As a lot of folks have said, its not down to the ship or whats in it, its down to the players KNOWLEDGE of what to do on that ESTF.
The worst one is that one with the borg klingons and that useless ship ya need to keep alive in the middle. I've pugged in there a few times and half the time folks in top of the line T5 cruisers end up trying to take on the cube before hitting the nanite gens below it, they totally ignore the birds of prey and its up to me and the couple of others who know how that map works to kill off the BOPS.
Then they start to whine and cry for help when the neghvars and raptors show up, run off to the far edge of the map with their useless fat ass toothless failaxy and dont come back till all the neghvars are gone.
Heres what Cryptic SHOULD do... dont limit ESTF's to what the user has on their ship. Find some way to tutor them on how the stf's and estf's are done, starting from the easiest (Infected Conduit) to the hardest (Hive). Some kind of tutorial video on all of them or something. Then limit them to normal STF's until they manage to get the optional on ALL of them, then the ESTF variants will unlock.
Its all down to knowledge (or lack thereof) and not the ship.
THe OP was obviouslt making a Troll post to get people to rage. And it undoubtedly worked just look at the 3 pages of replys
I don't think so. Gear gating, grind gating, and rep gating have been pretty much constant requests to "improve" elite STFs, always missing the point of course and only obstructing play with inconvenience rather than improving anything.
This is the first post I've seen that's tied the idea to the term gearscore and invoked all the ridiculous things done under that name, but it's not a new idea.