When you want a legendary weapon in GW2, you have two options: Buy it or the precursor on the Trading Post, or craft it. Many players don’t realize that in a lot of cases, it’s cheaper to buy it on the Trading Post
Legendary Precursor Material Cost
Most legendaries and precursors require stacks of Tier 5 and 6 materials, which can be very expensive.
At the same time, a certain number of players will randomly receive a precursor for “free.” They can drop as random loot from events, and can be randomly gifted by the Mystic Forge.
These “random drop” precursors help keep the price low on the Trading Post.
How can you tell if it’s cheaper to craft or buy? Luckily, you don’t have to guess. The GW2 Efficiency website has a calculator which shows whether it’s cheaper to craft or buy a legendary weapon or precursor.
Legendary Weapon Opportunity Cost
If you are trying to decide whether to buy or craft a legendary, you should also consider the opportunity cost.
“Opportunity cost” is an economic term meaning “The loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.” For example, if you’re having pizza for dinner, you’re not having a cheeseburger. Cheeseburger is the opportunity cost of pizza.
Crafting a legendary weapon means spending a lot of time farming materials, a lot of time crafting, and a lot of time spent grinding for various currencies, whether map currency or dungeon tokens. The time you spend doing those things is time you’re not spending doing other things… maybe things you like better.
If you are really into PvP, and you hate doing PvE stuff, then it’s probably worth it to you (in terms of opportunity cost) to buy the legendary. That way, you can spend your gaming time playing PvP instead.
Legendary Vs. Ascended
And keep in mind, legendary weapons are “just the skin.” The stats for a legendary are the same as the stats for an ascended weapon. The only difference between legendary and ascended weapons is the legendary skins, effects, footfalls, and the ability to easily switch stats.
You can switch stats on an ascended weapon, but it costs a bit of money. Then again, how often do you really switch your weapon stats? Most players find they don’t do it nearly as often as they thought they would. Two or three times a year, at most.