Following last week’s closing down of Icewatch and the initial reshuffling on RIFT‘s European (EU) shards, we did indeed see similar reshuffling on the North American (NA) shards on Friday and over the weekend. The NA cluster was split into two, and each cluster received one new shard (Hailol and Necropolis)– one of which was a PvP shard (Necropolis). Luckily, no shards were forced to be made into Trial shards.
The European community was also reshuffled again with the addition of two new shards– one French-speaking (Nomi – PvE), and one English-speaking (Volan – PvP). The EU shards also saw a separation of clusters. Now all English-speaking shards are in one cluster while the German and French-speaking shards are in another. For a longer summary of these changes, see this thread.
Announced during last Friday’s live stream, Trion will be giving the survivors of the EU Icewatch shard debacle a unique title and some Loyalty rewards. The specifics of either reward aren’t known yet, but this is definitely great to see after the community’s initial reaction last week. The way the team went about the reshuffles over the weekend was also much better, since there was plenty of notice ahead of time and no shards shifted into Trial shards.
Since these new cluster caps are an experiment of sorts, Daglar is still encouraging players to move away from the highest-populated shards and, if new, starting on the newer, less-populated shards. There are currently quite a few high-population shards that are also locked to shard transfers. The team will continue to monitor our shard populations and queues as the days continue.
There’s no doubt about it– RIFT is quite popular right now, which is awesome to see. The low-level maps are bustling, and folks both returning and completely new are journeying into Telara and checking out the game for themselves.