I think you overlooked the part when I said that items crafted/upgraded this way should only be tradable with other owners of the extension. And if the general consensus is that this is still too overpowered, you could make those items infamous and not tradable at all, I do not care. I just want to upgrade my stuff, I am not interested in making profit with it.
You may not want to make profit off of any upgraded stuff, but the majority of Dead Zoners do.
Limiting trade of those upgraded items to only those with the Free Crafting add-on would effectively split the trade market into two sections: those with the add-on, and those without. Mostly likely, the top-tier alliances and highly-skilled players would purchase this add-on. This would ensure that all the best weapons will stay with the top-tier alliances and highly-skilled players. Ultimately, free-to-play players will stand even less of a chance at competing than they do now and this would drive the wedge in deeper between the Haves and the Have-nots.
I feel your pain with wanting upgrades to come cheap, but it shouldn't come at the cost of game balance. I think with the 80% fuel-cost reduction cap, paying a fuel cost in the low thousands (as opposed to more than ten thousand fuel), is manageable, even for a free-to-play player. If that doesn't work for you, I'm sure there are still upgraders out there, though I'm sure their prices may be going up.
Edited by Lefty_Grimes, 19 March 2015 - 08:02 PM.