|Frazzlerunning Goblin Squad Member|
The issue has to do with being rank 7+ suddenly cutting in half or more the amount of T1 materials you can gather.
Two things can help with this. Make some hexes T1 resource only. Hexes around NPC settlements are a good start, but I am not sure of the metal/coal availability around NPC settlements.
Second is jigger the ratio of found materials so it is not as significant a drop.
If the "solution" to a problem is to NOT increase a skill, then there is a problem with the design of the skill/mechanic.
I can't say for certain, but could it be that this drop of T1 resource gathering could happen because the T2 mats in any given hex would be at or near 100%, while the T1 mats are farmed to a lower rate?