Yeah this whole living steel is completely BS atm.
I cannot even craft a shitty weapon chain or a belt buckle without it.
Entry lvl epic's should not require them either, maybe some high en late mop super items can use them.
Mining - Blacksmithing thats what 1 char should require to craft almost anny armor or weapon unless it is a super awesome late expax item, and that case living steel is still not the right way, a raid dropping item would be more correct then.
I hope we get a change on this FAST, atm it is not aceptable at all.
A band aid fix would be to let us beat those darn spirits into the trillium with our hammers ourself using Mining ofc.
This is my point of view and i strongly dissagre with the need of Alchemy to do basik Blacksmithing stuff.
FYI i have Mining / BS, Alch / Engi, JC maxed and ready, still not solving the basic problem.