You do get drop rate increases, for all levels of items. You also get more xp per kill.
Overall, if your goal is to level fast, it isn't worth it.
The extra xp won't compensate for the extra time to kill. You will see more green and blue drops, but the base purple drop rate is so low that it won't make much difference there, even though the multiplier is supposedly 20x (advanced) and 30x (elite). And with the ease of getting crafted and badge gear...
That said, if you find normal difficulty just way too easy, then definitely feel free to step it up a notch. Just keep in mind that it has a bigger impact on ground difficulty than space. Certain hard hitting attacks (like swordmaster bat'leth ones) become one shot risks. And certain weapons (dual disruptors, compression pistol) become extremely deadly in NPC hands as well. Until you learn the ropes and adjust your away team to compensate, you will get slaughtered a bit on advanced by certain enemy groups. And on elite, you stand a good chance of getting slaughtered regardless by those particular enemies.
Well I'm at LT9 now and have done ever mission on tier 2(advanced) and have maybe only gotten 2-3 green drops; lol. That being said I normally only get 1SP and 1BridgePoint per kill anywho; so I'm not seeing any 'extra exp' - or is it the completion exp that is upped?
Actually, the difficulty involved with jumping from Normal to Advanced and to Elite is a good test of how well you can keep from dying, which is a huge factor in being able to handle STF's or PvP, as survival is of paramount (lol pun) importance in such situations.
It does, however, involve investing in injury-removal items.
I've seen people who've breezed through Elite and become nigh-impossible targets to destroy in PvP, only because they've mastered how to survive very well.
I personally would like to see vastly increased drop rates on blues, at least, at the higher levels. They're rarer than they should be in terms of the difficulty jump. Elite, dont get me started on Elite. I've faced harder foes in Elite than in PvP.
I like the challenge during space battles, but when it comes to groud missions all it does it absolutely make me want to rip my hair out. Since the only noticeable increase is for item drop rates of something I've never seen drop; I think I may drop the difficulty back down to 1 until they allow us to seperate sifficulty or if the tier 1 difficulty is just too easy.
Space is still easy.
But if you get a ground mission , drop it , it is bugged as posted , i thought S3 was to fix major bugs......
Stick to normal mode , it doesnt work properly and you will actually level faster , plus the loot is rubbish anyways , its the same old loot , STO doesnt yet have a loot system btw (again was suppose to be part of S3)
I like the damage system that comes with Advanced turned on as it makes me think about encounters. I have levelled a Tachtical officer and an Engineer to Commander and have found the difficulty to be just right. The game is far too easy on Normal. and I am a lifer so I'm in no rush to level.
I really enjoy space combat on Elite. It is absolutely about surviving, and while I don't PvP, I expect I would be a hard to kill opponent.
Ground combat is another story. I find as mentioned, they don't become harder, none of my BOs or myself seem in danger of dying, but the combat is long and drawn out. I'm currently facing Romulans, and the medics keep resurrecting each other and the others and the Centurions keep regenerating their shields.
It is quite frustrating given how very much I dislike ground combat anyways. I've just closed the program and walked away repeatedly while I was winning, because it just took too many minutes away from my life.
To me, ground combat is a time vampire. I'd like them to make it optional. I can either A. Beam down or B. Send away team. Give me a stat report and let me end the mission right away.
This obviously doesn't work in the case of stories that require ground combat. In those events, limit the number of mobs to 1 or 2. Every time I beam down and face an army I try to think in my head how many Star Trek episodes EVER faced that many people. Not many.
It does work in all other instances and would be of benefit to many Captains I am sure. We're the Picards, we want to space punch and then sip tea while our away team fights on the ground.
I will never have any interest in playing ground combat. If I wanted to play ground combat, I would play Mass Effect. I am here to fight in space. That isn't a slight against anyone who likes ground combat. You are the kirks. I respect that, but both choices should be respected.