Character transfers slated for RIFT 1.3 and free “for the foreseeable future”

Trion Worlds tore open the barrier between RIFT servers today, announcing that character transfers will be available in the next Patch 1.3 and that the service will remain free “for the foreseeable future, and could become a permanent addition to the RIFT experience.”

While we predicted that character transfers will first be free-to-use for a limited time before converting to a full pay-per-activation model, Trion Worlds clearly thinks that it can do without penny pinching subscribers who want to reunite with their pals.

“MMOs are all about playing with your friends no matter which server they’re on, and that’s why we’re offering this as a free service to our subscribers,” said executive producer Scott Hartsman.

Character transfers will also be a boon to those looking to cut down their dungeon queue times since they can now transfer away from very high or very low population servers, both of which have been known to have lengthier wait periods.

Guild transfers will also be unlimited for the time being, although reports are coming in that Trion Worlds will determine which servers will be open for inward guild transfers.

Here are the nitpicky details from the Character Transfers FAQ:

  • Only selected shards will be available for inward transfer. You can check the list of available shards through a new in-game interface.
  • One character transfer, per character, to a select shard every 7 days. This is subject to change depending on testing.
  • No restrictions on shard type transfer. You can transfer from a PvE server to PvP server, RP to PvE, etc.
  • NA to European shard not yet allowed. Transatlantic transfers currently not available.
  • All items will be carried over. Yes, including your adorable Corgi pet.
  • Early summer release. Patch 1.3 – and the character transfers – will arrive in time for summer break.
  • First one in server keeps his or her name. If you transfer to a server with a character with the same name, you will have to re-name your toon or guild.

Trion Worlds confirmed that there will initially be no limits to the frequency of character transfers, clearly hoping that players will spread themselves across the servers with little policing from the developers. If all goes well, players will earn gear and RIFT Platinum faster than ever before.

With all these “free forever and unlimited” news, fans from other MMOs like World of Warcraft are wondering aloud if their games should scrap their paid character transfer services, which could reach up to $25 per activation.

Critics counter that RIFT is not really doing anything groundbreaking, since WoW also offers free character transfers although only from and to a few servers at a time.

What do you think EpicToon fans? Do you think it’s time we demand wider character transfer services, even do away with idea of paying for them?