fair" . . .
If a group is getting rolled on any stf they need to ask themselves why they are and a lot of other ppl arnt.
There are purple mk XI gear out there now, are you using them or are you still packing white mk VIII into battle like I see a lot of ppl doing? Do you normally bring a bb gun to do a bank robery because thats what I see waiting at sibiran.
If your char isnt specd right it wont matter what your packing, your going to get rolled too. Half these missions are ground based and if you place all your points into ships because you "like to pvp" then expect to get rolled on the ground.
A balanced char with intelligent choices in skills and the right gear can walk thru any stf they have made so far with minimal effort. If someone cant then they obviously have to take an overall look at their char creation and adjust as needs dictate. This game is in a constant state of change and chars need to adjust to those changes with skills and equipment modifications suited to the goals.
I ran "Infected" with my friend and 4 others from 11:30pm to 3:20am Thurs-Fri. We had 5 for the space part, but 2 quit because it was taking too long to blow up the transwarp gate and we weren't focusing fire on one ship at a time when the waves showed up. Us 3 that remained beat the waves,gate and got the purple drop from not blowing up the transmitters. Took about an hour to do space. We got 2 new people and beat it 3 hours later. The team consisted of 2 Fed Engineers, 2 Fed Tacticals and a Fed Science. I have done this thing twice.
One thing though, if you get someone to join you after the space part and they haven't done that part, they apparently can't get the Borg Engine.