I shared your same reticence when i started getting ‘serious’ about escape. I just decided to dive in, and push the envelope (difficulty wise). Take my lumps and learn from my mistakes. I’ve found one particular approach or mindset works well, save a few, in most hives. Methodical, Slow and steady wins the race. Keep around, for the most part in the vicinity of your team, and be methodical and disciplined about your buisness. Hitting the actives, lining your shots, and forward movemenht all workman like and professional. Rushing forth, and splitting off from the team is usually a bad idea, but not always. Rushing will get you by on the lower levels, but on the upper difficulties the mode becomes a bit like a chess match, strategic.
Dont’ fear the venom. In fact, sometimes it’s necessary (or better) to ride the venom - as Lahni, Mac and Keegs all have venom based cards that make them very formidable during the escape.
There’s so many of them, each hive - with their caveats, encounter variety, that it can be a bit overwhelming to dive right in, but the more you run them, the more familiar you’ll become with the different scenarios that occur, and instead of being too cautious or blimey surprised, you’ll be on the ball and raring to go.
Good teamates, who know what to do, are experienced, are a godsend, and make the mode very enjoyable. And improve your success ratio greatly. Whereas with public and less experienced players, the mode is unforgiving and one boneheaded mistake can prove fatal and ruin the run. In my experience on public matchmaking good teamates are the rarity and not the norm, but as TC has improved the rewards greatly for escape, more people will play it, more often - get better and become worthwhile teamates.
I think you’d like Mac or the Anchor class, and in escape he can punch above his weight in level, so i’d suggest him (or that class) as your initial point of attention.