OK after dying way too much on a 5 hour failed VA Infected run (my first) - I decided I've seriously neglected my Ground gear...
I have a ton of marks and badges, and need some advice on what is some good purple gear to acquire to increase my survivability - I have a good weapon, just need some new purple armor and personal shields - anyone have any suggestions?
STFs require a lot of good weapons. You need a good sniper weapon to take out the nodes. A good area weapon to take out the hordes coming at you. A good knockback weapon to push people where you need them to go. Most important of all, though, is a good balanced team of people all willing to work together: Engineers buffing your shields and causing havok on the Borg, Science healing and exploiting foes, Tacs doing as much damage as they can. Without a team willing to really work together all the best gear in the world won't do you a bit of good.
Since you're tactical you'll want to maximize your damage potential.
Energy Harness provides a good consistent boost to your damage
Integrated Targeting will make you crit more
Recoil Compensating will make your crits hit harder
Doesn't matter too much which one you take, just which ever flavor you prefer.
On my first run I had good luck with a grenade satchel as my kit. Fire team was helping to pick off individual drones, but there were so many that taking them out one at a time wasn't working well. So I decided to switch out to my satchel and start chucking grenades at every opportunity. Just need to be a bit careful with the plasma grenades, the others you can toss out like candy. Even the smoke grenade, which if I understand correctly reduces the enemy's chance to hit. It doesn't specifically say this in the tool tip, this is just my own observation that I don't lose as much health when I'm in the cloud.
Still, to paraphrase Cosmic_One; if you're team isn't working together, no gear is going to save you.
The rule of thumb in my fleet is to use Energy Dampening Armor, as this helps protect you from damage from the Borg. For the Tactical Kit, go for either Operative or Close Combat Specialist, though I personaly recommend Close Combat Specialist as the Motion Accelerator is a nice get out of hold, Leg Sweep and Lung are good attacks, and Stun Grenade allows you to get even more damage while taking less.
I would recommend checking out the STO Wiki, http://www.stowiki.org, as it has a lot of good and detailed information.
If you want STF specific gear, I would run the RA versions of Infected. They are easier than the VA versions. You get marks of valor for them, and you can trade those in for purple mark X gear with [Borg] modifiers.
To run RA infected, your gear is not as important as your team. My tac usually uses close combat kit, with sniper rifle and bat'leth on switch. She wears a physical augmentation armor, and a personal shield with knockback. Rifle is used for drones, infected drones, and medical drones. Bat'leth is used for tac, heavy, and elite drones.