The Crowfall site has been updated with a look at recent changes to Hunger Crystals and how destroying them will yield some pretty sweet loot for those who take part. You may remember that Hunger Crystals are a physical manifestation of the Hunger that spreads throughout the game world and "that drain warmth and life from everything around them". After watching players for the past nine months or so, devs felt players needed more incentive to destroy Hunger crystals. And did they deliver.
The Hunger Crystal System will now behave like other Harvesting professions that come complete with their own Plentiful Harvest stat that increases via the skill system. In addition, "the potential quality of those shards" can generate Sacrifice Shards. This is crucial as the Sacrifice system is the only way to level vessels of higher quality. Normal XP methods simply do not work for epic or legendary vessels. In order to level these, players will need to sacrifice rare or higher quality items.
In addition, players will also score ethereal dust at every stage in the destruction of a Hunger node. "Dust is always useful to have."
Lastly, Hunger crystals can yield weapon shard additives that are "used during the crafting process to enhance the final weapon being crafted".
Be aware, it is not all sunshine and crystalline booty when cleansing the world of Hunger crystals. Not only will the player destroy many picks and hammer, but there is also a substantially increased food cost when standing near a Hunger crystal. The crystals all periodically drain a bit of the warmth out of the world; to the player, this translates as the food pool. If you are going shard hunting, make sure to bring extra food.
You can read the full details on the Crowfall site.