It seems players logging into RIFT today are receiving a server wide announcement about an upcoming server merge. Unoffcially there’s about 17 servers involved so far as posted by RIFTJunkies which you can view below.
The merger is planed for Jan 18th and is meant to turn old servers into trial shards, however no official announcement has yet been made by Trion on their website or forums.
We all know that server mergers normally mean a decline in players and due to the amount of servers being merged, I’d say that’s probably the case with RIFT as well. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of free trial Trion will now offer as they currently offer a 7 day trial. My guess is they’ll start offering an unlimited free trial with a level cap around 20, maybe 30 and if that doesn’t bolster subscriptions, they’ll go Free-to-play by the end of 2012.
You can view the list of servers affected after the jump.
[Update] We received a response from Trion about this and they stated,
Bottom line is that we’re not merging any servers. The 11 shards in question are being turned into trial servers for a future large-scale trial promotion. We think the confusion is due to server wide notifications that recommended players transfer their characters before the 1/18, which is when the reconfiguration will happen.
Transferring Shard: –> Receiving Shard:
- Belmont –> Millrush
- Galena –> Millrush
- Atrophinius –> Greenscale
- Crucia –> Greenscale
- Alsbeth –> Shatterbone
PVE – RP
- Estrael –> Faeblight
- Shadefallen –> Faeblight
- Sunrest(PVP-RP) –> Deepstrike
- Freeholme –> Deepstrike
- Dayblind –> Deepstrike
- Faemist –> Briarcliff