The crafted Base legendaries in Shadowlands are obviously going to be a focal point of the expansion for professions. If we look at the current beta values they require a very large amount of resources, including vendor materials, so let’s take a look.
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Leveling base legendaries
To get access to the highest ilvl base legendary you have to craft a certain amount of the previous rank. You need 75 experience and at rank 1 you get 5 per, at rank 2 you get 10 per craft and presumably you get 15 and 20 from rank 3 and 4 items. This means you need to craft 15 rank 1s, 8 rank 2s and 5 rank 3s to get access to all 4 ranks. The base legendaries have sttep costs in terms of vendor materials you have to purchase in Orboreal Shards, and you need a lot of materials, way more than typical crafts.
When do you need which ranks?
With Soul Ash being time-gated we know when the earliest players can get access to which ranks of legendaries. You can get a maximum of 1200 Soul Ash per week, with the ranks and the soul ash cost shown below.
The upshot is that players can craft their rank 2 legendary just after the first reset. Rank 3 will be available for the first time just after the second reset after launch. For rank 4 they will have to wait until the fourth reset, so you have quite a bit of time before you need to unlock that.
We’ll start by taking a quick look at Blacksmithing. Blacksmiths have access to 8 base legendaries, for the 8 armor slots. The materials required are Shadowghast ingots, vendor materials and Enchanted Elethium bar. The table below shows the sum of raw materials and gold required.
As you can see you need more than 800k, and a lot of ore and soul dust. By compariosn you can level blacksmithing to 100 off of 100ish Porous stones, some laestrite ore and the base ore needed for 100 Shadowghast Ingots. As many players will craft these to level blacksmithing I would be on the lookout during week 1 to stock up.
Leatherworkers have a whooping 16 base legendary items. Currently the items require a LOT of the heavy variants. Presumably you get enough of the heavy variants from skinning that you do not have to craft them, as that would put the cost at astronomical levels. The raw gold alone will obviously be far outside the reach of any casual, even if you don’t need rank 4 right away, as we are looking at a total of more than 1.5 million gold in just vendor materials.
Jewelcrafters only have two legendaries, so this is relatively cheap to level. The biggest thing to note is that the essences only drop from prospecting one specific zone-based ore. Laestrite ore can give any essence type, and could be the best one unless you need a specific essence. Anyone doing legendaries will need to prospect a lot of zone-specific ore and will probably have a huge amount of gems they need to get rid of. Gems will thus likely be pretty cheap as they are unlikely to be the main focus for prospecting. My limited testing on beta indicated between 3-10% drop rate on the essences per ore prospected, with much higher numbers for the gems. As such you will need to prospect somewhere in the 4000-14 000 ore to get the necessary essences!
Tailoring is the most straightforward one. It’s just a lot of cloth, gold and enchanting materials. Cloth seemed fairly abundant when I tried the beta so I doubt this one will be hard outside of paying for the materials. Lightless silk is the biggest bottleneck, so for once the higher rarity material should have the highest value!
The total numbers are huge, but you do not need to do it all at once. You don’t need to push for rank 3 until the end of the second week or rank 4 until the end of the fourth week. As such it is not too crazy as you should be able to fund that with plentiful sales of the earlier ranks. That being said the cost of unlocking many rank 2 recipes early on will likely be prohibitive for anyone on the poorer end of the scale. To be even smarter we can look at the current distribution of Best in slot legendaries across slots. Legendary powers can only be used in one of two slots, so legendary powers will shape demand significantly.
Based on the current BiS setup (which will change) you can see the distribution across armor slots. Prioritizing the ones with many potential BiS legendaries will be better, but this will change as they keep tuning and as outliers pop up in the live version. Keep in mind as well that most classes will only want one of the slots based on total stats offered and other gearing options.
If you want to do every profession early on you will need quite a bit of gold. The total cost to get all rank 4 recipes is 1.8 million gold in just vendor materials, which is pretty high. You will start making gold back way before then however, so I would not worry much about that. The Soul Dust cost is not too high and I expect the profession specific materials will dominate, so they will be the bottleneck and the major cost. Leather and hides seem particularly crazy, but the zone-specific ores will also have huge demand for both JC and Blacksmiths.