Peeking in on my characters this past weekend, I saw that the promised transfer button was now visible in the launcher UI. The server merge appeared to be at hand.
Of course, the great server merge has been expected for some time now. It was first brought up in the Producer’s Letter early in the year and appeared to be solidified with a dev post early in August that outlined the whole merge plan. The whole thing seemed to be kicking off back in the first half of September when two of the to-be-closed servers, Elendilmir (US) and Este (EU), were given the green light to start moving to new destinations.
The rest of us could play around by copying ourselves to the test servers, but otherwise were told we would have to wait until our time came.
I hadn’t seen any further news, but the button was here I thought I might as well click it and see what happened! All advances require somebody to do something that might objectively seem stupid.
The first click was a good one and brought me to a list of all the servers on which I have characters. A nice little summary in that. I have characters on four servers that are closing, and then some on Brandywine, which will remain, but which is still listed as not being available as a destination due to its popularity, which surprised me a bit. As I said before, I thought all the cool kids played on Landroval. But maybe the game is running out of cool kids… those who role play or play in bands.
By the way, here is a tip for every QA department everywhere, increase the default size of the font in Windows… I run mine at 125% so I can read things without glasses… and run your launcher and make sure you aren’t keying off of that and boosting your text outside of the readable zone. That is bad, m’kay.
Anyway, 25 characters, 18 of which need new homes, which is too many to fit on a single server, and all of them are in Kinships, which requires a bit of extra thinking/coordination for the move.
But there is already a “how-to” for kinships posted. Go Turbine.
I also noticed that if you mouse over each server, if will give you a listing of your characters and when you last played them. Behold all of my LOTRO characters.
A lot of characters I haven’t logged on for a while there. I am actually a bit surprised that the earliest date is in 2009. I thought sure that there would be somebody I hadn’t logged in since late 2007. I’m pretty sure Beeridan is a hobbit though.
Anyway, I decided to give the whole transfer thing a try with my characters on Nimrodel, a server I joined back in 2009 for a bit. They are some of the least likely characters for me to revive. They are all still sitting in the Podcasters of Bree kinship… last I checked… which included such local legends as Michael Zenke, Brent from VirginWorlds, Darren from The Common Sense Gamer, Jonathan from Through the Aftermath, and probably a couple more I am forgetting. The likelihood of logging on and finding any of them playing LOTRO felt pretty small, so why not experiment with those characters. So I selected Nimrodel and clicked the “next” button.
There I was given an option to select which characters to transfer along with whether or not to take the shared items along with the move. I decided to take everything.
That selected, I clicked “next” yet again. It was time to select a destination.
I had actually not given the destination much thought. But with Brandywine still locked out as far as I knew, there were only four choices for US players:
What the hell, any of those would do. This was an experiment.
However, my choices turned out to be a bit more limited.
Apparently we’re not there yet. I tried with the other servers as well and there were no move destinations available to me.
After that I went and dug around the LOTRO web site a bit to see if there had been any further announcements or updates. I didn’t see anything new, and a quick cruise through the forums seemed to indicate that some servers were able to transfer… because this seemed to be setting off a minor forum war between players who RP and those who do not and who should respect whom… but otherwise nothing official from Turbine. Some people are getting transfers, it just hasn’t filtered down to me.
Not that is matters so much for me. I am not playing the game right now and only peek in monthly to make sure I get my Turbine points… which I have turned around and used to buy all the expansions, so should I return to the game some day I will be set on that front. I am just interested to see how this works out. The logistics of consolidating your player base can be trying and it seems that Turbine is taking things slowly, which is probably the right plan.