For a while now, Trion’s been working on a plan that will allow us to play with as many other players as possible within the same shards and clusters. This grand plan will eventually allow players from different parts of the world to play RIFT together while each playing the game in their own language thanks to some behind-the-scenes tech magic. While this technology isn’t quite ready for its debut yet, Trion will be moving toward that plan next week when the team condenses our shards and forces players to transfer to specific shards where this “unification” process will begin.
These transfers will happen automatically next week during the normal downtime period: Wednesday, October 23rd for NA shards and Thursday, October 24th for EU shards. All guilds and friend lists will remain intact when the transfers occur, and players will need to do nothing beforehand unless they wish to reserve a name or two ahead of time. Players will have to rename any characters (for free) if their names are taken on the new shard. Here is the list of shards being affected by the merges:
Necropolis users will be migrated to Seastone.
Shatterbone users will be migrated to Wolfsbane.
Threesprings users will be migrated to Deepwood.
Volan users will be migrated to Bloodiron.
Blightweald users will be migrated to Gelidra.
Argent users will be migrated to Zaviel.
Nomi users will be migrated to Brisesol.
The current shard clusters will also be done away with and each region (NA and EU) will become its own cluster after these transfers take place. While this is good news for many players who are anxious to be able to play with a greater number of players and have larger group finder/warfront pools to pull from, etc., these transfers also unfortunately mean that a large number of players will have to choose new names, deal with character caps, and settle into new communities that may not be quite as welcoming as their previous communities. The European roleplaying community on Argent, especially, will have some major resettling to do as players will be forced to transfer to a full PvE shard.
Adjustments like these aren’t always easy. They’re often necessary, however, especially with the plan Trion has for the overall RIFT community. And don’t get me wrong– it’s a good plan– but it’s kind of a shame that Trion isn’t giving players more choices here. More transfer options would be welcome, as would the ability to add a surname or even a @shard tag to a name in order to help identify fellow transferees. At least with these transfers, players are able to prepare and spread the word ahead of time.
For more information, see Daglar’s official announcement.