Nightwave in general is proving pretty silly, IME. Very low spawn rate for the Wolf means I haven't seen him, most of my play time went to the Event which meant no progression on Challenges, and the ones they select are often not ones that fall in line with my priorities. Whereas before the change to Nightwave I could pick and choose and do an hour per week, tops, on alerts for the stuff I wanted the current system has a much heavier investment to get to the stuff I do want. Hopefully they will look at the rate of standing grind for Season 2 and realise that a gain of 5 Umbral Forma per year, tops, and how little much of the playerbase progressed means they need to increase the amount of standing earned for taking part to a more sustainable level.
That's the killer, though. We're almost half-way through the season.
For something that was intended to replace the alert system, it's doing a remarkably poor job. I think DE's gotten a little too fond of faction rep grinding, and it's hurting the game. There is no reason that non-endgame activities should chew up so much of your time.
That only happened much, much later- for a long time, Lenses could only be acquired via Sorties or Platinum, and I can remember times when market value for a basic lens was higher than just buying one from the store (wat). Going by that track record, it could easily be years before they revisit the model. Consider, for example, Legendary Fusion Cores, which is what Umbral Forma presently approximates. Those are attainable only via trade or ludicrously unlikely Sortie drops. In an ideal world, Umbral Forma would have been available from the store at about 100 a pop from the day it was added to Nightwave, but I don't think DE will budge on that any time soon.
I think that the Nightwave Seasons will also be taking the place of Events and Tactical Alerts in the long term- just put the weapon at the end of the long grind and call it a day.
The value of doing alerts for the stuff you want depends a lot on whether or not someone is online when the higher priority alerts popped up IMO. Nightwave is almost certainly more overall mission to get its rewards, but it's also predictable progress, as opposed to missing a reactor alert that lasts an hour or pulling rare rewards from sorties.