Essence As a Core Game Mechanic

Essence league started in early September 2016. It was an encounter-based league that had crafting items (that is, the essences themselves) as its reward.

When looking at whether to include Essence in the core game, the focus of the discussion was on the essences. Once we had determined we wanted to keep the crafting items to some degree, the next part of the discussion was whether they should drop independently, or whether they remain tied to encounters in the world.

The Essence crafting items are designed to give players some more control in crafting. They also are balanced to encourage early use by players. During the league, both newer and experienced players used essences extensively. Newer players especially used essences early, which taught them to use other currencies where previously they might have been reluctant.

As the overall benefits were positive, we wanted to keep the Essence items in Path of Exile, though at a lower frequency. The occurrence of Essences will be around one sixth of what it was. We'll be keeping the encounters as the means for getting essences, as they add interesting fights throughout the game.

We are readjusting essence tiers at higher levels, ensuring the essence you get is more relevant, and preventing the lowest tiers from dropping at certain level thresholds. Whispering essences will no longer appear once Wailing essences appear. Muttering essences will no longer appear once Screaming essences appear. Lower level essences filled out the numbers of essences a bit during the league, but didn't really serve any other purpose.

There were several balance tweaks we wanted to make to the mods offered by essences:
  • Essence of Woe now gives slightly lower values of flat energy shield, % increased energy shield, and spell damage on the higher level brackets of the essence.
  • We are reducing the Decay damage from Essence of Delirium. This will be retroactive, as it will affect all instances of Decay.
  • We are reducing the Socketed Gems have 20% more Attack and Cast Speed on Gloves from Essence of Insanity.
  • We are slightly increasing the chance to gain a random "charge on kill" property for weapons from the Essence of Horror.

For all but the Decay effect, old values on existing items will be stay the same. Using a Divine Orb will reroll them to the new values.

While we will be making changes to essence mods, changes to the encounters will be very minor. Most of the rebalancing of these fights was done in 2.4.1 and 2.4.2, and we don't see much need to do further work to these fights. By increasing the probabilities of higher essence tiers in maps we are also increasing the average difficulty of these fights.

We are satisfied with the combat diversity that the Essence encounters bring, and believe the essence crafting items, alongside master crafting and traditional currencies, provide a broad and powerful set of tools for crafting rare items going forward.

Last bumped on May 2, 2017, 4:44:35 AM

1st? 1st! woot
Last edited by deadmanwalkin on Nov 21, 2016, 4:23:45 PM
these are the gem
oy vey buy the packs please

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RIP my gogogo Vaal Sparker build
gimme money bitch
All my buying of Fear Essences was in vain. But now I can max out my summoners in temp leagues. Good news.
Very glad to hear this, essences helped smooth out the early parts of the leveling SOOO much. especially getting decent phys weapons and resistance fixing. Good decision here GGG 100% approved :D
Amazing! Thanks for keeping us all in the loop! Good Guy GGG!
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