Of course, the only way to get the optional on half of them is to max out DPS, usually at the expense of survivability. Now they wanna punish you for making that choice?
I find that the underlying reason for the current situation in STFs really due to a lot of players not taking advantage of their class strengths. This is especially true for Engineers who can't or won't tank. All Cruisers and some Science Vessels are designed to take the brunt of the attacks in STFs, acting as a screen so that escort ships can get close and destroy targets. And without a tank absorbing all the incoming damage, tactical officers in escorts are forced to hover far away at 9+ km range lobbing pot shots instead of going to their optimal firing range of <5 km for maximum dps.
With a decent tank in the group grabbing the Borg's attention and absorbing all the incoming damage, all other ships can get up close to their targets and really pummel on the Borg ships without worry. In fact, I have been in groups consisting of a decent tanking cruiser and 2 (low dps) science vessels and 2 (high dps) escort. We can complete the CSE optional with 5 minutes to spare. Proof that you don't need extreme dps to complete the optional.
Being able to run an STF with 5 escorts that can succeed even though they keep dying is an aberration and that is what Cryptic is trying to stop with the new cumulative respawn timer mechanic. It is a good move on their part. It promotes better teamwork. It promotes the use of cruisers and science vessels. I think its a brilliant move that kills two birds with one stone.