But I think it had a more elegant lore: There were 6 types of shards: earth, air, fire, water, vis and depleted. 4 of the aspects were matter, the 5th was vis that bound it all up.
With nodes, and consequently vis, now having aspects in TC4 - there is an additional complexity. But it does mean that its now more confusing why some things need (say) ignis essentia and others need ignis vis.
There would perhaps be far more interesting crafting opportunities if vis became the 5th element again, and arcane devices would need both a supply essentia to work with AND vis to bind it together. This would mean that vis relays AND essentia pipe networks would/could be used in parallel to complement each other.
Yeah the elemental vis annoyed me too. I think that just having vis and the elemental essentia would be best. Simple, but complex.