Okay, I’m posting this after the changes have been at least temporarily cancelled. I think this was the right move and now it’s time to think about the Forge and what can be changed. I think there is a general consensus that Draining Compound + Vigour Catalyst are too good. They crowd out all other possibilities.
So, what’s the problem with the proposed changes? In my opinion, it is that it adds rng. As players we HATE rng, especially in the area of crafting. We want the items we make to be the result of our hard work and skill, not because we hit the jackpot on a slot machine. Every aspect of the current forging meta besides the raw power of Draining Compound and Vigour Catalyst is about reducing RNG. I think players will deal with a decrease in raw power much more readily than an increase in RNG. That’s why I think that rather than increasing the diversity of ingredients used in forging, People would just switch to Pure Boon Compound. I think people would rather have a rank 150 hammer that they can produce reliably then a rank 260 hammer that would include random quirks/defects.
The power difference between a hammer that includes quirks and defects would have to be dramatic before you’d start to have players willing to have them on their tools. What can be done then? I think to make people willing to forge items with quirks and defects, you have to reduce the rng involved. Here are a couple ways that might be done:
Expand the number if item slots on the forge: This would allow players room to include solvents, Deconstruction Resin, and other items that reduce the risk involved with quirks and defects while still having the items to help them get the boons they want.
New items: For instance a gum or paste that makes it so you choose from a small list when you roll a quirk or a boon rather then having it randomly assigned. Another similar idea would be to give the quirks and defects types and make gums that increase the chances of you rolling certain types of quirks and defects. Or a solvent that removes a quirk or defect and makes it so that one cannot be reapplied during the current forging session.
New Skills: More forging masteries could be added that help you better control your forging results. The current list of points you need to maximize your effectiveness as a forger is pretty low, and I think players would enjoy the opportunity to dive deeper into that spec. For instance: a mastery that lets you remove one defect of your choice when you set a tool or weapon.
The overall point here is that forging does probably need adjustment; and that adjustment should probably be an over-all nerf; but if you nerf it in a way that increases the sense of skill and control expressed in forging I think you will bring a lot more players along with you than the recently retracted set of changes that would increase the rng and slot-machine feeling of forging.