So far, I feel the Orb Shop is a great way to round out and even expand on the general orb feature.
For players who have close to enough orbs to summon or empower, this is an excellent new addition to the game.
For example, I had 90 orbs of the Hawaiian Dragon. I have wanted this dragon since I first saw it in the Hawaiian Island long ago... Well, the orbs popped up in my shop last cycle and I decided to top off and obtain the rest. 15 gems. Not too shabby!
I agree that it is not a good idea when one needs large amounts of orbs, but I don't think it was designed with that issue in mind. This feature provides players with more opportunities to "top off" and get dragons they have their eyes on but are lacking the last little bundle of orbs to summon.
Remember, orbs are all pieces towards free dragons. And the fact that SP even does that, in my mind, is beyond generous. It is yet another reason why I believe Dragon City is one of the best balanced games out there when looking to make money and keep players coming back for more. The Orb Shop is a way for SP to make a little off the top of giving out all the free orbs while not looking too greedy, in my opinion.
Additionally, that it offered orbs for the limited Piston and Kyuubi was fantastic as well, because it allowed players to obtain needed orbs to participate in the breeding event. Note that with this new feature, however, it better not be the case that orb numbers of these types of dragons that are obtained by watching videos/maze coins/etc... drops deliberately so that players must finish off with gems in the shop. That is where the game crosses the line and becomes money-grabbing.
Back to my Hawaiian Dragon, I don't know now long it might have taken to get those last 10 orbs, and perhaps they never would have come, because as new dragons come into the fold, it makes it more difficult to obtain the older ones. Thus, I was more than happy to pop off some gems to get this dragon and to support SP in their efforts to continually improve the game and offer the amazing constant content they do.
I look forward to seeing the Orb Shop evolve, and it is my hope that there will be some sort of way to dump off or trade back orbs from dragons we don't want to summon, or empower, ever. I do also hope they decrease the wait time for offers to update. 12 hours or whatever it is is much too long. Change it up more frequently to get players logging back in... That brings more revenue!