I know some people don't like the ground ones at all. In general, I feel more competent at ground combat and even then the ground ones feel a bit harder due to heavier reliance on gimmicks. KA is by far my favorite ground map and the big gimmick there really feels like it's "whether you complete the optional" in time.
Infected feels a bit bloated, The optional feels significantly harder. But it is very PUG completable.
The Cure... ugh. I don't see how most PuGs will ever complete this one. A standard completion here is much harder than completing either KA or Infected with the optional objectives. If there was one STF that needed to be nuked and replaced on normal mode, this would be it.
My suggestion, similar to how the forcefields make KA and Infected easier, would be to only make the current forcefield device and the previous one attackable by Borg in normal mode. That means once you get the third one going, the first one no longer needs to be defended. Once you get the fourth one going, the first two no longer need to be defended. On normal mode, I think the focus should just be on defending two at a time.
1) Khitomer Accord (easy to spot loose probes and catch them in time)
2) The Cure (again on normal you have time to keep the kang covered)
3) Infected (if someones not on the ball and misses a nanite probe/sphere it sux)
1) Khitomer Accord (long but well spaced out mobs and fun puzzle)
2) Infected (optional is very difficult in pugs)
3) The Cure (the boss is on steroids)
1. Infected - fast, and as long as there's not one guy on the opposite side I can handle the optional objective myself if necessary.
2. Cure - not as fast, there's always a lazy person or two handling the optional
3. KA - long, optional gets unmanageable fast if somebody decides to go to the opposite side as the rest of the group - in infected when that happens, at least it doesn't potentially lead to a failure
1. KA - usually finish in a pug, but long. Gets my top spot because I've never seen somebody not remodulating in it
2. Cure - actually finished in a pug once
3. Infected - seriously, just never seen a pug finish this one, three times I've been the only person remodulating. Provided remodulators to the rest once and one got mad and left the group because I gave him a useless item he couldn't recycle for EC.
1) Infected (killing nanite probes while the others take out the rest is fun)
2) Khitomer Accord, fighting Donatra's Scimitar is a welcome change of pace
3) The Cure ...easy, boring fly towards the probes, fly low enough so the cube can't target you, you can take out 4 regen-Probes with BFAW / Scatter Volley / Torp Spread without even moving your ship.
1) Infected (optional is near impossible for PuG's, something always goes wrong... Boss room can be a pain because of respawning Borg Mobs right when the Boss starts shooting)
2) Khitomer Accord ...story is ruined, map is easy enough, the Boss is too easy, the puzzle is just annoying if you're in a PuG that don't know how it works. (i never was in the room, so i can't even help)
3) The Cure ...it takes forever, Borg drones are sometimes invisible if too far away... never sure if the Forcefield was shut down, or if it failed.... can't Gozer make the button press thingies explode once the Shields are down? i don't know how many times someone ran back to the first clickie after the shield went down, and often that someone is me... AND you still get the button *fail*
not to mention that the BOSS has 3 INSTAKILL abilities and beating him is a respawn fest.
have not played enough Elite yet to have an opinion
If I were to rank my most played STFs in order of Preference, it would go something like this:
Cure Space - Easy optional, 15 min completion times, Pug friendly.
Infected Space – Moderate optional, 15-20 min completion times, Pug friendly.
KA Space – Moderate optional, 15-25 min completion times, Pug friendly.
KA Ground – Moderate optional, 15-25 min completion times, Experienced Pug Recommended.
Infected Ground – Impossible optional, 25-35 min completion times, Experienced Pug Recommended.
Cure Ground – Difficult optional, 40-60 min completion times, Experienced Pug preferred.
Infected Space – Impossible optional, 35-60 min completion times, Experienced Pug or Pre made preferred.
KA Space – Difficult optional, 35-60 min completion times, Experienced Pug or Pre made recommended.
Cure Space – Impossible optional, 45-? Min completion times, Pre made only.
KA Ground – Difficult optional, 25-45 min completion times, Experienced Pug or Pre made preferred.
Infected Ground – Impossible optional, 35-? min completion times Pre made only.
Cure Ground- Forget about it, how much you want to waste, have yet to complete.