[Edit: Apparently the system auto-deletes quotes as redundant if you just quote the immediately proceeding post, but the point I’m talking about as having been a good point was the point made by the post right above this one.]
This is actually a good point that really should get more discussion. It’s a real rarity to see something that is RNG getting permanently removed from a loot table. It means that people who actually manage to do the task, but had the misfortune of not having RNG luck on their side to be among the few raid members who got the drops, will end up losing out on the reward for good. The obvious analogue to how Rank 4 essences drop right now are mounts. But mounts don’t get removed when an expansion ends, they just get turned into 1% drops (and over time players are able to solo those old raids).
With Blizzard deciding that they will remove Rank 4 essences permanently, is leaving the Azshara ones as RNG drops - especially in such low numbers - reasonable? (What is it, like 2-3 drops per mythic raid? And many raid members actually have more than one Rank 4 essence because all three roles have a Rank 4 essence).
And is it reasonable to lack a skip? The fight is obviously much harder than Mythic Jaina. People looking for groups to tackle it will be saved to the instance ID’s clear to her because of how mythic raid ID’s work when there are dead bosses. That’s the exact reason they created a skip to Jaina - so that people trying to farm their Jaina mounts wouldn’t get saved to instance ID’s of groups that ended up unsuccessful in the week. And Jaina’s mounts aren’t even going to disappear, while Azshara’s Rank 4 essences will.
Back to the RNG nature of the drop - you’ve got another factor when it comes to this group challenge: Azshara is not current content, but still mechanically very difficult. Organized raiding guilds are not typically the ones doing Azshara (they’re normally using their raid nights in current content - Ny’alotha). Instead, Azshara is tackled by semi-guild organized events paired with PUG activity. (Instead of a guild using a raid night on it, a person in a guild manages to convince like 6-7 buddies to come to an off-raid night effort, and the rest of the slots get filled with non-guild members).
What this translates into is something obvious - PUGs who get their Rank 4 essences will often have little incentive to stick around, attending week after week, to assist everyone else in getting their own Rank 4 essences. This isn’t to say that people who don’t reappear are always acting scummy. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t - often people join PUGs randomly on one night, the PUG didn’t ask for that kind of commitment, and they shouldn’t be expected to reorganize their weekly schedule around getting lucky in a random PUG one week. The main point is this: a lot of people’s chances at getting essences don’t improve from one week to the next, because as people in the group get their essences, those people disappear and new people have to come in to replace them. (And that’s not even taking into consideration that new people have to re-learn the fight, which reduces the chance of even seeing repeat successful kills).
Maybe the overall point about QoL changes for Azshara’s drops really deserves its own thread. But it’s a good point that was made in this one that there really ought to be some kind of adjustment to how these Azshara essences are handled. (N’zoth, if his are handled the same way, also ought to be adjusted - I know there’s a lot of focus on the title achievement, and N’zoth’s essence isn’t needed for the title, but the general fact of these cosmetics getting removed makes each essence worthy of consideration in its own context).
As the initial post I quoted said, a skip to Azshara is highly justifiable so that groups trying for these essences don’t lock people to raid ID’s (the exact same reason the Jaina skip was put in).
And the best solution (also mentioned by that post I quoted) would really just be changing these essences to reward one to each raid member (guaranteed reward) instead of handling them like mount drops (2 per raid). The mount-drop-like approach for these Rank 4 essences may have made sense initially, before Blizzard made the decision that they were going to remove these things permanently, but now that we know they’re getting removed, the out-sized role RNG plays is a really bad fit for an essence that requires killing Mythic Azshara.