Community Manager Bashiok has announced via the official World of Warcraft forums that free character transfers from select high-population US realms will open next week as a response to the ever-expanding log-in queues currently affecting some players.
Realms confirmed for transfer so far include:
Area 52 and Stormrage –> Turalyon
Tichondrius and Illidan –> Blackrock
Bleeding Hollow and Darkspear –> Korgath
The target date for complimentary transfers to begin was given as “the middle of next week,” meaning Tuesday 1/14 or Wednesday 1/15 are both likely candidates. Players will be given a full week to complete their character migration unless their desired destination server reaches capacity before the 7-day mark. Available transfers will be announced on the front page of the World of Warcraft website once they are officially open.
This latest attempt to alleviate overcrowding comes despite the news that World of Warcraft’s active subscription base had dropped to 7.6 million players in the last quarter of 2013, perhaps indicating that the game’s overall health status is not quite as dire as previously expressed by doomsayers in the community.