I think what you're actually talking about when you say "niche" is the barrier to entry for new players. It sounds like you're worried that new players can pick up crafting professions and compete easier than before. Again, I'd say that the alpha build info in the OP looks pretty much the same as the current expansion. The true barrier to entry isn't the ability to level the profession quickly, it's actually recipe ranks. Some really good examples of this in the current expansion are rank 3 bracers, rank 3 flasks, and rank 3 felwort. It takes a certain level of investment to get those ranks, and the goblin activities related to those crafts simply aren't profitable/competitive without rank 3.
World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth is the seventh expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, following Legion. It was announced at BlizzCon on November 3, 2017. In contrast to previous expansions, which went live at midnight in each time zone, Battle for Azeroth had a simultaneous release for all regions, corresponding to midnight Central European Summer Time on August 14, 2018.
The Heart of Azeroth is an artifact given to the player character from the world soul via Magni Bronzebeard. It is a necklace that can use the power of Azerite, the lifeblood of the embryonic titan Azeroth (See Plot, below). Azerite is similar in function to Legion's artifact power, in that it is gathered normally from playing the game and is used to upgrade an artifact; likewise, the Heart is similar in function to Legion's artifact weapons by having the capacity to be constantly upgraded. Unlike artifact weapons, however, the Heart is shared with all of the player's specializations and can empower all eligible pieces worn simultaneously.
"Players can get these powerful items, empower them, and which gameplay-affecting powers they want to use or focus on without feeling like they’re just playing the lottery and hoping they get the Pyroblast Bracers or whatever the magical legendary they need to enable the rotation they want to do," Hazzikostas said. "Instead, they can just look at the dungeon journal, look at raid bosses, see where the azurite armor with the powers they want comes from, and focus on getting that and leveling their artifact naturally, in a much more controlled way."
I got a lucky 350 BoE drop just after hitting 120 about 48 hours after the expansion launched. Was able to sell it for 400k. I had chosen an alt on a different faction as a main this expansion, so I was glad to have more than the 25k I’d previously had. A couple days later I saw another 350 on the AH for 50k and flipped it for 300. That plus farming Monelite Ore as I do World Quest has me sitting on about 1mil.
The idea of the expansion came up after the heroes of Azeroth dealt with so much external threats like the Burning Legion. In their own words, "so when we talk about what's the biggest threat in this world, is it the titan or is it the dwarf paladin that put a hammer in that titan's head"? As such, the enemy (at least during the early parts of the scenario) will be the opposite faction, a "vast army of world-destroying forces".
There's a few profession crafted pets in BfA on the horizon - Battle for Azeroth Tailoring is getting a Hot Air Balloon style pet, and BfA Alchemy looks to be getting a brand new Transmute Meat to Pet. There are some mount buff consumables from both BfA Leatherworking in the form of a mount barding, and Blacksmithing in Battle for Azeroth will be able to craft Stirrups and Hoofplates to increase mount speed and allow you to interact with things while mounted.