Essences: a framework for borrowed power

Why a framework?

One issue that borrowed power keeps running into is that the amount of it, especially at the beginning of expansions, is all over the place. This causes problems when class design relies on borrowed power to fill out the holes that have been left, whether intentionally or not.
In BfA, there was not enough new borrowed power to replace all the things lost in the transition from Legion. Going into Shadowlands there seems to be quite a lot from the beginning, but a lot of it is quite boring and doesn’t interact with the player’s spec.

Why Essences?

A very obvious reason for using Essences as the baseline for the framework is that the UI exists and is quite intuitive. Even beyond the UI, the method of acquisition is a good starting point as well.

Adapting the framework

So now we have the baseline of the framework, now to expand on how it would work. There would be a set number of choices, regardless of expansion. An example would be 1 active ability for your spec’s primary purpose, 1 passives also for your spec’s primary purpose, a defensive passive and a utility passive, quite similar to what you get from Covenant active abilities and Conduits. Each would have a major(active) and minor(passive) power, meaning you get both from your active ability and choose one additional effect inside your role.
Then each expansion you earn your options similarly to how Essences worked, with a lot initially and then a few new ones each patch.

What effects?

In practice, this would mean that in Shadowlands instead of having Soulbinds, Conduits, Covenant Abilities and legendaries, you would only have the combined borrowed power pool. This would mean fewer total effects per spec, but more development time could be spent on each individual one to make sure they’re not just boring stat procs.

What do we call it?

This should’ve probably been at the beginning, but how about calling it Path of the Titans and having it be represented as a star chart similar to the Essence UI, with a different star sign for each expansion.
Path of the Titans was meant to be something sort of like this anyway, so yoinking the name seems logical.



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