Dislike most of those changes, except making the MK XII chance higher than the 0.0005% it seems to be now.
The death timer? The STF optional clocks are already hard enough without being down a man for upwards of a minute, 2 minutes once they die a few times. That'll be just fine, until the guy guarding the probes in KASE, for example, is on 2 minute cooldown and the whole plan goes to shit.
And for KAGE, starting the timer at the beginning is kinda lame. Yes, it's a little easy at the moment to get around things, but if the clock starts about 5-6 minutes earlier, and you have to stop and kill EVERY borg on the upper level as well, I don't see it working out very well. Especially if you're down a man or two because of the new death timer. Some of these missions are only 15-20 minutes to start with, getting to the two minute cooldown means you will have sat watching the screen do nothing for NINE MINUTES of the STF. that's crap.
Agree with the suggestion for new optimal build for a team, but you don't get to see any of that when you join up, not until it already starts. You can try and build around it in a private one, but unless it's all Fleet mates and a pre-built team, tough to grab people off EliteSTF and guarantee that grouping. And basically means impossible to just join a PUG queue and have any shot at this thing. Optionals were sometimes hard in a PUG (usually were), but now it's actually impossible.
Wish they'd stop tinkering with the old stuff, and make a NEW set of STFs to play with. Even with the changes, doesn't change the fact that we've figured out how to game the system a little because we've had to play each mission hundreds of times, can do them in our sleep, and are sick of them. I'd be happy never to play KA again, but can't get either of the drops for Mk XII. Got both the ISE ones, so at least am done with THAT one. Oddly, only Mk XII gear I have, and have both of them. And played that FAR fewer times than KA (where I focus), and got one Mk XI space drop there total...