I think that it would be very boring if no new gear was introduced. I like this part of the game when all old stuff gets obsolete and you need to start anew. It always have been like that and will be I guess. Good! Also, Vastin has my respect. He has done some good things. It's going the right way with essences now. This time they're not overpowered like they were and their value has been reduced. A crafted item will have the same quality as an item with essence slots. The only advantage it gives now is the opportunity of specialization and with the reduction of the amount of slots the chance that it will get out of hand is reduced.