While I think LOTRO is gaining popularity in general some servers are having serious problems that need fixed to ensure a happy player base on all servers.
Over the past year in LOTRO I have been part of several kinships on Imladris. I had not realized the reason till the end of looking but we will get to that in a minute. The first kinship I was a part of on Imladris was dead before I joined it. It was the largest kinship on Imladris but as far as active players it was really the smallest and was dull and boring with nothing ever going on in the kin. I decided to leave because who wants to be part of an inactive kin right?
The next kin I joined was a raiding kin and had several of the best players on Imladris on it and was great for about 2 weeks. This is when they decided they would switch to another kinship on a different server. At this time literally around 100 of the top players on Imladris left the server which started a terrible series of events. Within a week of this happening 4 of the top raiding kins on Imladris had key members transfer away to the other servers. With the top 5 raiding kinships all but dead, the situation looked very dire on Imladris.
I was silly enough to try to combat this by creating my own raiding kinship with several of my friends I had made from PvMP and the raiding kinship to try to create a unified raiding kinship out of the fires of the five. While we had an amazing core group we didn’t have enough members to do a 12 man by ourselves because the 5 dead raiding kinships were all fighting to get all the raiders in their kinship which divided the server even more and prevented it from getting any raiding done at all.
I even tried to join a skirmish kinship since they were the only ones still active on GLFF. The leader of the kinship had already decided he was leaving though and took many more players with him.
PvMP held out the longest out of all the MMO features of LOTRO. They too however eventually stoped going to the moors. There are still a few who get on PvMP but it is such a small number that it is not really worth continuing to play on. This is why I started a new Creep on Landroval since they have a very active PvMP server.
Over the next month more and more players transferred from Imladris or stopped playing all together. As you have seen the server had quickly transferred in only around 5 weeks from an everything server to just a solo server. With few interactive events but really no sign of the server being an MMO, I considered the server dead and decided to leave for good.
Character transfers are expensive ventures at $24.95 or 3,000TP they are serious things to consider but I had my mind made up since I had scouted Landroval and knew it was a much more active server. While it was hard to leave the friends I had made on the server it was worth every penny to be on an active server. While I have not been on Imladris since I have left, according to my friends on it even more people have left the server since my departure and they are considering leaving as well.
I am sure Imladris is not the only server which has less than satisfying numbers and I think this is a real problem that needs to be addressed.
So how could Turbine help the players on dying servers?
I think there are several things Turbine could do…
1. Turbine could offer free character transfers to leave the dying servers which could allow for players to have the option to get to a better server which could encourage them to stay playing LOTRO. I know a few players stopped playing LOTRO because they didn’t want to pay for a transfer which is sad because this is a really great game and so giving players the option to change could fix this problem.
2.Turbine could offer free character transfers to the dying servers to try to give them a new rush in player numbers and maybe save the servers.
3.Turbine could close down the dying servers and offer free transfers to other servers which could save Turbine operating costs and allow for players to be on more populated servers for free but could upset players who did not want to move.
Turbine has a real problem on their hands because Imladris is a dying server and needs help. I am sure it is not the only dying server as well because I have heard that some of the other servers created during Free to Play have also been in severely under populated numbers recently. LOTRO is an MMO and players deserve to have an interactive community and it is really just sad what has happened on Imladris. I hope one day Imladris returns to its former glory but for now it is all but dead.
So what do you think Turbine should do?