With cultists now not showing up on thermals, there is no longer any incentive to hunt them down. Thermals were the only way to have a chance against the cultists previously. With this change, they are way too strong. Finding and attacking the six of them is too risky when they can still laser you down through bushes, especially with the high tier ammo they generally use.
The loot that cultists have on them is also no longer worth it with this change. While they can spawn tier 6 armor, you would be lucky to find it once every three raids you kill them. The priests do not have keys/keycards frequently enough. Generally you could get a 1-2 tier 5 armors, a couple stacks of ammo, a couple grenades, and some weapon attachments.
The fight even with old thermals still took a while to finish because of their tendency to run and hide and the fact that leaving one left alive could easily be a death sentence if you try to loot. Now the one advantage you had is gone, and the fight will go on even longer and riskier by trying to make out slightly darker spots on the terrain.
I have a couple ideas as to what to do with them, and would like to hear what other players think. Most importantly, the cultists should have an increased thermal signature. It doesn't necessarily mean return to the previous levels, but it should certainly not be zero. If not, their accuracy and tracking ability needs to be turned down, and possibly reduce the amount of cultists spawning. There should also be a slight buff to the loot, such as the cultists spawning with NVGs and very rarely thermals, to give some realism to their insane night tracking abilities.