Earlier this month, the developers announced that they will be conducting a full wipe of Salem in an upcoming patch. This will reset the map and delete all characters in order to condense the population onto a single server. Currently the game is running on multiple servers, which the devs deem as "overestablished."
Players are upset that the sandbox MMO is being wiped in light of the team previously promising that it wouldn't do such a thing. Seatribe is sympathetic but resolute: "We did not arrive at this decision lightly. We have considered all our options and for various reasons found them wanting."
The good news is that the patch will add in plenty of new features and tweaks, including a rework of the gluttony system, improvements to character proficiencies, and the implementation of a new map generator. Every item that characters purchased from the store beforehand will be restored to them once the patch goes live.
[Thanks to Nine for the tip!]