A new feature is coming to Need For Speed: World tomorrow, which is called "Server Shards". To put it simple, shards are new servers that will be used to run the game, but the catch is that you cannot transfer your driver from one shard to another. Meaning, if you create a player in the "European 1" server, for instance, you won't be able to login in the "European 2" server with the same driver. You will have to create a new one from scratch just to login in that server. This includes having to buy all cars and parts, a new friend list, level up again, etc. Basically, it is a new driver, but only available in that server.
Up until now, every player could login to either the North American or European server without losing any progress.
If you are interested in all the details, read the quote below, which comes from World's website.
After tomorrow's patch you're going to notice a new option on the Need for Speed World Launcher / Patcher, "Select Shard".
Shards are essentially new servers that we're going to start deploying for World in the coming weeks and months. Each Shard contains its own available set of Driver slots. Drivers created on one Shard are not available for use on another Shard.
What does the "Select Shard" option do?
It allows players to switch between different servers (Shards) and Regions. These Shards may contain multiple Regions and are displayed in a (Shard) – (Region) format. For example, after tomorrow's patch the options will be "Apex - NA" and "Apex - EU".
Please note that existing Players (accounts created prior to multiple shard support) will be located on the APEX shard. Players created after multiple shard support will be located on the Shard they were created on.
What is multiple shard support?
It's when there will be more than one Shard deployed for NFS World. After tomorrow's patch there will only be the "Apex" but the team is planning on deploying more shards in the coming weeks / months.
Will this affect my login information at all?
Your Login information remains the same for all Shards/Regions.
If my account is on the Apex shard will I be able to play on the new shards when they are deployed?
Players will be able to log into new shards and will need to create a new Driver to play. Drivers only exist on a specific shard; Drivers created before multiple shard support will be on the Apex shard.
What about my Friends List?
Your Friends List will also specific to each Shard. Only Drivers located on the same Shard can be added.
What about my Performance / Visual parts, Skill Mods and in-game cash?
Your Drivers’ inventories will also be specific to a shard. For example, if your Driver is on the Apex shard, your parts will only exist on the Apex shard. If you log onto a new shard you will need to create a new, unique driver.
What about my SpeedBoost & Gifts?
Any SpeedBoost balance & unclaimed gifts are available on any Shards/Regions.
Will I lose anything if I log into a different shard?
No, if you log into a new shard you'll essentially have to create a new driver for that shard.
So what do the Regions do now?
Regions determine only who is visible in Free Roam and who they are matched with for Multiplayer/Race Now events. This restriction only applies to normal matchmaking. Private Events can include players from any Region (within the same Shard).
Can I play against players on different shards?
Players cannot see/match make with players on different Shards, even when the Region selected is the same.
If you have any questions about Shards you can get answers by asking @NFSWorld on Twitter, posting on the NFS World Facebook page or join the discussion on the Forums.