Apparently the imminent 1.3 patch for Rift will be creating dedicated trial servers. Only trial accounts will be able to make characters on a trial server, and if a player chooses to subscribe to the game they'll be able to transfer to a normal server of their choice for free.
This seems like a rather odd thing to do. On the one hand I can see a benefit -- spammers won't be able to use trial accounts to harass paying customers since they'll be segregated by server. On the other hand, it doesn't seem conducive to creating an environment that will encourage trial players to actually subscribe to the game. The population will be incredibly unstable, as players either decide the game isn't for them and stop playing or subscribe and move to a different server. Rift is a game where population density is very important, since events and rifts respond dynamically to player population. Unless the trial servers have a constant stream of incoming players to keep the population high I can't imagine playing on a trial server will be much fun.
Plus, one of the ways in which trial players can be retained is by allowing them to become part of their server community, make friends, and so not want to leave when the trial is up. That's going to be hard on a trial-account-only server as instead of joining a community and sticking with it, players will likely have momentary acquaintances who disappear every day and IF the choose to subscribe they'll have to pick a server and hope to find a welcoming community there. It doesn't strike me as very welcoming.
Now, one would hope that Trion has data showing how many trial players they currently have and how many new trials are created each month, such that a dedicated trial server will have a reasonable population. Hopefully. Still, I'm not sure there are enough benefits to having a segregated trial server to make it worth risking potential customers. Anyone else see benefits to this that I'm missing?