Shop Talk! Thoughts on Shop Offers, Currencies, and Daily Deals


I’ve been thinking about the Shop for a while, basically since I’ve been playing this game as it is in a sense, the backbone of the developers’ design. What’s that you say? “I thought collecting gear and matching gems was the backbone of this game!” Oh you peasant! The real heart of the game, its life blood so to speak, is how often the developers’ can get you to purchase items from the shop. There will be plenty of people making every possible decision based around never spending a single penny. But many others will make decisions based on the value of the acquisitions they can obtain with sometimes modest, sometimes more grand purchases. We all know that if nobody bought anything, there would be no game! So let’s continue on the assumption that the Shop is fundamentally important to the lifecycle of the game and is in some ways as interesting as the game itself.

Some ground rules:

  • The Free-to-Play (F2P, freemium) game model is the design mode of PQ3. I do not care to argue over whether the choice to make PQ3 f2p is good or bad, or whether it makes the game bad in absolute terms compared to PQ1 or PQ2. The game is the game and that’s what we’ve got to play with.
  • My interest is simply how the Shop functions. I have no interest in debating whether the designers are casino slum lords or drug dealers or any other scurrilous term bandied about due to a distaste for F2P design. People are free to make choices about their purchases, whether its going out to eat, what car to drive, and how much they want to spend on games or gaming transactions.
  • My focus will be on the functionality and the values offered in the shop: what is offered, at what price, and how these things change from update to update. I would love to hear feedback from folks about their thoughts and experiences on all things Shop-related as long as it is not “the shop sucks!”. We get it! They will never get your money!
  • All Pricing discussion is in $US. Sorry!


  • Crowns - currently a purchase-only currency; the baseline for evaluating the purchasing power of other currencies as both gems and gold can be acquired directly (and indirectly) through crowns
  • Gems - in-game awarded currency from completing storyline quest matches, sidequests, participating in PVP and Leaderboards, and other means. The primary source of gems for new players is storyline/sidequest playthrough. The total gems able to be earned this way is 5,626 per playthrough (or 28,125 for all five playthroughs). Other than weekly PVP participation (average of a few hundred to over 1,500 per player), there are few other ways to earn gems through gameplay
  • Gold - In-game awarded currency from playing PVP, Skirmish, Dungeon, Storyline, and Sidequest matches. Additionally can be earned from the follower Elyra. Subject to caps based on the level of the follower Auri. Essentially an inexhaustible currency as it can be earned from virtually all play modes.
  • Honor - In-game awarded currency earned from playing PVP ranked matches. Can not be acquired with Crowns, Gems, or Gold and therefore is not currently considered as part of this analysis as it represents a means of in-game exchange for other resources (keys, food, ore, etc.)


Current Shop prices of Crowns, Gems, and Gold:

The baseline purchase price for Crowns is 250 / $4.99 or essentially $0.02 / Crown (this pricing has been consistent Pre and Post-0.35 Update). Larger lot purchases of Crowns can be made for a discount. For comparison purposes, all reference to Gems and Gold purchases will be in terms of the baseline Crowns purchase (250 Crowns). Gems can be acquired at the equivalent of 500 Gems for / $4.99 (250 Crowns) or essentially 2 Gems / Crown. Gold can be acquired with Gems for 2,000 Gold / 50 Gems (20,000 Gold / 500 Gems) or essentially 40 Gold per Gem. Therefore we can extrapolate that at least in terms of purchased currency, Gold is valued at 80 per Crown.

Daily Deals

There are currently 6 Daily Deals (8 if you are an active VIP) that are priced in one of the three currencies: Crowns, Gems, and Gold. Prior to 0.35, most daily deals were expressed in Gold. However, with 0.35 there has been a significant shift away from Gold deals to Crown/Gem Deals. How much of a shift?

This detail is based on 80+ Daily Deal observations Pre-0.35 and 60+ Daily Deal observations Post-0.35. For non-VIP players, out of 6 available Daily Deals, this translates to two fewer Gold-based deals than before, a pretty drastic change. This is somewhat offset by the change to the Daily Deal refresh: Pre-0.35 it cost 75 gems to refresh the Daily Deals; Post-0.35 it now costs 20 gems for the first refresh, 40 gems for the next refresh and so on. Therefore, for the player that was willing to part with gems on a daily basis (at least one Daily Deal refresh Pre-0.35), they are in theory better off because they now have an more deals to choose from for less gems, and if they choose to refresh at least twice (60 gems in total), then they actually end up with more Gold deals than Pre-0.35 using 1 Daily Deal refresh. For the player that never used gems on Daily Deal refreshes, he/she is clearly worse off in terms of making Gold deal purchases.

So what can you purchase from the Shop? Currently it breaks down into the following categories (from most common to least common based on my observations):

  • Shards
  • Runes/Scrolls
  • Keys
  • Random Gear/Minions/Spells
  • Glyphs

Let’s take a look at each of these categories Pre- and Post-0.35 in the next post.


Daily Deals by Category


The following table shows the Shards Daily Deals by offering (please forgive the size):


  • Most shard offerings Pre-0.35 were in lots of 10 and were only available to be purchased in Gold. Shard offerings Post-0.35 are offered in all 3 currencies (lots of 20 for Gold, lots of 50 for crowns/gems). The gold prices of shards dropped substantially on a per shard basis with the exception of Superior shards which experienced a more modest price drop
  • Although there are less gold offerings Post-0.35, the shards available for purchase with gold are sold in lots of 20, compared to primarily lots of 10 Pre-0.35 (with the exception of weapon shards which were sold in inconsistent lot totals).
  • The Crown-Gem-Gold ratio of the value of the shard pricing is consistent across all shard types Post-0.35
  • Greater Shards continue to have anomalous pricing in that the price scaling would suggest that Greater Shards and Major Shards prices are switched. Pre-0.35, Greater Shards were absurdly overpriced relative to other shard types along the spectrum of rarity.

I think the results here are a mixed bag. Even though players have less gold offerings, the gold purchases they can make are often for twice the shards that they could buy before and at a signficant gold discount compared to Pre-0.35. This is a help to newer players but is less beneficial to existing players as gold is essentially in abundance. There are certainly more options now and the Gem deals and Crown deals give ample shards (x50) and the pricing is consistent. Is it good value though? Our measuring stick is 250 Crowns for ~$5: What can that buy you? About 25 levels on a single piece of armor, and that’s 1-25, not 10-35. Given that shards are obtainable by various means, albeit at a slow rate, spending crowns, or even gems on shards seems a poor use of resources. Players would be better off being given shard offers exclusively in gold, and saving the premium currencies for more enticing items, such as glyphs, relics(?), etc. However, I can see newer players being enticed by the gem deals due to the scarcity of shards when starting out.



  • Pre-0.35 Uncommons and Rares were often sought after to facilitate Follower evolutions (scrolls) and gear evolutions (runes). However, Post-0.35 has eliminated the need for Scrolls for Followers and Gear evolutions are effectively halted until a later update
  • Post-0.35 has reduced prices significantly on Mythic and Legendary Runes/Scrolls but also removed the ability to purchase these with Gold

This is arguably the worst category of Shop offers Post-0.35. The demand for Uncommons/Rares is down but even if they were back in demand (evolves were able to be done), they are relatively cheap and will be bought anytime they are up. Legendary/Mythic Runes/Scrolls are abundantly available in chests particularly once a player hits Level 50 on at least one class. Even with the drastic reductions in price in Gems and Crowns, there is virtually no benefit in acquiring these in the Shop. Epics are harder to collect from gameplay (much like Tier III Shards), but often a player will be looking for a specific Mastery color and with only a 20% chance to get the one you want, even the Epic offers are unappealing. Lastly, the removal of the option to find Epic+ offers as Gold removes a significant source of gold sink. However, even if these were still offered for Gold, I would be hard pressed to say which is the better value for players’ gold investment: Mythic Runes/Scrolls or more Marks from Empowered Dungeons.



Is it worth buying Keys from the Shop Daily Deals? The best value for keys is undoubtedly the VIP pass. For ~$10USD you receive 30 Ruby Keys, 30 Gold Keys, 60 Iron Keys, and 120 Wooden Keys as well as 300 Gems, an assortment of other resources, an additional vault slot, etc. It is far and away the best value purchasable by a new player but has diminishing returns over time as documented previously by @Tacet:
VIP Pass rewards fall off after a few months of playing - #10 by Marin
The Key Daily Deals are more in line in value with the Small Key and Large Key Pack Bundles. The Small Key Bundle is priced at 450 gems; if you were to buy the equivalent amount of keys from the Daily Deals it would cost you 480 gems (however you would have to buy the keys in larger increments as referenced in the table). The Large Key Bundle is priced at 950 Crowns; if you were to buy the equivalent amount of keys from the Daily Deals it would cost you ~750 Crowns and you would be buying them increments that match up almost identically to the amounts offered in the Large Key Bundle. So it turns out that the Large Key Bundle is a staggeringly bad deal (the ultimate in gotta-have-it-now bad spending).

Ultimately, in my view, the only resource worth using to buy Keys is Gold. Keys are lotto tickets, a chance to open a chest with wildly variable contents. Using gems or even actual cash (Crowns) to buy lotto tickets is often a poor value. However, with the availability of the VIP pass, if you were going to spend cash, for $10USD you essentially get the Crown Daily Deal value of 7,560 Crowns. Buying Keys for Crowns (or even Gems) from any other source than VIP is essentially a waste.

Random Gear/Minions/Spells


  • Pre-0.35 all Daily Deal offers of this type were purchasable in Gold; Post-0.35 these offers are only purchasable in Crowns/Gems
  • There are 20 possible unique offers (assuming Epic is the highest rarity offered) and they are offered sporadically (around 1 every 4-5 Daily Deal refresh) making it difficult to capture all pricing detail

BUYER BEWARE. This category is the worst change Post-0.35. Previously these were entirely available for gold, and made for the fun occasional lotto ticket based on the number of random outcomes (“Maybe it’s an Octoghoul! Oh, no, it’s just another Hogger”). This could have continued to be a fun way to sink some gold and possibly get a nice item or two. Instead, developers took the gold purchase option away, and replaced it with seriously inflated Crown/Gem prices. If you look back at the tables for Shards and Keys, I calculated the “conversion rate” used in pricing, which for Shards was essentially 2.5 Gems per Crown, 10 Gold per Gem, 25 Gold per Crown (meaning that if I paid 10 Crowns for something, I could expect to pay 250 Gold for the same item in a different Daily Offer). For Keys it was slightly worse (2.67 Gems per Crown, ~12.5 Gold per Gem, ~33.3 Gold per Gem; meaning that if I paid 10 Crowns for something, I could expect to pay 333 Gold for the same item in a different Daily Offer). But in this case we don’t have easy comparisons because Pre-0.35 all offers were in gold, and Post 0.35, all offers are in Crown/Gems. Thankfully, since I tracked as many prices as I could, I can estimate prices in Crowns/Gems based on these other other “conversion rates”. I used the conservative rate (Shards) that is more favorable to the developers (meaning that they would achieve a higher price in gems and crowns when using the “Shard Rate” compared to the “Key Rate”) but even then you can see for the data collected so far, prices in Crowns/Gems terms were increased by 80-200+%, where the largest increases were on the least valuable items (Common, Uncommon).

In my view, this category should be avoided like the plague. It’s a terrible setup, with inflated prices on lotto based picks. The developers should rethink these changes entirely.



  • Once again we have the removal of Gold purchase options.
  • Prices in terms of both Crowns and Gems have been reduced for the 5 new Glyph types relative to the single Pre-0.35 Glyph.


What is there to say here? Until we get more options for Glyph drops and Relics actually appear in such amounts that allow for evolutions, how can these prices be evaluated. It’s pure speculation: perhaps it’s a good investment to use gems on these items; perhaps instead, the availability of glyphs will outpace relics and there will be no need to invest in glyphs beyond the additional means made available in the future. For now I reserve judgement.



  • Crowns - Personally I detest premium currencies that are only available through purchase, with no in-game acquisition options. There already exists a more suitable premium currency: It’s called dollars! (or whatever your local currency is). The main reason for premium, purchase-only (hard) currencies is to create arbitrage: Selling the premium currency in bundles and then articulating things to buy in amounts that leave the player with “change”, residual premium currency that they can’t use unless they buy additional amounts of the hard currency. That is somewhat ameliorated here because Shard Daily Deals exist in extremely small amounts that at least allow the player to use up the premium currency. I would prefer to just simply see Crowns go away and Gems be the premium currency (a “medium” currency if you will), both attainable in-game through gameplay and purchasable in the Shop. However, given that gems are so frontloaded in the game and easily attainable by a starting player, I doubt that is a realistic possibility. As @Tacet has suggested, Crowns should be offered even in small quantities to players through promotions or perhaps as he suggested, tied to VIP to create more longevity of value and entice continued renewals.

  • Gems This appears to be the currency that will resemble Gems in Gems of War. I suspect that we will see this currency show up as event rewards and that players will have various ways to earn Gems to utilize on shop deals/refreshes/bounties/whatever else is thought of as we move forward. Should you be using gems currently or hoarding for future use? As I mentioned earlier, the total Gems to be earned from a playthrough is 5,625; 5 playthroughs is 28,125 gems. That’s pretty generous as a starting currency to make choices in the game. However, without knowing how prevalent gems will be in the future, it’s hard to recommend going on a spending binge and buying every gem offer that shows up in the Shop (further thoughts?)

  • Gold Farmable currency that currently has insufficient options for use. @Tacet summed up the issues with Gold later in this post. @Salty further on indicated that revisions Gold offers are being discussed.

  • VIP Pass Rather than rehash excellent points already made by @Tacet and others, I provide reference to his insightful post:
    VIP Pass rewards fall off after a few months of playing

  • Daily Deals - What to make of the changes since 0.35? I think @Tacet makes a good point on the incentive issue and I share his view. Although it is cheaper in gems to refresh the shop then before, there are less “interesting” things to pop up, such as high value gold buys. Also, nearly 1/4 of deals are now defined in Crown currency, making it less likely that people will spend gems (using up a potential premium currency) because they are currently not wanting to spend cash on the Crown currency. I don’t know what the actual data says, but if I had not purposely done refreshes to get this daily shop data, I have a feeling I would have done less shop refreshes. I do view the shard packages favorably; creating a tiered package structure (20 for gold, 50 for gems/crowns) is actually a reasonable approach. But I wonder if things were defined entirely in gems rather than gems/crowns, perhaps people would become accustomed to spending the gems and then, much like Gems of War, will look for opportunities to buy more Gems to fill our there needs as they arise (again, I am not a fan of Crowns). Lastly, I do think VIP spots in the Daily Deals should be Gold purchases only; of course making things of higher value available once again in gold makes it more likely that these deals will be even more attractive to players and would enhance the desirability of VIP.

  • Battle Pass
    The Battle Pass (premium side) currently costs USD$10 (ignoring crown purchases discounts) and runs for 60 days. In order to achieve all rewards in the Battle Pass, you need to earn 900 horns over the course of the 60 day pass. But are the full rewards even possible? @Tacet did some math on this in an earlier post so I’m repeating his conclusions but your potential Horns earned are: 1) 18/week by participating and collecting Tier1-6 rewards from all 3 PVP tournaments and 2) approximately 7/day from completing Bounties using the 4 daily free Bounty tokens and using the one-at-a-time, best-available Bounty selection. So, the total estimated Horns that can be earned during a Battle Pass season are ~564, assuming free Bounties are done daily and a minimum of 7 weeks of PVP including (all 3 tourneys). That leaves us 336 Horns short of the required total; in other words we need to make up 5.6 Horns a day to max out the Battle Pass. Thus we would need to spend 150 gems/day for 60 days (estimated 3 additional Bounties a day at 25, 50, 75 gems respectively) to get enough Horns to finish out the Pass. That’s a total of 9,000 gems! Let’s just go ahead and say plainly, even with the inclusion of a Relic and a Glyph in the premium Battle Pass rewards, the premium Battle Pass is the worst real currency investment you can possibly make in the game.

I will continue to update with additional thoughts as the discussion on the Shop continues!

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Biggest issue with the shop right now is how much it ignores the gold currency.

Before it was a high gem repick, but also a high gold cost. This led to people only repicking about once per day, which would sink 75 gems. Only extremely active players under this previous format would repick more than once per day as some shop cycles cost upwards of 100k gold.

Now it has been changed to a low gem cost repick with a low gold cost for offers at the cost of having more gem and crown offers. Given that the repick is gems and not gold, this leads to an issue where gold is essentially removed as a factor from the shop. Now only gems and crowns matter. This new system has a weird diminishing return, in that any repick more than once per day costs more. The result of this is essentially causing the daily shop to be good value for 1 repick, but pretty much never viable there forth. It also has the additional issue that almost no gem offer within the shop is worth buying with a few exceptions, mostly because the next day’s 20 gem reroll yields more than most of the low gem offers. Any high gem offers are just more efficient to farm than to buy with gems.

My biggest issue with the 0.35 shop compared to before is that nothing is exiting there anymore. So many decent drops could be gotten there before with gold that gave incentive to use the gems in the first place. If the goal of the shop is to sink gems, it is doing a rather poor job as my average gem spending under the new shop is around 20-70 per day, whereas before it was 75-225 per day.

They did this system a lot better in Gems of War, where it breaks it down daily based on:

  • 9-11 free drops via adventure board (the equivalence of gold offers in shop in PQ3)
  • 3 gem offers every day with a way to roll 3 additional ones for free (equivalence of gem offers in shop as well as a reroll of sorts that only effects the gem offers)
  • Various money only offers that don’t get in the way of anything else (equivalence of crown offers in shop)

They basically took all these systems from Gems of War and just piled them all together into a clunky shop system, rather than separating each one into their own system.

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Thanks for this detailed feedback. We are looking into revamping our shop, so this is all very useful information. I have collated what has been presented thus far, and will continue doing so as the conversation in this thread progresses.

(To add, we are planning on introducing more gold offers, and our team has been discussing this. I don’t have an ETA on when this will be in game, but we recognised this lack in the shop as well. It’s great to know that this is something players have been discussing too.)


Thanks for the detailed info Sibelios.

One idea I had to improve the shop was adding an area that offers 3 Rare quality items that rotate on a weekly (or daily) basis that would just be a gold sink (Im thinking something like 15k gold per item).

One of things that Im trying to think through is the item acquisition and evolution in this game. It seems like Item evolution is here to stay (wish it wasnt, but it is what it is). Rare items are tough to come by in a resource starved environment. So my thinking was giving players at least a source of rare armor that is easily attainable (relatively) so players have some starting point for item evolution that is usable for mid game and they can build off of for late game.

I know this discussion doesnt help the current shop.

For my ideas on current shop, All I have is separating out the offers in the shop. 2x gold, 2x gem and 2x crown, with VIP being dedicated to 2x Gold offer. Gives VIP a bit better incentive as a gold sink for players looking to make their gold go further.

I hope everyone contributes ideas beyond just tweaking the current shop setup. You’d be surprised how many players come up with great ideas that ultimately become part of the game. Keep those ideas coming!

One observation that I want to add to this discussion regarding gold purchases in 0.34 was that high gold costs for some items served as a motivator for ascending Auri.

If a player wanted to purchase a high gold cost item, they had to ascend Auri to obtain the capacity to gain enough gold to fund the purchase (or get close enough that a player could overcap gold via Honor purchases to make the purchase). Additionally, as a side effect, the existence of high gold cost items of the shop creates a compulsion for players to seek out those items and farm for gold to fund those purchases.

Granted, glyphs for gold is probably too good of a deal to ask for going forward, but perhaps Greater and maybe Major relics (definitely not Superior) might be a good fit for large gold cost purchases in the 30-60k gold cost range?


I feel even more strongly about this now. I keep thinking about this every time I get a new shop refresh; that having everything in gold/gems in the Daily Deals is a much better approach. Then, if the developers feel the need to keep Crowns in place, then just simply allow crowns to be a bridge currency to other currencies (gems/golds). Perhaps this would decrease Crown purchases in the short term as people exhaust their gems but it would create a much less disappointing Daily Shop experience for players.

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Incredible analysis of the shops deal rates!

I just wanted to add another voice and say that I am strongly in agreement with Tacet’s conclusions in the below:

After the .35 update I have yet to spend more than 70 gems in the shop, and that is only for two additional rerolls of the deals. None of the deals that were ever in the shop since the update made me want to dedicate additional resources. I saw only one deal in my shop since the update for a random weapon. Prior to the update, I recall having a long discussion within my kingdom on whether it was worth to spend the honor to go over my gold limit to buy a glyph and a piece of gear. Now, this never happens.

All of the high caliber items such as glyphs are significantly overpriced in gems. Taking into account the fact that it is currently nearly impossible to get a drop of a relic to get a piece of gear or spell to the level of upgrading with a glyph, the idea of spending resources now on another resource that may not be used until sometime in the far far future, is unappealing.

I second the suggestion to add another section for rare only gear pieces from Kings:

One modification though I would propose is that it would not be 3 items, but instead one item of gear/per week and one spell/per week.

Access to guaranteed 3 rare items per week would make farming far less enticing.

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One modification though I would propose is that it would not be 3 items, but instead one item of gear/per week and one spell/per week.

Access to guaranteed 3 rare items per week would make farming far less enticing.

The idea is that because there are multiple levels of RNG to gear in this game, it keeps people coming back to look for side grades to improve their character. We have 12 slots to fill with gear. 2 weapons, 6 armor and 4 accessories. Those 3 rare items can roll across any number of slots, colors, and perks and sets that it would be difficult to come across repeat offers for awhile. especially if they keep adding more sets for people to chase in the future. I was just going for a bit of item of diversity with the 3.

I dont necessarily think its a good idea to offer rare spells. just a personal thing. Since the spell pool is limited, Xione can get you what you want in time. And Chests.

Some quick napkin math: 15 sets in this game, 6 items per set 5 mastery colors, 8 perks I think. some 3600 different combinations of gear right now. (assuming the 8 perks number is correct).

Updated post with thoughts on current costs of the premium Battle Pass.


This is more of a random offshoot from where this topic seemed to migrate to but thought I’d add my input anyways.

I’m on my second VIP pass and only about 1/2 way through my first play through. But as you’ve already established; the VIP pass declines in worth steadily as you progress, and I don’t currently intend to renew mine for a 3rd time as it is. So if there was a revamp to the pass then I would have re-evaluate.

Thia brings me to my actual point/idea. At a $9.99 price point for 30 days my inclination to purchase is far less than say at a $6.99 price where I’d be okay with a 3rd renewal and you get an extra couple bucks.

Without data and based on my personal opinion I believe a lower price actually brings more revenue over time since someone like me would say “Eh, its only a few bucks” every month and keep me paying out longer.

Even lower? You’d have to calculate out the cost/benefit which I don’t have time to even consider now but maybe you have lots more potential for more subscribers for longer periods.

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Yes, its off topic BUT…

I didn’t renew for a second VIP cycle
Combination of cost vs degrading benefits over time Plus new update may make significant changes to game/economy so unknown factors
I would say that a lower monthly price point with valuable rewards + one end of month great item (say glyph or choice of relic so you can channel growth efforts) would be enticing to the on-going payment

As would options to play the game faster (reduced graphic option, reduced reward screen times, end turn button or just timesX speed options)