Vilya server, in Lotro, got the go ahead to merge. Our guild leader sent out frantic Facebook messages explaining the process to everyone, did everything right, and still the merge has made a heck of a mess.
Let me just say the architecture required to have one shard should be mandatory for a game. Older games still advocating separate servers are outdated and way behind the times. Sometimes though, a game just can't see a way to do the impossible.
Server merges mean so many things. Server's tend to have personalities. People become attached. Prices on the auction houses and general sales in chat can vary widely server to server. There has to be careful thought given to how to balance populations.
Forced transfers as one server merges and another accepts the refugees means people are moving around, but it can lead to a bunch of work for everyone involved. The first thing to go was the Vilya Alliance. A band of guilds around for years, we found everyone wanted to go to a different place and there was simply no consensus. Bye bye to friends made over seven year of gaming. See you around.
Character name changes. Our guild went back and forth. A particular person who had a voting block didn't want to risk a forced name change, so they refused to go to the server old members wanted because their name was taken there. With the votes in their pocket, they forced a move to an unpopular server choice. Other members have had to change their names, and I almost left a guild I've been with since 2009 over this crap. I've known a particular player for 5 years, now her name is so different I keep forgetting who she is. Driving me bat shit.
Housing changes have driven us to the edge of sanity. Over the years, our guild had bought up all the property in our neighborhood. It took us a long time. Now with the move, there has been a bunch of jockeying trying to make everyone happy. It isn't working very well. People are trying to trade houses, but they aren't being released, others want us to move to a more open neighborhood, and people who haven't been around as long as others have been asked to give up their housing to make room.
I shopped different neighborhoods until I could find one with my particular housing location available. That was important to me. It's my house. It remains a central location where I decorate for the different seasons and lay my hobbit head at night. So, while I want to sympathize, I don't really. I have rarely been angry with our people, but this shenanigans has blown my rage meter over the top.
I have never seen the officers of the guild so busy conferencing with each other. We are generally pretty drama-free. There has been the odd hiccup over the years. I have a general dislike for a couple of people, but I can play with them. Not everyone is going to like everyone else. I am also VERY protective of the guild. We've been around FOREVER. A rare thing in Lotro. I don't like people messing about with the guild. Our officer's are overloaded trying to figure things out. They've made a bad call or two. It might take a while to heal up some of the fractures.
This merge has caused more hurt feelings and drama in our little group than I have seen in the seven years I've been around. It's really amazing how names, housing locations and lack of knowledge of the new player base can create havoc in a relatively placid company.
I'm going to make a character and NOT put it in the guild so I can cool off. I like dogs so much better than people...