Average fight rewards(unclanned)*: $230
Average net profit per ba forging @72%(in an economic clan)*:
ELB+: $282 or $251
ELBx: $254 or $266
CoI: $250 or $222
DB: $165 or $147
HoD: $155 or $137
You can easily check if forging for profit is similarly worthless for you*.
The obvious solution would be for Jonathan to increase the effectiveness of forging. Such a boost could also be paired with some kind of change to make forging a little more interesting. Several such ideas have been posted before, not all of them bad, imo. I think random sweet spots would add a little fun to the forging world. As it stands, what is the point of having sweet spots? One person takes a short break from the routine, then we wait for a new item. But, complex changes aren't exactly needed, a simple change to forging equation(s) would make forging worthwhile.
Jonathan doesn't necessarily need to be involved, however. Forgers can give themselves a boost by simply increasing their rates. For example, forging an els at 85% would provide me with $298 per BA, about a 30% increase over my fight rewards, substantial enough as long as I don't value xp too much.
Personally, I don't expect either of those to happen. So what is my plan to alleviate the crisis? I will start a new, normal, fighting clan, Ex-Forgers, and offer clan space to help current forgers stop wasting ba.
*How did I find these numbers?
-Battle rewards aren't too difficult. I took the average of each character on my fight list, but just looking at one target from the middle of your list is a good enough estimation.
-You don't even need to do a full cycle to get your forging numbers. Because of Pulk's 2:1:5:2 ratio, the rpm increase after casting an upgrade spell is exactly one-fifth of the rpm increase you'd get for a full cycle(as long as you are using a sweet spot formula). Therefore, you can find average net worth increase by taking the first rpm increase you get and plugging it into: (rpm increase) x 0.05 x (blacksmith cost of upgrade) / (BA per cycle). Then net profit forging at 72% would be 57% of that, because of the 15% forge fees. Forge randomness is simple enough, you get one of two values, the higher is ~12.5% above the lower. That means the average is the high value x 0.9444 and the low value x 1.0626. For the items I listed two values for, I did not find enough numbers to determine if I had the high value or low value, so I posted both.
-If you want to contribute your numbers to this thread, but have a little trouble understanding how to do it from my short explanations, send me a chatmail or pm, and I'll help.