Lineage II's "truly free" gamble seems to be paying dividends, as NCsoft has just announced plans to roll out a new server to cope with the overwhelming demand.
The shard is open for business as of today, and it's been christened Bartz as a nod to an older (and extremely popular) server that was merged earlier in the game's lengthy lifespan. NCsoft is not allowing transfers to the new shard, so you'll have to create a new toon if you want to check it out. On the plus side, there are several server-first rewards up for grabs, all of which will result in immortality via the Lineage II website.
Competitions include forming the first party, defeating the Queen Ant raid, being the first clan to reach level five, and being the first player to complete the first and second class transfer quests. Finally, NCsoft has announced a spiffy exclusive for denizens of the Shilen server. The first character who completes his or her awakening quest will receive a jet bike mount bracelet that grants a permanent skill transformation and the appearance of riding on a huge steampunk bike (pictured above).