I also really like Explosive Conflict, and wish it was run more. However, I do not want to see it nerfed. So if I had to pick one of your solutions, it would be Option B.
Y'know what I do to help make it more popular? If I have a few hours free on a weekend and I'm feeling particularly sadistic, I will join a EC HM pug group and help them through it. It has seriously taken me at least three hours each run, both pugging with mostly guild groups and groups that consists entirely of pugs. But, at least afterwards there are seven more people on the server with an idea of how to finish the operation... Even if some of them end up on my ignore list for being near complete idiots.