The Closing of Our Server and the Split of EU and NA
Greetings Citizens of Middle-Earth!
We are finally ready to reveal the details on the new World Transfer process, the consolidation of LOTRO's worlds, and their movement to a brand new data center. We appreciate your patience as we have worked to make the new transfer process as well-rounded, simple, and effortless as possible. The first part of this article will discuss our timeline and the second part will go over the details of the new transfer features themselves. So grab a goblet of Elvish Wine and kick back, because this will be a long one.
On August 3rd we will announce the worlds that will be impacted and the entire game will be brought down for a small patch which will send out an in-game email to all characters notifying them of the beginning of the World Closures and what that will entail along with a link back to this article and others to be released in the coming weeks. Additionally Character Creation on the worlds we are closing will be turned off at this time.
All characters on all worlds will receive a gift box as a thank you from us as a remembrance of the worlds we will be closing that hold so many fond memories for all of us. The Free Peoples' gift box will contain a Title Picker Box “Of <World> with choice of any of the 29 worlds, hooded and hoodless variants of a cloak, and a housing banner decoration. Monster Characters will receive the monster version of the Title Box “Bane of <World>” with choice of any of the 29 worlds.
The new Transfer Service will become available with this patch. You will be able to access it through the launcher at the World Selection screen after logging into your account. There will be a button that says “Transfer” underneath the “Play” button. Beginning August 3rd the service will be available for copying characters to the Bullroarer Test World and for free moves between the ten worlds (5 US and 5 EU) that will be remaining available after the end of this year. This is just the beginning of the process.
We will be monitoring the transfers between those worlds for a couple weeks and if all is going well, we will move on to the next step of the process which will be to turn off Auction Houses on the first two of the sunsetting worlds and allow characters, kinships and shared items on those worlds to move to the ten remaining worlds.
Once again we will monitor the moves and if all is going well we will move on to the next two worlds and so on until we feel comfortable with opening transfers off of all of the impacted worlds. The theme here is a slow and steady migration.
On October 1st, transfers between the remaining ten will once again become paid, however transfers off of the impacted worlds will remain free indefinitely.
After the start of the new year you will no longer be able to play on the impacted worlds. You will still be able to see the worlds, and the characters and shared account items will remain available for migration to a remaining world indefinitely.
As you can see, this is a monumental effort and we want to do it as correctly and painlessly as possible. We will be providing lists of the next worlds to be opened for transfer as we go along. We also have in-game mails that will go off when your world is ready so you will see it whether you check the site or the game for your updates. We will also be updating more precise timelines as we close in on each event and have a higher degree of accuracy.
Now on to the details you really want….
New Transfer Features
New Launcher Service
We are changing our transfer service to occur in the game launcher itself. In the world selection window, you will see the “Transfer” button. Click on that and you will see all the worlds and the characters you have on each. You can choose to move just one character, all characters, shared items or no shared items to a target world of your choosing.
Shared Items Transfer
This new checkbox in the World Transfer interface will allow the transfer of all account level items that are shared between your characters on a world from one world to another. These items include the following:
o Account Shared Currency (Mithril Coins & Skirmish )
o Shared Storage
o Housing Storage
The Shared Items Transfer will always be a free service and will be available even if you have moved all characters off of a world, just in case you moved a character and left some account level items behind.
When transferring a character who is a Kinship leader, the game will disband the kinship on the home world and reform it on the new world complete with all historical data. Players who were in that same kin will be instantly added to the kin on the new world if they decide to follow the Kin leader. Kin leaders, please coordinate with your Kinship members ahead of time, add target world to your MOTD, etc so that your members know where to follow. Bound items in the Kinship house will be returned to their owners and unbound items will be put in the Kinleader’s personal house storage or escrow. Any remaining pre-paid credit and unlocked storage levels on the Kinship house will be automatically granted upon purchase of a new Kinship house on the new world.
With the new transfer process, when you transfer your character to a new world, the world will check to see if there is a naming conflict. If there is, it will grant the name to the incoming character if the character existing on the world has not been active for one year or more. The less active character will have a -1 added to their name and a rename token granted to the character. (Rename tokens have no expiration date.) This should prevent the majority of unnecessary renames for those transferring from the impacted worlds.
Existing characters on EU and US worlds will have a data conflict moving to a different region, so we are only able to support transfers of characters from an EU world to another EU world and US to US. You will note that we have now labeled all worlds on the launcher with their region. However, there is no restrictions on where you might start a NEW character and play based on your physical location, so feel free to try out new worlds in which ever region you feel most comfortable.
When transferring a character who owns a house on a world, the belongings and the history of the ownership of that house will go with that character to its new world. This means storage capacity, Upkeep Prepayments, Ownership time and Grace period time will all be remembered and applied to the house you might purchase on your destination world. When you log into the new world with your Home owner, you will find an email that will inform you of your previous address and will contain an attachment of currency equal to the purchase cost of the house. All of your deco is now in Escrow Housing storage, and character bound items are returned to the appropriate characters. If you already own a house on the destination world the upkeep, storage capacity and items will be granted to the existing house on the account.
Recommended Transfer Order
To lessen the chances of item confusion or loss, it is recommended that you transfer any Kinship leaders first, then Home Owners, Shared items, and then other characters or all at once if they are going to the same world.
So what happens after we are all moved over to the remaining ten? Lots of fun times ahead. The new data center we will be moving provides a much faster connection to the internet with more direct ports to all territories. We are updating all of our software to the latest and greatest versions and all of the worlds are moving to new top of the line hardware allowing for less interruptions of service and a smoother gameplay experience for us all. Having fewer worlds means the ability for our team to run more Live Events on those worlds and the consolidation of players will mean the worlds will be more active, giving you more people to form fellowships, kinships or even just enjoy a festival with. We are really excited about this chance to re-invigorate Middle-earth and we hope you are as well!
I have covered a lot in this article and there will be more to come in the form of more exact timelines and the list of worlds, but I hope this helps to clarify many of the questions and concerns that have been rolling around the last few months. However I am certain there are still questions. See the FAQ below for some and feel free to ask us anything we have not covered and as we answer we will add to the FAQ list.
Q. Will transfers be free? For how long?
A. Transfers to or between the worlds that will be kept will be free until October 1st. After that point all transfers off of closed worlds will continue to be free indefinitely. But transfers between the live worlds will go back to paid.
Q. What is the Timeline?
A. August 2015 Transfers Begin. January 2016 impacted worlds are no longer available
Q. What Account info will transfer?
A. Account properties:
- Shared storage (Bank)
- Housing storage
- Shared currency (all account-shared paper items, including Mithril and Skirmish Marks)
- Edge-case: if a paper item used to be character-only (i.e. not account-shared), and the player hasn’t logged in since the currency was changed, any amount they had banked will remain with their character and will not be transferred unless they transfer that character.
- Housing storage pre-2014 – previously, housing storage was maintained in a very different way from the current bank-based system. If your character has not logged in since then, those items will be lost
Q. Can I transfer my Kinship?
A. We are implementing the ability for Kin leaders to move their Kin with them to a new world. This collects the Kin name and rank and creates a guild of similar rank and name and will add any members who also follow to the new world.
Q. What about my name?
A. The world checks for a name conflict. The character that has been active in the last year keeps the name and the other character gets a -1 and name change token.
Q. What about Lag on Brandywine?
A. Brandywine will be made unavailable as a transfer destination until that server is moved to newer hardware and performance improvements are confirmed.
Q. What interface will players use for transfer?
A. Transfer will now be available through the launcher.
Q. Can we do a full account (all characters included) transfer option?
A. Yes this will be an option
Q. What if I have all my character slots filled?
A. We have doubled the amount of max character slots you can purchase
Q. What about my Bounder’s Bounty Recognition?
A. We have created a Bounder's garden which will have a plaque for the world you are on as well as all the worlds that have been retired.
Q. Will my mail be transferred?
A. Mail does not transfer, therefore it is recommended that you clear all items you wish to keep out of your mail box before transferring.
Q. I still have a balance on my housing maintenance. Will I get that money back?
A. Yes, when your house is put into escrow for the transfer any remaining maintenance balance will be credited to a new house or an existing house owned by your account on the new world.
Q. What is the requirement for a character to receive the thank you gift box?
A. The character must be created by the patch on August 3rd, 2015
Q. What would happen if a character was transferred previously to sunsetting world from a remaining world and the player has other characters, shared banks and such on the remaining world already when they choose to move their account back to that remaining world? Will all the items merge? Overflow?
A. Items will merge with the already present account and in cases where this reaches storage limits, they will go into overflow.