Funcom begins the process of consolidating servers for its fantasy MMO, Age of Conan, this week.
With the game having sold well at launch but lost many of its subscribers in the months since, the move is intended to bring a stop to declining server populations, and give players a busier environment.
In a forum post, community manager Glen Swan revealed that the process would begin with the merger of two US servers for the Oceanic region, Bloodspire and Hyperborea, this week.
The remaining merges will take place on a staggered timetable before Christmas, with a full list to be published soon.
Each time servers are merged, there will be a few hours of downtime across the entire US or European server network, as appropriate. All subscribers will be credited with free game-time to make up the difference.
Swan also said that players would be offered a free-of-charge, single-use character transfer option after the merges take place - one for each character. This is to enable them to move servers if they're unhappy with their new, merged communities.
A final option will be to start a new character on one of four "fresh start" servers that Funcom will open after the merges are complete - one each for PVP and PVE rulsets, in US and European territories.