I'm one of those players that started the game earlier this month. Around a week ago I hit l50, and started straight in doing Elite space STFs. I've done 50odd in the last week, and I have to say, there are some things left to be desired in them.
Now I don't mind the Elite borg plasma torpedos doing essentially assured oneshot damage. What I do mind is when they're invisible. Give us a chance to shoot 'em down. (I assume that's what is hitting me for 62000 damage when my sheilds are at 40%, and has no graphic.) Fix the graphic, please.
I swear the loot table is broken for the "Prototype borg shield salvage", impulse engine salvage, and deflector salvage is broken. I've never gotten one. Now I have gotten about 10 of the prototype borg salvage, just none of the specific ones. So either they're dropping AMAZINGLY rarely, or the loot table is broken. After running 50 missions, not getting a single one makes me not particularly want to run any more elites.
Or. . . you could make a way to swap say 5x prototype Borg Salvage for one of the XII mako or Omega requisitions. Personally this would be preferable.
Next, the Optionals are. . . stupid. "Defeat everything in 15 minutes!" is all well and good, but in Cure and Khitomer, don't make any sense at all. If you're capable of keeping Kang at 75% until he can repair his engines, what does it matter if it takes more or less time? If you're keeping ALL probes out of the time portal, why does it matter how long it is open? Worse, the Optional in Infected is actually easy mode for the mission. Taking everything out before the repairers get to work makes the mission vastly easier.
What I would propose: For Cure, have Kang warp out at 15minutes regardless of anything else; He's done fixing his warp engines and bugs out with the cure. The Optional simply keeping his Hull at 75%. Once he warps the assimilated klink ships go after the players.
For Infected, lose the "no nanoprobes repair the infuser" condition, and just keep it at "Kill everything in 15 minutes."
For Khitomer, make the one and only condition for the optional "not one single probe gets into the time gate" What does it matter how long the borg are active if they can't get through the gate?
Finally. . . I've beaten the optionals a couple times on each of the space STFs. I have never once successfully rolled for anything in the optional drop. It is quite disheartening to accomplish the very difficult optional in The Cure but not get any of the optional loot. IMO it should drop a loot grab-bag for everyone, rather than subjecting people to the stupid lottery. The optionals require close teamwork, make the reward FOR THE TEAM, rather than for the individual.