I have seen this mentioned in a different thread, in which, a DSE will not initiate an engagement no matter how much the player tried to attract it.
Well, I have noticed this problem with my Lt Cdr in Regulus Block. I was flying right up to the DSE and nothing happened. I did notice that the DSEs were "-12" to my captain. I would not have carried much about this, and in the past I just went on t a new mission, but this time I acually had a mission to do three DSEs in Regulus space. The only way I could do this is by entering active DSEs. Now this presented a problem since the only active DSEs wer filled with RAs and VAs, so the only thing I could do was go in and repeatedly explode while waiting for them to complete the DSE. I got the mission done, but didn't get anything else out of them since I was so low rated against the "+22 and +32" threats.
What is the problem with DSEs that they won't let me do them in an area that I already have a mission for; I know it is being updated, but until then it needs to at least give DSEs to those with a mission for them.
Thing is, if you at Lt. Cmdr or me at Vice Admiral go launch a DSE intended for Lt.'s then that DSE would be leveled to us... So.. Imagine you're a lt. cmdr, and I go around activating the DSE's you're about to do... You would find yourself fighting +33 (random number) enemies... How long would you last.
You want to look for DSE's that have been initialized already.
You were above the level of the DSE that's why you couldn't get in and were doing the same thing as the RA's and VA's , you mentioned the mobs were -12 to you, the RA's and VA's had the mission just like you did.
In Season 04, DSEs will see a notable change - no longer will they "attack" you, you can decide whether you want to enter them or not. This should care of that problem. I am not sure how it affects the auto-leveling NPC issues, though.
Even prior to Season 4, the "enemy signal contacts" won't chase you if you're more than 3-4 levels away from their level. That's not a bug. That's by design.
But in Season 4, they will never attack you and you can always attack them. The current way is they attack you and force you into combat when you're in the level range (and whether you want to or not), and they ignore you and you can't attack on your own at all if you're not in the level range.