I would first start by cutting every crafting time in half. Iron hammers taking 12 minutes is, sorry for being blunt here, idiotic. It’s one of the basic tools you start crafting. The sooner someone is done crafting something the better so they can go out and gather more stuff or build more things, such as their base or home. Less perceived down time is a huge plus. Ideally, I don’t think there should be any crafting time at all.
I don’t think increasing action speed is the solution. I think making the resources spawn more commonly. Think of it like this. If you reward someone a Rough Diamond about every 10-ish minutes with at least 1 Rough Diamond seam, you’re going to see people want to gather more. Naturally this is a balancing problem because you and the team decided to make even a halfway decent 3 shot T6 hammer gather up an incredible amount of resources.
So yeah, I’d just increase the number of resource seams across all resources. The more common it is the more you’re suppose to run into it. Just cause it’s considered “rare” doesn’t mean it needs to be a single seam every 30 minutes to 1 hour. They should be common enough for someone who’s trying to break into Centraforge and Power Coils. But gems are just one of the issues with the progression curve.
Increasing action speed only does one thing: burn through tools faster. That’s all it does.
The net result I think would be people playing longer sessions and more often. I know I would probably play more but the reason I don’t play much at all is because of the lack of content; which is an entirely different issue and topic to discuss.
If I knew if I went mining for diamonds with a 3 shot T6 hammer and yielded the diamonds I need for what I want to use them for, then I’d play more. The bottom line is, someone who doesn’t have the coin to buy forged tools on a regular basis aren’t going to buy them and if they can’t craft them quickly enough they won’t make them. So the game feels grindy and time consuming because of how long it takes to get stuff to craft and build stuff.
Please don’t take this feedback personal.