LOTRO and the Great Server Merge

Way back in January we had the Lord of the Rings Online Producer’s Letter outlining the plans for the game in 2015.

Opposing the orcs and wargs of misfortune?

Opposing the orcs and wargs of misfortune?

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

  • Darrowdelf
  • Elendilmir
  • Firefoot
  • Imladris
  • Meneldor
  • Nimrodel
  • Riddermark
  • Silverlode
  • Vilya
  • Windfola

EU Servers Being Closed   

  • Anduin
  • Eldar
  • Estel
  • Gilrain
  • Maiar
  • Morthond
  • Snowbourn
  • Vanyar
  • Withywindle

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

  • Arkenstone
  • Brandywine
  • Crickhollow
  • Gladden
  • Landroval

Remaining EU Servers

  • Belegaer
  • Evernight
  • Gwaihir
  • Laurelin
  • Sirannon

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.

9 thoughts on “LOTRO and the Great Server Merge

  1. bhagpuss

    Thanks for that. Although I never play LotRO any more I often think I might play again. Then I remember my bag and bank situation and think of something less masochistic to do instead.

    I do still retain enough affection for my characters, however, that I would have logged in and moved them rather than let them be deleted. Turns out, since they’re all on Laurelin, I don’t even need to do that. What I might do, supposing I ever found time, is to start a new character on one of the post-merge servers. Could be interesting times and I wouldn’t mind spending a few days in The Shire again.


  2. swattz101

    My understanding is that Brandywine is closed to new transfers because it is already overloaded. I’ve heard rumors that BW has as many players as the next 5 servers combined and Landy is a distant second. (That might be a little exaggeration, but not much). The idea is that once BW is moved to the new hardware in the new data center, they will evaluate opening up to transfers. Of course transferring out of BW will be allowed.

    I have a bunch of chars on Firefoot and Riddermark that will have to find new homes. My main just celebrated his 7th birthday on Firefoot and was my second home that I started out fresh when Turbine opened up the new servers.

    I do find it a little sad that they are closing the “Big E”, but I guess it hasn’t been the unofficial oceanic server that it used to be.


  3. Jeromai

    If I could be bothered to reinstall LOTRO again, I admit to feeling almost excited that I might be able to get all my characters off the Nimrodel server, which went stagnant -years- ago and was a strong contributor in why I lost interest in the game. (Well, that and Moria, and not terribly inspiring combat, and group quests blocking story progress, and a million and one currencies/junk items in my inventory I could no longer make head or tail out of.)

    I wanted to transfer to Brandywine or Landroval for a very long time now, but just didn’t want to pay to do it.

    If I recall, they used to have a rather annoying third-party program (Pando Media Booster) that came along with their client downloader, which refused to be uninstalled. I ended up having to create an empty .exe file and rename it to that program’s executable so that nothing would start. Not sure I want to go through that again.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Jeromai – The Pando Malware Booster has been removed from the launcher, though it was long overdue, as Pando itself was out of business for months before they actually made the change. Patching itself is still pretty annoying due to what looks to be inefficiency. (Installing file 6 of 25,127… please wait all night no matter how fast your connection is)

    I log in every month or so to collect my Lifetime Subscriber Turbine points, which I have used to buy all the expansions at this point, and to keep Gaff from usurping me as Kinship leader on Brandywine. But the big “let’s copy WoW’s class patterns from 2006” initiative that made the classes less quirky has been my biggest wall to actually playing again. Basically, I have to learn to play every character from scratch again.


  5. beachboy

    cool kids on landroval??? more like only the true nerds play there, the real players have always been on BW…cosplay much LMAO

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jaedia

    In a strange way, I’m kinda glad they cancelled Infinite Crisis. The MOBA market is oversaturated and I never felt like Infinite Crisis did enough to really add to it short of: “We got superheros? Well known ones?” It’s cool and all but if it’s not doing so well, I’d rather the resources go into the games that people love.


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