As you play in any Steel Path mission, Acolytes will spawn and attack - defeating the Acolyte grants a guaranteed drop of 2 Steel Essence. Beware! If you get downed by an Acolyte, they'll escape and you won’t receive any Steel Essence!
The Steel Path Acolytes now have received the same Status Effect eligibility treatment that Liches received in Update 27.3 earlier this year. This means we have slightly increased their health (scaled by squad size) as the Status Effect eligibility makes them easier to kill.
In essence (ha), there is virtually no RNG with Steel Essence anymore. Acolytes will always appear in regular missions (Endlessly in Endless missions.). The time at which they choose to appear may be a bit random, but if you kill mobs, they will come!
Please note, Acolytes won't spawn in Archwing missions on the Steel Path.