Just in time for the new year, the dust is starting to settle around the great LOTRO server migration. While the new data centers are not yet up and running, all transfers off closing worlds are now open. Turbine has started a rolling schedule of free transfers between remaining worlds and has set a shut down date for the 19 sunsetting servers.
The dates given by Executive Producer “Vyvyanne” on the official forum for the free transfers off remaining worlds are listed below. These are one-way journeys so if you want to go back, you’ll have to wait for the next free transfer period for that server or purchase transfer tokens (you get three for free, more on that later).
- Dec. 7 – Jan. 3: Arkenstone & Gwaihir
- Jan. 4-10: Landroval & Belegaer
- Jan. 11-17: Crickhollow & Sirannon
- Jan. 18-24: Gladden & Laurelin
- Jan. 25 – Feb. 29: Brandywine & Evernight
- March 1-31: Arkenstone & Gwaihir
- April 1 – May 1: Landroval & Belegaer
- May 2-31: Crickhollow & Sirannon
- June 1-30: Gladden & Laurelin
The other important date she mentions is when all the closing worlds will cease to be playable: April 4, 2016. As long as LOTRO is around, you’ll be able to transfer your characters off those worlds using the transfer wizard via the launcher, but you won’t be able to log in to them until they’re safely on one of the ten remaining servers.
Transfer tokens and paid transfers
Under the new transfer service, paid transfers are carried out with transfer tokens which are purchased with real money, but at the time of writing, the service to purchase these tokens is down, so Turbine gave everyone three free tokens to use as they wish. One token is good for one character transfer, so bad news for you alt-aholics. Vyvyanne explains further that since all of the closing worlds are open for transfer, shared storage transfer is now available between the ten remaining worlds and free. Is it just me, or does that sound way too exploitable?
The last piece of the puzzle in this LOTRO server architecture mixup are the data centers that promise to reduce latency and simultaneously handle the load of so many players crammed on to ten servers. In addition to the North American data center in New Jersey, there will also be one in the Netherlands for all the European servers (yay!).
The team has been tugging us around quite a bit on this one and after three stress tests on the new hardware, the current problem is fixing bugs with the chat system when moving the servers from a 32-bit to a 64-bit environment. Vyvyanne estimates that the new data centers will be online “after the holidays” ambiguously indicating sometime in January if all goes well.
All this leaves me wondering when we’ll finally get more GM (game-master) support for in-game events. There are only ten servers left, and I’d really love to see the return of the Fashion Maven on a regular basis because all my characters should be wearing the Hat of Shame (see picture). And who wouldn’t love bashing a level 100 Amarthiel roaming the streets of Minas Tirith (oh, the lag!)? More importantly, I’m sure many event arrangers could do with a GM doing something regular players cannot or crowd control at large events like Weatherstock.