Vanguard Server Merges
On the 7th (which is the date I’m writing this, even though I’m posting it to the 5th) the four servers in Vanguard will be merging down to two – US and EU. A lot of people saw this coming, and of course when the announcement went out, cries of ‘the sky is falling the sky is falling’ rolled out over the blogsphere. Some suggested that the game simply be shut down, why draw out the inevitable. Others were looking forward to the merges, suggesting that perhaps the population that’s left over would thrive.
While I don’t write about my time in Vanguard nearly as often as I should, I do play on a weekly basis, and have for quite some time. I’m in an active guild, and my army of alts carries over even into that game. There’s quite a lengthly FAQ about the merges posted on the forums, but I wanted to highlight at some specifics. You can find the entire article here.
- Each Guild has a separate ID and will not be affected by a move. Two guilds with the same name can exist on the server. Should a guild wish to change their name they can petition Customer Service. (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen the ability of guilds with the same name to co-exist on the same server. Typically, someone renames).
- In conjunction with each server merge, housing plot purchase price and current upkeep balance will be returned via mail to the most recently created character on the account owning the house. The building materials required to construct the house as well as the fixtures and items in the house will be returned to the owner via a housing escrow merchant. (This is probably my only ‘issue’ with server merges. I have a great T5 house, on a fantastic plot. Now I’m going to have to re-purchase it, and re-construct it. I had a LOT of things in my home, and now I’m going to have to make sure I have space to remove them all. I’m not quite sure what happens to the chests filled with crafting bits, but I’m not looking forward to this. I hope I can find a plot that was half as good as my last one. On the plus side, perhaps this time around I’ll have active neighbours).
There’s another great FAQ post over on the forums that you’ll want to check out here. They mention a lot of specific questions that players had, the down side to this is the detailed information about guild halls and guilds. Here are some specifics:
Q: What will happen in a situation where the original ‘owner’ of a guild hall no longer plays the game? There are many guild halls that are currently being maintained by the members of the guild, but the original owner of the plot has moved on from the game and cannot be reached. Can you implement a way for these guild hall plots to be transferred to the current guild leader?
A: There isn’t a way to automate this so the best option would be to contact customer service.
Q: There is a concern that the number of guild halls to be built may exceed the number of plots available. What will SOE do if a guild that had a Qalian (for example) hall prior to the merge, and thus has Qalian materials, finds that there are no Qalian plots left? Will there be a process for guilds to exchange their materials (including the diplomacy item) for that of another continent?
A: You’ll have the opportunity to choose the type you want (diplomacy item). However, you’ll need to re-gather whatever different materials are needed.
Q: In guild halls, will the items be returned to the individual who owns the plot or to the individual who placed the item? How about chests, and the items within chests?
A: The person who placed the items owns them.
Q: What about the trophies? Where will they go? To escrow of the plot owner or the trophy owner? What if the trophy owner is no longer playing?
A: Trophies will go to the trophy owner. If they’re no-longer playing, it will sit in their escrow forever.
Q: Will 6 people still be needed to purchase a guild hall plot? is there any way that this prerequisite can be removed as it will be a challenge for some smaller/casual play guilds to be able to get together six members during the land rush when the server goes live again? Perhaps it would only be removed for anyone who owned a guild hall prior to a certain date?
A: There will be no change to the number of people needed.
I can see some issues arising from this. While I personally will not be affected (as far as I know) there are a lot of players who have guild leaders who have since left the game, or players who have dropped trophies and no longer play. Trophies were a special claim item from purchasing the collectors edition of the game, and are no longer available. They grant members in your guild three types of buffs, one for each sphere.
Personally, I just hope my characters make it through the merge in one piece, and that I can purchase a housing plot at another great location. We’ll just have to wait and see! Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.