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.
The ISE space guide is somewhat dated & you'll find the following is what you will likely encounter:
Kill the initial Cube & 2 Spheres.
How quickly this is done is normally a good guide as to how the rest of the encounter will proceed.
Head over to either the left or right cube (normally left).
This is where it gets fun and tactics vary..
1. select one of the 4 generators and proceed to blow it to kingdom come! Move to the next, repeat & do this until all 4 are destroyed. Take out the small Gate. Destroy all the Spheres.
Move to the other side. Rinse and repeat.
Take out main Gate
Take out final Tactical cube
2. Kill Cube
Take the generators down to around 10-20%. Pop all at the same time. Take out small Gate, Destroy the Spheres.
Move to other side. Rinse and repeat.
Take out Main gate.
Take out final Tactical Cube.
3. Kill Cube
4 of you take out the generators. 5th player uses GW and other CC's to hold spawning spheres away. After the generators are destroyed, players take out all the Spheres 1st then Destroy the Small Gate.
Move to other Gate. Rinse and repeat.
Take out Main Gate
Take out Tactical Cube
4. Group splits 2/2/1
Kill Cube on both side
Take out all 8 generators. Single player will hold spawning Spheres with GW's and other CC's. Kill all spheres.
Kill both small Gates
Take out Main Gate
Take out Tactical Cube
Scenario 1 is the main one you will come across. Scenario 2 is very rarely used nowadays (normally if DPS is very low). Scenario 3 is normally if you have someone who is good with CC or friends playing on the same team.
Scenario 4 is one I've only ever seen used a few times and requires very high DPS, teamwork and some good CC to pull off.
These are the 4 different variations of how to do ISE.
No.4 is by far the quickest but requires a good deal of teamwork, co-ordination, Extreme DPS and CC.
No.1 is next on the list. Requires good DPS
No.3 is next. This is for those with good DPS, some CC and Teamwork.
No.2 is for Average or Low DPS, bit of teamwork but also takes the longest.
Regardless of which way you choose to do it, be aware:
Main gate: always be aware of how close you are to this at the start. Stray too close & you may find your ship exploding! Also, when destroying this Gate later on, there are a couple "blind spots" where you can sit and the Gate wont hit you.
Final Tactical Cube: This spawns after the second small gate is destroyed. Be carefull when mopping up the spheres as it's easy to accidentally aggro it.
"Hazzard Emitters" - Make sure one of your Sci Boffs have this skill. It will remove the plasma burn which the Borg like using so much.
I'll do the short modern versions of KSE, Cure and Hive at some other point
*edited bit** Haven't bothered with describing "Nanite Spheres" and all that jazz as that's already been mentioned in this thread.
Also, Final Large Gate and Tactical Cube kill order - Cube then gate or gate then cube.. doesn't make a difference and is more down to how the team wants to proceed