Objective: My objective is merely to see how many astral shards I can earn without actually purchasing any from the DDO store.
Reason: For personal enjoyment. I like playing arbitrage and investment type games for some reason. And when I first started DDO I used to play the AH game a lot; however, once I maxxed plat (or close enough) on enough characters, the plat game lost its appeal. I played the crafting game until I got to 150/145/145 and could craft whatever I wanted. So since shards are new I thought this might be a fun diversion for a bit. I thought I'd post it for my own reference and to show anyone who is interested that despite what the chicken little's are chirping about, a player doesn't HAVE to spend 'real money' to accumulate shards.
I started with 90 shards before patch 17.1 sent the ASAH and daily dice rolls live. I crunched the five or six astral diamonds I accumulated over the last three years. I think I earned some from the MM achievements. I also got some as an extra from an Otto's Box kit I purchased. I can't remember how much came from which source.
I suppose I technically 'paid' for the shards from the Otto's Box even though I didn't want them or realize it was part of the purchase, but as I said I had a stash of shards in double digits before that purchase. (If anyone remembers how many shards you get from the Otto's Box, please let me know).
Subtracting the Otto's Box shards, I started with a total of 25 free shards.