Since the essences vendor has been removed, it’s really difficult to give any quantitative feedback on the essences now. The proving grounds is not a useful way to test them at all, mobs die far too quickly and you’re on a time limit. Please give us a training dummy inside the proving grounds, or access to the essences outside of them.
In terms of how these essences feel, they’re almost all really boring. Why? Because (barring one or two which I will talk about later) none of them actually change how I play the game or execute my rotation.
Essence of the focusing Iris,
The Crucible of Flame,
The Unbound Force,
These are meant to be our big exciting power-increase for the new patch, but instead they can be boiled down to ‘press x button every 60/90/120 seconds to do damage’. These ‘fire and forget’ traits are about as exciting as getting a new trinket from a world quest or dungeon - and there have been dozens of other trinkets far more interesting than these. And I think that this is echoed by the fact that nobody is even bothering to mention them in any of the feedback. The only players who are going to choose these traits are going to be the ones who care about minmaxing damage, and have decided to pick it because it might SIM highest for them. Although I doubt any of them will sim very high, considering the strength of traits like Blood of the Enemy…