In the absence of "hard" data, Id say this is a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.
However, the main attraction I see in the 3 left, 1 right, 1 guard is that the 4 attackers spend all their time attacking. They never stop. This means they get full use of their buffs (alphas, betas, sensor scans, whatever) and better rotation of those abilities. As opposed to two people being forced to switch off every 15 seconds or so to kill probes, then come back.
Plus, the person detailed to kill probes in each of your sub groups is either going to have to evasive out wide or spend a fair amount of time in range of and taking fire from the gate, which can one shot people or similarly ruin their day.
As far as efficiency goes, 1 person detailed moving back and forth and spending the majority of their time attacking (done correctly you will spend about 6 seconds traveling out of every 22, the rest of the time spent dps'ing [I can average 4k dps just doing probes over the course of a KASE, and this does not include the Donatra fight]) sounds far more efficient than two people having to break off periodically, avoid the gate, avoid getting snared by tractor beams, have the appropriate skills off CD to take down the probes in a timely fashion, etc etc etc.
It might be worthwhile to try and test each way, same people running both multiple times each. But personally, Im going to bet on the method that keeps as more people on target, longer.
You make a good case, mayhaps I had indeed overestimated the travel time between left and right probes.
The Gate is no big issue so long as you don't fire on it, its fire will be spread out and easily handled (sometimes, it doesn't even fire at all).
Never been oneshotted by a Gate, they hit hard but don't oneshot.
Evasive is there to be used and all builds should have means to handle Tractor Beams, should they not?
In any way, I'll recall my words until further testing. I think we'd need to demonstrate the respective methods to each other, tbh.
Also, as far as the travel time goes, I use the mk XII omega hyperimpulse engines and a 100 weapons / 50 Engines power setting. Engine power on my Fed is about 58, on my KDF about 88 with the plasmonic leech console going. And, I nearly always swap to my 100 engine power setting as Im activating Evasive Maneuvers.
End result: I get up to about Impulse 209 in a second, and I literally have to reverse course to keep from flying right through the gate. Total travel time across the map is about 5-6 seconds.
Most of this guide is preferable, thinking of space and ground equipment, healing injuries. But, the Elite Space STF tactics are almost completely wrong, so i decided to write something. Although it doesn't mention that space weaponry MUST be the same energy type because this allows you to maximize your damage. Rainbows are completely useless. Lots of debuffs without high enough DPS is worthless.
There are scenarios when me even with my Tetryon-based Atrox can produce higher DPS than a rainbow escort. An escort should be able to destroy the target faster than i can click on it... Or you can have two energy type if you can maximize damage of each. For example something + Polaron with Jem'Hadar Space set.
We don't think that these space tactics are good, so we decided to share ours.
I have noticed the following in Cure Space Elite. For starters:
Both my characters, Sci-Tac use escorts.
Threat control skill is 0 (hope i remember the name correct)
I noticed and tried the following more than 20 times (both characters, different equipment). The first time i noticed it was while I was killing BoP and accidentally attacked 1 probe. The cube did not shoot back so I continued firing and got at the distance 2km just below the cube. Notice that I had not activated any tactical team or attack pattern, only cannon rapid fire, high yield and beam overload, nothing that attacks more than 1 target, nothing that heals. When i did the cube fired. When another team member approached the cube fired at him and then at me.
Ever since, I leave my pack and go destroying the probes alone(plus the BoP in my side). Am I lucky or there is another way? (and I hoped that i did not just reported a bug )
So any guru in STF Cure can confirm or try it maybe.