It's worse than what many people are saying; it's even to the point to where I see people leave before the match starts simply because there's too many cruisers, which means there is a much lower chance of making the optionals simply because the STFs are so damned DPS-centric and time-gated.
I know there's another thread relating to it, but AFKers are a real problem. So far, I generally only see them on the harder maps such as CSE and IGE. Votekicking with a group of 5 isn't realistic and prone to abuse - so what to do? If you leave you take an hour cooldown hit - which is lame. (I have let a mission to spite an AFK-er...I have also intentionally blown optionals before to spite an AFKer that was rolling need/greeds...) Why don't they simply limit the cooldown to STFs? That way, you can do a fleet action or two if you feel like it, because there's really not much else to do at endgame....
I think they should create a function that allows team members to 'vote end' the STF with no leaver penalty. In other words, if three players want out, the STF ends with no penalty for anyone. This would be handy if something glitches, or if you have someone AFK.
Plus, I always thought PUG meant 'Pick Up Game'... I guess it's 'Pick Up Group'... just doesn't have the same ring to it.
really don't know why people flip there lid over the loss of the optional, really the only one where losing it can screw you up is Infected space
and dont say "But the Special loot" you get the same loot in in your reward pack, 99% of the time the group pack is nothing more then a 4 way roll for some vendor trash Eng/Shield/Deflector and some extra Salvage that at this point most don't even need that will just be used to add more to there unrefined backlog
Also, If you leave after the optional is lost you deserve your lockout. All your doing is
A: Screwed over the other 4 people in the group
B: Opened up a slot for a random person to join your "Fail Group" who is now stuck with trying to fix your mistakes
at the end of the day more people need to understand not every one is running a full Mkx11 Maco/Borg set with a full set of Fleet weapons and perfect Doff's slotted. along with understand there is more to a E-STF then "MOAR DPS" and acting like in a Sci/Eng Ship is being carried...well until my Grav Well III and Shild striping saves your ass