Today Turbine announced that they will be taking over the EU servers from Codemasters. And there was much rejoicing. Codemasters has never delivered on a lot of the very nice things Turbine has done for us on this side of the pong, specifically My.LOTRO and the Lorebook. However, one thing that Codemasters did that Turbine refused to do was to designate RP servers.
Landroval has always wanted to be the official RP server. They are the 'unofficial' RP server, as we all know. To be honest, I'm glad that Landy has never had that official designation. It allows other servers to have an RP community as well. Of course even if it were declared official there would still be some RPers on the other servers. However most of them would either originally roll on Landroval or transfer over. At any rate, we have what we have and the transfers to Landroval have been turned off for some time now. Other servers such as Crickhollow and Windfola have been harboring small but active RP communities.
With today's announcement, Sapience said that the RP servers from the EU would maintain their designation. I see this as very bad for those who RP on current NA servers. In fact, I think this will be the death of RP on our current servers. By having one server a designated and official RP server, it indicates to any future RPers that that is the server they should be on. It will also encourage those willing to plop down $25 per character to transfer over to that server. These two things combined suggest not only RP drain in the short term, but long term dwindling of RP numbers on the current NA servers.
I've seen some people on the forums suggest "Well then why don't you just move to Laurelin too?"
That is ridiculous.
I have spent almost four years on Windfola. I am an officer in a kin that is like family to me and have become 'real-life' friends with. I also have friends not in my kin and although some people on the server can be jerks, I love my community on Windfola. Not to mention, no WAY I am going to spend $25 per character x9 just so I can partake in some quality RP. Turbine has never had designation on their servers because they said that every server should be an RP server - and I wholeheartedly agree! I shouldn't have to move to a specific server after playing for four years just because I want to RP.
I feel that they should take away the RP designation from the EU servers so as not to alienate the already thriving RP communities of the NA servers.
I realize that what people like about an RP server is that it promotes more 'immersion' and (theoretically) fewer stupid names and less OOC in /say etc etc. And yeah, I'd like that too in an ideal world. But this is an MMO and I realize that not everyone is going to have the same appreciation of the lore that I do and not everyone is into character crafting and story telling. Some people are more interested in playing video games and sometimes I am too. My point here is that when I'm RPing, it's just a matter of ignoring the people I don't want to see. RP on Windfola can be an uphill struggle in the snow sometimes, but I still manage to have fun in the end, despite someone named Tunasandwich coming into the middle of a story and flailing a cowbell solo [Note: I just made that up, but it's not totally unreasonable occurrence]. You make your own fun.
On that note though, if all the RP drains from the NA servers, RP fun becomes impossible on those servers. We all know RP is more fun in groups. Lord of the Rings wouldn't have been nearly as compelling a story if it was just Frodo by himself deciding to go to Mordor all alone.
Some might say I want to have my cake and eat it too, but I say: If I'm going to have a slice of cake I should be able to eat the damn thing!
Edit 4/30: As mentioned in the comments, I've found a post on the forums that does a much better job of saying what I so poorly attempted here. Here is LadyDess's post regarding her concerns for the RP on smaller NA servers.