Elemental Manipulations were broken?
I saw a Force 8 earth elemental (which took no damage from anything else that anyone else could do, including another mage's Manabolt) get melted into a puddle by one Force 6 Toxic Wave. It's all about the flat TN of 4 -- it means you get successes even against the toughest opponents.
almost nobody but another mage will dump points into Willpower,
What Shadowrun were you playing? I've played more than a few games, and I saw precisely one SR3 character whose Willpower was below 6. His was 5, and he made a new character with Willpower 6 after the first mage he met killed him dead. Having 5 meant a Manabolt (or Stunbolt, etc.) hit you more than twice as hard as it did the guy with 6, and was generally enough to drop you in one shot.
Trolls had Willpower 6 just like everyone else. They didn't have a penalty to Willpower, so why wouldn't they? It was Charisma
they didn't have.
I'm glad they changed the dice pool system. Before, the difference between 5 and 6 was monstrous, and the difference between 6 and 7 was nothing. Now, things are a little more sane.