Honestly, people make the changes out worse than they are...
The respawn timer on ground is a total nonissue unless the whole team wipes and when was the last time THAT happened? If it happens the optional is lost anyway.
Remember a teammate getting you back up works no matter how long the timer is, and being alive 5 minutes resets the timer as well.
it is different for space, but unless you make an all escorts once more into the breach run, people shouldnt die there too.
Certainly anybody guarding probes should NOT die, those things dont even fire back.
And if people would for once let me, the tank with actual threat control, shoot first they wouldnt even be in danger at all. They could even throw me a heal once in a while instead when my stuff is eventually on cooldown.
The instakill torpedos are finally being looked at and will hopefully be fixed by the time this will go live.
The only thing I cant really judge yet, how the new KAGE works. I imagine it is similarly difficult as Infected with teh optional.
You won't really be able to spare a minute, sure. Impossible? Not so sure.
And really the optionals on Elite should only be doable for the very best teams. That's what they are in there for. The loot drops are not even that good. One of the team might get a proto salvage on occasion or somethimes you get blue Mk XII gear...
But the proto tech drops are exclusive to the boss drops at the end..
Otherwise completing the optional only gets you an accolade, nothing more.