First things first: Trion is not deleting any characters or their progress! They are, however, deleting names of inactive characters. This means that if you have not logged in with that specific character in the last year you are going to lose his or her name after January 31, 2018 before midnight, Pacific Time UTC -8).
Additionally, they are not doing that with all of their games. Only Rift, ArcheAge and Trove (only the PC version) are affected. With Trove, it’s rather easy. You only have one name and switch between classes. In Rift you can have characters on all their servers, so it takes some time to log through all of them. In my case, this included characters on US and EU servers as you can play in both regions with your account!
And if you’ve always wanted a specific name, I guess you can try again at some point after the name-wipe to see if it became available again!