Before my suggestion, i have to tell that, i am playing on a speed server. (5x) I have already spoken some players, who plays in normal server, and the difference between Speed-Normal server is terrible. My suggestion wont solve this problem, not a huge offer, but maybe a little step, to help this solve...
My suggestion is : Make new clothing, the new mode in the underworld called: Veteran.
It contains this bonuses
Expedition points are restored when worn
No loss of durability in expeditions
5% Forge Item drop chance (forge helper, scroll, resource)
+25% Forging Success
-10% forge duration
-50% SMELTING time