See also: About the World Merge and Character Transfers (02/09/2012)
Well, I'm calling it "New Figaro", at least.
Square-Enix announced a controversial move the other day that it is pretty much going away with all 18 servers, forming 10 new servers, and making everyone who is still playing go to one of these new servers in an attempt to consolidate servers and make it easier on those who are playing and sticking it out.
Here is their planned move:
When Final Fantasy XI started closing servers a few years back, they simply merged all the characters in one world and dumped them into another. This caused all kinds of conflicts because well-known people lost their character identities. Famous people from a server had to come back as another name. Less creative people added an extra letter to their name in order to try and maintain what was theirs. Linkshell names were cyber-squatted and held for ransom on destination worlds, and the whole system was a convoluted mess.
XIV is trying to get rid of that whole thing by doing this system. However, the way they are proposing is setting them up for a catastrophic mess.
1. They are giving all current players a window of time to choose one of the "New World"s to go to. If it is not chosen in a specific window, then they will be randomly allocated to a new server.
I know a well-handful of people who are sitting out of the game until Version 2.0, moving them to a random server while they're not playing is not going to entice them to come back.
2. There's no plans for server transfer while version 1.0 is active.
For those who may return, unless they have plans for this in the future, won't have a chance to be on the same server as their friends or old LS mates if they don't choose one in time.
3. Linkshells/Friend Lists are going to be deleted.
This one I am kind of used to. Unlike Final Fantasy XI, in which I had a pretty decent sized friend list, most of my friends on FFXIV are on Facebook and I keep in touch with them through there, for that reason I don't really use FFXIV's Friend List function. However, for those who use just the game to communicate, this is going to be a pain in the ass to try and re-connect with them..
4. The 10 new servers are going to be named after the 10 most popular servers at the time of the server switch.
This is understandable and will ease the transition. I'm pretty sure Figaro is decent size and will be one of the names to choose from soon. Other server names may not be as lucky. (Karnak or Bodhum, for example.)
My one big suggestion for all of this is that they need to have a one-time server transfer for those who come back to the game and want to re-connect with friends who are also coming back. They don't seem to be taking this into account, and to me that's [another] nail in the coffin.
As for me and my linkshell (and others on Figaro seem to be following suit), we're all going to go to either "New Figaro" or New World 06.
I hope this goes well.