WildStar, now three months past launch, has announced an upcoming major transition. No, the MMO isn't going free-to-play. Rather, today Carbine Studios announced that WildStar would be joining the growing trend of implementing "Megaservers." The existing, traditional server structure will be done away with, splitting the fan-base between just two Megaservers -- one for PvP and one for PvE. No details regarding when Megaservers will go live were announced.
Megaservers, for those unfamiliar, work as if all of the technology supporting the currently in-use stand-alone servers worked together on a single world. There are a couple of ways to do this. Carbine could fill up an instance of players and then when it's filled create a new instance for the next group. Or, they could keep a few instances open at any time and try to average out the player-base across these instances. Of course, these instances can be as big as a zone or as small as a general area. It all depends on what Carbine wants to do.
The goal is, of course, that all players should be able to play with all other players at any given second. It creates the illusion that the world is always full and has done wonders for games like Guild Wars 2 and The Elder Scrolls Online. However, the transition does have some negative impact. The sense of community that goes with representing a server disappears, since all players are grouped into one. Also, the role-playing community is directly stripped of its home -- its safe haven. RP communities willing to deal with being thrown in with the wolves often are forced to find areas of the world where travelers aren't so common.
To help ease the transition for these newly homeless niche communities, Carbine will be implementing several chat channels for players to opt into. These include RP, German, French, German RP and French RP. It's really the least they could do.
Megaservers are really only the first major announcement of the day, however. The second is much more meaningful right now. Transfers have been opened across all live servers -- and they're free:
"One of the things we’re doing to make the wait easier is that as of this post going live, we have put free realm transfers in the game for all players."
Megaservers, for better or worse, are coming in the months ahead WildStar players. In the meantime, if you're unhappy with your current realm, find a new home with a free server transfer today.