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This was posted by Moxie on official L2 forums (http://boards.lineage2.com/showthread.php?t=210715):
In order to promote a healthy and competitive environment, as well as to offer a better overall experience in Lineage II, we will be combining North American servers, as well as European servers, on October 5, 2010. We intend to make this transition as smooth as possible for all of our players and are confident that the end result will provide a thriving community of dedicated Lineage II players.
North American Servers Bartz, Devianne, Sayha, Aria, and Phoenix will be combined into a single server.
European servers Teon, Franz, and Luna will be combined into a single server.
New Server Name Selection Process
We will be accepting new server name nominations (NA EU) from 12:00 PM PDT 9/10/2010 until 10:00 AM PDT 9/14/2010. Once we have sorted name nominations, we will provide polls for the community to vote on the new server names from 10:00 AM PDT 9/15/2010 until 5:00 PM PDT 9/17/2010.
To minimize the number of duplicate name conflicts during the server merge process, we will be deleting any character under level 20 that has not logged into the game in more than one year. This can be prevented by logging into the dormant character any time prior to the server merge on October 5, 2010.
The number of total character slots per server will remain at 7 per account. If a single account has more than 7 characters across the servers being merged, the 7 characters with the highest amount of experience will be kept, while the remaining will be deleted. If you feel this scenario may affect you, please consider moving items from lower level characters to higher level characters to prevent the loss of any desired items or consider deleting characters that you choose not to keep.
More specific merge information (clans, alliances, castles, Olympiad, etc.) will be provided at a later time.
Thanks for your continued loyalty to Lineage II.
So, what do you think about that?
I think merging 3 EU servers into 1 is OK, but 5 NA into 1 is a bit too much. I think they should go with 2 NA servers and 1 EU. Or even better, no server merges, go with free 2 play option with item shop, and I bet a lot of new players would come.