Rift In Transition - A Look at Rift's Free Server Transfers

Patch 1.3 had a ton of useful additions, but none may have the long term effect on Rift quite like that of free server transfers.
alt="Rift hack"
style="width: 200px; height: 133px;">

style="font-style: italic;">

One of the more interesting features introduced with Patch 1.3 was that
of Character Transfers. Obviously this isn’t a groundbreaking
feature in MMOGs, but its cost factor and expedient implementation
certainly are. In case you hadn’t heard, style="font-style: italic;">Rift
is allowing
players to move their toons from their current shard to any available
shard once a week – for free.  In our recent
interview with
Hal Hanlin, style="font-style: italic;">Rift’s
Design Producer, he stated that the reason the
service didn’t have an associated cost was an issue of

easy for us to do this, I don’t know about
those other companies who seem to make a production about it, but for
us it’s a simple process.”

Hal went on to further
illuminate the idea behind not charging for the service; style="font-style: italic;">

main focus is for players to have fun playing the game, and if that
means moving to play with their friends, or simply moving to a more
lively shard – then we’re all for that.”

I pressed Hal about the availability of shards, if there were any
restrictions in place or if any shards were off-limits;

the system will allow you to move to any shard that
isn’t already at full capacity, and we obviously
don’t want
to allow players to exacerbate any existing faction balance issues.
Short of that we want people to go where they want to be, we will have
the ability to alter this on the fly and the system should be fairly
dynamic based on populations.”

alt="Rift server xfer"
style="width: 200px; height: 144px;">

style="font-style: italic;">

Thus far the system seems to
be functioning as designed, I have done a
couple of test runs moving players to and fro, and it really is simple.
You log into the shard of your choosing, select the eligible character
you wish to move and hit the button at the bottom of the screen that
says transfer. Characters need to have an empty mailbox, have no
current auctions, be above level 15 and have no more than 3 plat per
level up to level 40 to be eligible.  Once those conditions
met a screen will pop up with a list of available shards, click on the
shard you desire and within second you will be there.

The future impact of server transfers should be a largely positive one,
even if it does lead to the shuttering of some of the deserted shards.
In other games when servers start to die off there are inevitably
server mergers, but with this free system the players will ultimately
have control over their own destinies.  This isn’t
to say
there won’t ever be a forced merger in style="font-style: italic;">Rift’s
future, but
with entire guilds being able to jettison at will, it won’t
be as
traumatic. You see, therein lies the most beautiful thing about the
system; guild leaders can transfer the guild itself, bank contents and
all, and every member of the guild will be notified upon logging in of
the move and to which shard they are now located on. Players who return
to find their guild gone and the corresponding shard closed to
transfers need not fret; they are granted the ability to join the guild
regardless of the shards current state.  Another trick aspect
the system is that once you make the move to your guilds new home, you
will be automatically added back into the guild.

style="border: 0px solid ; width: 600px; height: 333px;"
alt="Rift Patch 1.3">

Of course the most crucial consideration in the whole
equation is which
shard to move to once you have decided to uproot.  There are 4
different shard styles in style="font-style: italic;">Rift;
PvE, PvP, RP and RP-PvP – so the
first step is to select which suits you best.  PvE servers are
standard no-frills server where all PvP interaction is essentially
voluntary, PvP servers are populated by contested zones where you are
automatically flagged when you leave the safety of your
cities and towns. RP servers are governed by a slightly different
ruleset with a stricter naming policy and a community that can be
focused on a deeper level of immersion in the game world. Server
population is also critical in the selection process, but
not always an easy decision to make.

The obvious choice would be to
find the most heavily populated server and move there post-haste, but
that doesn’t always play out as well as one would think. A
research and patience can go a long way towards making the best

  • Monitor populations at
    different times of the
    day, if you don’t play on your new shards peak hours you may
    it as empty feeling as your current home.
  • Get a feel for the new world
    by starting a low
    level character and engaging in some of the chat channels once you make
    it out of the tutorial phase.
  • Check out the forums of your
    potential new
    home, although forums are dominated by trolls and malcontents, you can
    still get a good general idea of the server dynamics.
  • If moving from a PvE ruleset
    shard to one that
    is PvP, make sure you are comfortable with all of the idiosyncrasies
    that come with it. You will be ganked at some point and have your
    playtime interrupted.

Even though some naysayers may consider realm transfers a death knell,
future prospects have never looked brighter. Allowing
players the ability to migrate to the server of their choice can only
help increase player satisfaction and keep one of the best communities
in MMOGs on the upswing. Now we just need free faction swaps to really
sweeten the deal.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our RIFT Game Page.

Last Updated:

About The Author

Around the Web