Since cities will take essence to found, why does this thread exist?
More cities, more terrain to protect means a larger army. More improvements to purchase, and newly founded cities aren't going to be making money while they upgrade infrastructure to acceptable levels.
In return for your essence, which will weaken you, you're taking a short term hit to productivity, in return for a long term advantage. Why would you want to remove the advantage?
Guy passes on being an army slaying god of war, gets a shitload of cities, and can't progress in technology faster than the army slaying god of war playing shitkicker with his troops...
This thread should exist a month from now as an after the fact balance discussion regarding the wieght of various choices in essence use.