I made it to level 10, and worked through the Tradeskill tutorial. Decided I'd make some plate armor with the remaining supplies I had left. Then I saw that the Tin Chainmail coat was worse stats than the tunic my character started with. I don't remember it being that way before. Now I'm level 13, in Commonlands, and I just now found my first piece of loot that upgrades something I got from the Outpost quests. Were stats on crafted/dropped gear squashed or something?