I do agree with the frustration many here have.
My opinion for the server as a whole:
I don't think the current server is that hard. The mechanics are awesome, but indeed it need a few tweaks to make some things more feasible for a lower population and still be good on its expansion.
Moreover, you can't simply let down of the ones who stuck around for so long. Many players here encouraged and helped new players by partying, doing quest together very often, running instances that were and are dead.
Not having a wipe but having a slow death is no different. It would have been better to just say there would be indeed a wipe and period. Poor Holly went through all the trouble to defend the staff and all. We all believed that all our TIME INVESTED would be kept in a server that would still have a potential future, and not be thrown in a dead-end server where no one will bother to play anymore knowing it has no future. If I understood well, the current server won't be getting any new player because the registrations to this one are forever closed and won’t be getting any serious updates neither, apart from events.
Don’t get me wrong. The features of the new server look awesome and amazing. The new forger and alchemist raking will be a never-ending exciting battle. The PvP/BG/WoE seems promising. To don’t mention the rest.
But don’t forget to be fair to the ones who stayed faithfully through the hard winter amidst all the adversities and odds. We don’t need to keep a server that will only function as a Museum to remember “the glory of the past” and visit it from time to time for nostalgic purposes. We need something to keep our progression. If the new server will be “easier” for the casual players and not so “hardcore”, why not permit a transfer of accounts? A merge?
New players will have a rapid progression, will be able to catch up in no time. Old players will keep all the efforts and time invested, and will be able to still enjoy the game with even more features. Just don’t throw all our TIME invested after giving all of us hope, even if the new server looks amazing.
Why would many of us keep playing or have joined knowing it would all be gone thrown away? Why to give expectations of NO WIPE and finish to make a covert wipe? It would have been better to be transparent and had the balls to say it right away. Don’t give hope to take it away or to don’t do anything to meet that expectation.
Speaking for my own:
I don’t even have expedition gear III and I can solo Magma 2 pretty good. But I don’t want to see my TIME invested been thrown away, even less to keep that progression in a Museum server that won’t be of any use. I can make screenshots for that matter.
I want to keep playing my freaking account and chars. I don’t want to start over specially after have been reassured SO MANY TIMES that there wouldn’t have any type of wipe. What is happening is no different from a wipe. What I am basically saying is that I want to be able to keep my progress but in a server that has a future. If I wanted to play alone, I would be playing something else.
Don’t let your players down. Even getting awesome features in a new server version, it’s still letting people down after stating so many times that there wouldn’t be any wipes. Why on earth would people keep playing, farming, breaking gear knowing it would all be in vain? I think nobody will log till this situation is cleared. If what you wanted was just a thick player base, congratulations the new server will probably get it. But everyone here knows that a huge mass of them are volatile and I don’t even need to explain why.
I would have spared my time and frustration doing something else. Especially we’re not kiddos in their teens anymore, most of us are in the case of the 30’s, and I think that we deserve some stability and respect, especially on the time invested here, and for some money as well.
The Communication the Staff has with the community as whole must change. It’s not the first time it is mentioned, and it won’t be the last. You can’t simply state there won’t be any wipe, and at the same time force the players to start over again because the actual server is sentenced to death. You can’t promise weekly patches, and don’t give them.
No more secrecy, be more transparent and communicate for God’ sake. Don’t let people who are faithful to you in the dark.
And if you do a testing phase to have a wipe after, do that with insane xp/drop rates, free resets, so the testing with refining, with random and endgame equipment, with different mechanics and game classes can be done in a free headache state. You are going to have your feedback and bugs tracking fast and people will have a better idea to what strive for in game once the real launch is done.
Reiterating: A merge or accounts migration is required. Whatever it is, do it. Many players stayed around, some idled waiting for news just to come back. Don’t let this player base down, you are here today thanks to them, thanks to us. Don’t make your Big Announcement be a source of global frustration and discontentment, make it be for the better of the server and its community.
PS: Don't make all this waiting and sacrifice a 6 months long beta as Lukien stated, it would be very ugly. It should have been cleared a long time with some balls.