I've been doing Bromoils for over the past year and love 'em! Glad there are others interested in it!

Some answers: yes, a stiff ink is very desired at first in this process. Stiff ink is taken better for the darker tones in your matrix. You can keep the stiffness of the ink to give a look similar to a regular silver gelatin print. You can soften the ink after your darks are inked to give your image a more etching / grainy look.

Super drying isn't necessary, I've done many without it, but going from the heat to a cooler water temp shocks the gelatin more and allows for easier expansion.

How are you inking? This is actually a lot harder to correctly do than you'd think!

What is your water temp? 70 F is a great place to start, about 75 for easier inking with softer inks. Always soak your matrix when your corners start to curl! What are you using to remove water off of the matrix?