Way back in January we had the Lord of the Rings Online Producer’s Letter outlining the plans for the game in 2015.
I was personally somewhat underwhelmed by the plan for 2015, especially when compare with the Dungeons & Dragons Online Producer’s Letter, which seemed to be much more upbeat and full of promise.
Still, you take what you can get. At the time Turbine was still pouring resources into the now failed Infinite Crisis MOBA.
Those “glass half-full” fans of Middle-earth can expect more attention to their game now that Turbine is past that and has no current prospects beyond doing iOS companion games for other people’s releases.
Anyway, back in January one of the promises was to deal with server populations. Turbine wanted to get everybody onto more populated servers. The pan will involved closing some servers as well as hardware upgrades and location changes for remaining servers. This was described as a “large and complicated process.” The basic gist was that some (or most) servers would be closed and players would be allowed to transfer to the remaining active servers, which was sort-of how Rift handled their server closures back when they were in their first post-launch contraction.
Of course, the team at Trion was clear up front that such transfers would be free while Turbine spent more than a week failing to clarify the transfer situation, dodging repeated direct questions about that fundamental issue while devoting time to addressing what I would uncharitably characterize as trivia by comparison.
Turbine eventually did indicate that the server transfers would not have an associated cost. But you have to wonder, given how long it took them to answer that very simple “yes/no” question what they had in mind at the start.
There is a dev post about the transfers listing out the details. It looks like ALL transfers will be free from whenever they start through October 1st, and after that the no-cost option will be limited to getting yourself, your kinship, and your characters off of a closed server. That seems reasonable enough. That just left us wondering which servers would be closed.
We now have an answer to that question.
US Servers Being Closed
EU Servers Being Closed
That is the majority of the LOTRO servers, though as we read earlier this year via an insider leak, there was a great deal of optimism on how many people would play the game when it went free to play.
That leaves the following servers up and available as transfer targets:
Remaining US Servers
Remaining EU Servers
That leaves me in an odd situation. I have characters on four servers, and three of them are getting closed. (Actually, I am in kinships on four servers, there might me a couple more characters scattered about.) The gut reaction, I suppose, should be, “Yay! I can consolidate!” Only I am pretty sure I would use up all the character slots available on the remaining server if I attempted to bring over every character from Firefoot, Nimrodel, and Silverlode.
And then there is the target issue. While I have listed the four remaining US based servers, Brandywine, which I call home as well, has a special note:
Brandywine will be unavailable for incoming transfers for a time until population and load can be re-evaluated on new hardware
I am a bit surprised that Brandywine is the special case. I thought Landroval was the cool kids server where all the special events happened.
Anyway, that is where we stand. It looks like Turbine has done a lot of work to make transfers accessible. Now we will have to see how things shake out once they turn transfers on and let people move. I might let others rush in while I wait and watch for a bit.