Wrathborn hunts were bad. Really bad. They were boring, tedious, and repetitive, especially compared to battlegrounds, which are fun, but can also be tedious and repetitive after you do a few in a row to get hammer charges. However, wrathborn hunts were way more rewarding for focus farming seasonal gear than the umbral focusing system is this season, and that's just really sad.
First of all, if a hunt was available with the particular weapon or armour piece you wanted, it was guaranteed at the end of the hunt. There was none of the 50% chance of one weapon or 50% chance of another shenanigans going on. It only cost a single charge as well. Ehroar already made a video explaining how its just not worth focusing an engram higher than the tier 1 weapon engram because 3 attempts at a tier 1 focused weapon engram gives you the same probability to get the specific weapon you need as spending 3 charges on a tier 2 engram, or 5 charges on a tier 3 engram. While the tier 3 gives 2 perk options in the fourth slot which kind of justifies the extra charges, there's just no sensible reason to spend 3 charges on a tier 2 engram when the probability of the weapon you want is the same as opening 3 tier 1 engrams for the same charge cost.
Speaking of charge costs, with wrathborn hunts, you could weed out unwanted weapon perks, focus masterworks and armour stats all for the same charge cost because you focused them using lure mods which would drop with activity completions, and Crow would always have some for sale if you're short on some lure mutations. They always cost 1 lure charge regardless of how many focusing mutations you plugged into the lure. With hammer charges, there's no way to focus weapon perks, and there's no way to focus onto a specific armour piece with a higher chance of having high rolls in a particular stats. If a lure was dropping arms and you wanted a higher chance for it to drop with high intellect, you could do it, all for 1 charge and 1 lure mutation. With hammer charges, it costs 5 to focus into a specific stat, and you're not even guaranteed a specific armour piece, and you can only focus tier 3 umbrals like 2 or 3 times a week. While you can focus into a specific armour piece for 3 charges, you can't also focus it with a higher chance at a higher roll in a particular stat.
As for levelling incentives, after you hit 1300, there's no levelling incentive to focusing engrams. My gear level without artifact level boost is at 1305, and I can't remember a single time any focused umbral dropped anything higher than 1300. With battlegrounds, you only get 3 powerful drops a week, and it takes 9 battlegrounds runs to get all 3. With wrathborn hunts, you were guaranteed 5 powerful drops a week for the first 5 hunts (as long as it was dropping a weapon or armour and not recon data or mutation mods) which you could focus into the specific slot of whatever the hunts were dropping at any given time, and you'd get a 6th from Crow for doing 5 hunts. Plus you could upgrade the lure to upgrade Crow's weekly powerful into a pinnacle, and later in the season, you'd get an extra pinnacle from doing the High Celebrant hunt weekly, and it was always a pinnacle in a guaranteed slot. Even if you didn't want any of the weapons or armour on offer from the hunts, there was always an incentive to do them because you could get 5-6 extra powerfuls a week to level up or fill out slots that are lagging behind, and on top of that, you can get 2 extra pinnacles for much less effort than doing 9 battlegrounds for just 3 powerfuls.
The effort to reward ratio this season is way off. You could argue that wrathborn hunts, while boring, were way too rewarding for how little effort they actually required. But battlegrounds and hammer charges have completely swung the pendulum to the other end of the spectrum where the rewards just aren't worth enough to justify the effort required.
Aside from rebalancing how many charges the focusing tiers cost, there needs to be a way to focus into specific weapons, not a chance between 2. Tier 1 should remain as it is. Tier 2 should be specific engrams for specific weapons, not a chance between 2. Tier 2 armour engrams are fine as is. The hammer should have a higher gold capacity and we should be able to spend gold to focus engrams to either have a higher chance at rolling a specific masterwork, or to exclude certain perks from rolling on the weapons, or to get a higher chance at a high roll on a particular armour stat. Tier 3 should be the same engrams as Tier 2 with the same focusing options and should still remain limited at 2 per week, however the two Tier 3 focuses per week should always drop as pinnacles at the cost of more charges than the equivalent Tier 2 engrams so that there's a way to focus 2 of your weekly pinnacles into specific slots that isn't dependent on rng like other pinnacle sources. The 3 weekly powerfuls for 9 battlegrounds run might be fine as is, but it would be nice if instead of giving you a random weapon or armour, it'll give you an unfocused engram as a powerful, like a prime engram, and let you focus it however you want while remaining a powerful.
TL:DR Wrathborn hunts were very rewarding for how little effort was required. Umbral focusing isn't rewarding enough for how much effort is required. Rebalance hammer charge costs, change tier 2 engrams into specific weapon and armour engrams, not a 50/50 chance between 2; let us spend gold to focus rng towards specific masterworks, armour stats or exclude certain perks; change Tier 3 to be the same engrams as Tier 2 with the current 2 per week restriction, but make the two weekly Tier 3 focuses into pinnacles at a higher charge cost.
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