I recently had reason to posit that maybe the reason that we experience our character’s output massively shoots up once you hit top end-game tools is because there was some expectation from the Developers that we would be forging low-to-mid (stone, iron) level tools in some way, and that the imbalance was a matter of not using systems as intended. A response I got was:
To which the answer was: I don’t exactly know. I’ve delved deeply enough into forging to know that I really don’t like much about forging, and stopped there. However, I do play on PC, so took a little time to investigate it more on the test server. My ultimate conclusion was: No, it’s really not economically viable.
I appreciate that the new tier of materials has a severely limited flexibility rating, making them harder to forge than gem. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.
I also appreciate that gem does have a lower base flexibility than iron, and so is theoretically harder to forge. However, a forger who wants to be in any way efficient (these would be the players providing tools for market, if it were viable) will have maxed out their forge power and accompanying skill set, and will have a flexibility with diamond of 197. That’s 3 points less than the cap, which I would call negligible. You then ask yourself:
If you are using the exact same materials to forge gem as you would do to get the same affects with iron, why would you use them iron?
Is it actually a developer intention that we should be getting into forging as a general tool supplement before end game materials, or is it intended to just be the big exponential bump that we see? I think either or both of these would be improvements to make a wider range forging viable:
NOTE: These are intended at starting points for conversation, not complete suggestions
Re-balance the base flexibility of tier 6 and below materials so they don’t (nearly) cap out anyway when you’re equipped for it.
This is the easiest to implement, though I don’t think this is the best solution. You’d always have a draw a line somewhere that it isn’t efficient to forge bellow. Oh, and it’s technically a ‘nerf’, and you know how whiny people get about that .
Increase or remove the flexibility cap.
Experienced forgers would always be able to make a meaningful choice between forging more powerful, lower tier tools or less powerful higher tier resource tools for the same ingredient cost,
This would have the drawback of make lower tier tools easy enough to craft that you easily get maxed forges out of it, though even this could be viewed as being a positive side-effect. It’s a shallower learning curve than jumping in at the deep end.