RIFT Shards Being Merged
I don’t know about you but I never like to see shards being merged, they are a pain in the backside and it usually indicates a decline in the playerbase. Today RIFT players logged in to find a server message announcing quite a few shards will be closed or set to trial server and players will need to complete thier transfers by 18 January.
The merges doesn’t mean that the game is in trouble or anything like that so I wouldn’t panic if you are RIFT fan, when the game launched they underestimated the amount of servers they would need to cater for the influx of players and over time players will drop off. So to keep populations healthy mergers can be a good thing. However with the launch of SWTOR you can bet quite a few RIFT players jumped ship but with any luck they will return to RIFT as we have seen with WoW time and time again.
There is no official word from TRION on their forums just yet but no doubt they will post something soon. Just make sure you check the server message to see if you have been affected.