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WoWMar 23, 2020 2:00 pm CT

Account-wide Essences get another hotfix — but is it enough?

When Azerite Essences went account wide, we covered the new system and told you everything you need to know about the new currency Echoes of Ny’alotha. It’s a better system than what preceded it, which was nothing at all. But the new system, wherein your alts must earn Echoes of Ny’alotha to spend to buy the same Essences you have already earned on another character, did have its flaws.

One of those flaws was that you could only buy the Rank 3 Essences you’d actually unlocked on your main character, so if you were a DPS main with a healer alt, the healing Essences would be out of your reach. That flaw has been corrected in a recent hotfix. That hotfix is an improvement to the system, so if you main an Assassination Rogue and your alts are a Restoration Shaman and a Holy Priest, you can now acquire the Rank 3 healing Essences on the same tier as your Rogue’s Rank 3 DPS Essences.

I don’t think anyone would deny that this is a significant improvement. I certainly wouldn’t. It’s a well-intentioned change to the system and I’m glad they did it. That being said — and with all the good will in the world — I can’t say it’s a good change, or that this is a good system. It’s better than what we had before, and that was in and of itself a vast improvement over the literal nothing that we had before it, but a vast improvement over nothing isn’t necessarily good. This system, wherein you must earn Echoes of Ny’alotha in order to purchase Essences you earned already on your main, is only good in comparison to the brutal system of having to redo the entire Essences grind that we were subject to before.

However, I must admit there’s one significant benefit to the new system, and it’s a benefit that even your main can gain access to. Looking over the post on the forums, we see it near the end.

The Essential Essences

Originally Posted by Kaivax (Official Post)

We’ve just made a significant update to the new Echoes of Ny’alotha system, with the goal of making Essences much more available to your characters whose specializations put them in different roles (tanking, healing, damage).

With this change, we’ve lifted the restrictions on acquiring role-specific Azerite Essences from MOTHER. Now, the various ways that you obtain Rank 3 tanking, healing, or damage-specific Essences are now grouped together. If you’ve earned any of the three Essences in these groups, all three of the Essences will be unlocked for purchase from MOTHER with Echoes of Ny’alotha:

  • Spark of Inspiration, Unwavering Ward, Strength of the Warden (obtained from Horrific Visions)
  • Touch of the Everlasting, Spirit of Preservation, Breath of the Dying (obtained from reputation with Rajani)
  • Blood of the Enemy, Artifice of Time, Sphere of Suppression (obtained from Battlegrounds)
  • Condensed Life Force, Vitality Conduit, Azeroth’s Undying Gift (obtained from raiding in The Eternal Palace)
  • Essence of the Focusing Iris, Life-Binder’s Invocation, Anima of Life and Death (obtained from Mythic Keystone dungeons)

As a reminder, this was already the case with Purification Protocol, Nullification Dynamo, and Well of Existence (the Rustbolt Resistance Essences) as well as The Ever-Rising Tide, Aegis of the Deep, and The Unbound Force (the Nazjatar Essences).

A side-effect of this change is that even a single character now has a way to obtain these off-role Essences, and can either use Echoes to purchase them from MOTHER or use the original means of acquisition. That means that your Priest who raided Azshara in Shadow-spec and got Condensed Life-Force up to Rank 3 is now able to obtain Vitality Conduit from MOTHER for a Holy-spec healing boost.

Thank you for all of your feedback on this!

The latest change makes it possible for people who only play one character to gain access to off-spec Essences they wouldn’t previously have been able to attain. That’s the best thing about this whole change, in my opinion — it makes the fact that they’re not just letting us have access to all the Essences on our alts that we’ve attained on our mains actually worthwhile, as it means that your main who only did that content in their tanking spec (as an example) and only got the tanking Essences can now get the DPS and Healing Essences for any of the sources listed in the post. It makes the system useful even for people who only play one character, and even if you play lots of characters it still means you’ll have a reason to do this grind.

But let’s be clear — this is a grind, and it’s a grind added at the tail end of an expansion that adds another hoop to jump through. For some players that’ll be fine, but for others it’ll create a barrier that they simply won’t feel motivated to follow through on. Considering we’re at a point in the game cycle where we’re essentially just waiting for Shadowlands news and content, and at the same time real life events are making people log on more, I’m not sure another grind is necessary or even helpful right now.

Still, whatever my opinion, it’s clear that this is an improvement. Would I prefer that alts just have the same Essences unlocked, including the DPS and Tanking and Healing ones they don’t have on their main spec? Yes. In fact, I think having the an Essence for a particular role should unlock the ones for the other roles just up front and we shouldn’t have to farm a new currency to get them at all. I feel like it’s too much work at this point. But, if we have to have such a system, this one is a significant improvement, and the hotfix does make it better than it was. Especially by allowing your main to get the other Essences for other roles.

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