So, I have actually been trying to skill up Alchemy since the cap raise and I invested nearly 100mil in getting to level 103.8. All my recipes involve Ethereal Squama and I've made 82 NQ Hexed items, 2 HQ Hexed items (hands/body), and broken one synth. Of those 82 NQs, I have successfully sold 14 (at a 200-600k loss). I am now 0.2 skill away from being Tier 1 on Hexed Nails, but I'm afraid it's pointless to synth them because I have yet to sell a single NQ pair or to receive offers for my HQ Hexed that would let me even come close to breaking even on these synths.
Here is how profit crafting works:
NQ Price * NQ Rate + HQ Price * HQ Rate > Cost per Synth
At level 75, Tier 0 synths like Dusk Gloves, Cursed Mitts, Adaman Hauberk, Cursed Cap, etc. would make up for their NQ losses with massive HQ profits. Typically Tier 1 synths were more balanced. Now, people seem to expect the Tier 1 profit ratio on Tier 0 synths, even if the NQs hardly sell at all.
At level 99, no one is willing to shell out the massive amounts of gil that would be required to drive the synthesis market. This is partially because SE has shown a willingness to outdate gear in the journey from 75, and partially because there is less specialization. No one would shell out 50mil of 2010-value gil for a Dalmatica -1 these days because they would see it as ludicrous to pay "a third of a relic" for an incredibly minor upgrade that only 6 of their jobs can use. Never mind that relics are incredibly cheap these days and inflation over the last year has been crazy.
There are several major problems with the Abjuration (and by extension crafting) system:
1) The NQs are generally not worth using over easy-to-obtain alternatives.
Example: The only piece of Auspex gear that has an obvious and desirable use are the hands, and that's only for physical BPs.
2) Abjurations are incredibly difficult to farm.
Example: If I wanted to get Transitory Abjuration: Legs tomorrow, I'd have to just start doing random CoP Voidwatch runs and pray. The odds I'd actually get it are near 0, even if no one else in my alliance wants it. Not to mention that it'd be pretty hard for me to get a CoP Voidwatch group together in the first place these days. I'd love some Khepri Kecks but even if I managed to HQ the Hexed Kecks, I still wouldn't be able to get the abjuration.
3) The HQs have an unclear value because many of them are obviously deficient in some way and it's not known whether/how the augmentation system would compensate for this.
Example: Khepri Jacket gives 15 STR/DEX/AGI and 18 Accuracy. This is an okay piece, but Tessera Saio and Toci's Harness also exist and are superior most of the time due to their attack. If we knew what Khepri Jacket could be augmented with, perhaps it would be a more desirable piece.
4) Ingredients for some synths are very uncommon.
Example: Staghorn Coral has sold something like 25 times on my server.
5) Even if you assume HQs rely on Augments to become good, there's no way to augment them if you can't get people to do Legion.
There are many ways to solve these problems. Pick one of them and do it. I don't care if I lose my investment at this point. I'm only turning over 15% of my synths. Loss is loss whether it's sitting on a mule or nerfed to NPC prices.