We've noticed that a few players are worried that the summoning skill costs a lot of gp to level. However after carefully double-checking the figures, we really don't believe this is the case!
A lot of people are looking at the skill and calculating how many shards they are going to need to level it up, multiplying that by the cost per shard, and coming to the conclusion that it's going to be very expensive.
However the key point that is easy to miss is the fact that the completed pouches themselves are extremely powerful. They aren't just junk to throw away! In fact, you can make at least as much money from using the completed pouch as it costs to make in the first place. For example, if you summon a creature to fight alongside you, the increased rate at which you can collect monster drops as a result balances out against the initial cost of the pouch. Or if you summon a creature to carry items for you, the increased rate at which you can runecraft, or collect items gives you back as much money as the pouch cost. These are just two examples of the countless ways the summoning skill can help you make money more effectively. We had to make the cost high, because the rewards are so high!
At the moment all our calculations show that if you use the pouches effectively, (with the possible exception of the very early pouches), you can make back the cost of the pouch by the increased productivity it gives. Therefore the actual net cost of levelling this skill works out at zero! That's significantly cheaper than, say, construction.
That's pretty good anyway, but we've decided we want to make this a really rewarding skill, and it's time we had another good money making skill in the game. Therefore later this week we are planning on halving the cost of shards. After this the amount you can make from using a pouch will be far more than it costs to make, and you will be able to make a tidy profit. In fact we calculate this will then make summoning one of the best ways of making money in the game, but only if you actually use the pouches! Finally, to make sure that reducing the cost of shards isn't unfair on early levelling, we will make sure that people who have already purchased shards will automatically either get some gold back, or receive extra shards so they have effectively paid the new price.