In the past, the compile tools would reflect all light without accounting for texture color. Now that the tools can account for texture color, we get more authentic lighting, but also more inconsistent brightness when differently bright textures are used.

The problem is that when the old tools did not account for texture color (really acting as if all textures were plain white) they actually simulated some of the effect that specular reflections would have.

What I suggest is to take the portion of the incoming light that gets absorbed from color mixing and diffusely reflect a portion of that without mixing the light's color. This would of course still not simulate the reflection behaviour of specular reflections as in entry angle = exit angle, but it could allow for easier brightness balancing throughout maps. E.g. -absorbedrawreflect 0.5.