Posting on behalf of Czar who still hasn't bothered to recover his forum account after the password reset.
Trust the wurm devs to come up with the worst possible solution to the epic problem.
Allow me to predict what will happen: there will be a big increase short term from curious freedomers holidaying, but in the long term it will peter out and be worse than it was before. Hardly anyone with a choice is really going to play epic-exclusive any more, no one is going to grind on epic because that time is much better spent grinding on freedom. Yes, it will be slower, but grinding on freedom allows those skills to be used on freedom, to participate in the freedom market AND gains on freedom can be copied over to epic. If no one grinds on epic, no one really lives on epic (besides the increasingly dwindling epic-only players). It means less presence, less fortifications, less deeds, which hurts pvp. Best case scenario epic becomes challenge-lite, where players doss around for a few days then go home to their "real characters".
I argued with Retro about this, we agree that epic's population will almost always be drawn from freedom players, but the main reason they don't come is because they have to start over. Time spent on epic comes at a cost of time that would be spent on freedom. Ok so you've solved half of that problem, but if you want them to _stay_ on epic for any length of time, their time on epic must not be "wasted". With all the epic perks now gone, this is why I argued for two-way traffic for skills using some kind of fair system and perhaps letting the curve and the skill bonus be epic's attractive feature.
Do we even have to talk about the power differential? ... despite Epic apparently being "soo easy" to skill on, the top epic players aren't even in the same league as the top 100 freedom accounts. Diminishing returns on skill gain, esp body stats, this all falls on deaf ears, but there is no point in having that argument again if you are going to turn epic into epic unlimited. This is not going to help matters.
This isn't a merge, this is ill-thought-out destruction. You seem to be channelling Bertolt Brecht solving the epic problem by dissolving the epic player base and replacing it with another.