With next week's alpha 7 build, questing and companies will be introduced into the game as will possible new terrain types. Then when alpha 8 comes along, the sandbox MMO will make the jump to its early enrollment servers. This update will also include Elves, Dwarves, a graphical upgrade, expendables, storage, auction houses, banks, and more terrain options.
Part of the purpose of these new builds is to conduct what the devs are calling a "cold start" to see how players advance when they begin with nothing but a club and the clothes on their back. "Everything your character possesses and every ability your character learns after that point will be totally dependent on how you choose to play the game," the devs posted.
[Thanks to Chrysillis for the tip!]