The most commonly asked question is “What’s going on with beta?!”

So, with that in mind, we’ll have some beta news, some website news, and some other news.

As to the beta, there was a huge new patch (several gigabytes) just a few days ago that added tons of new content and improvements to the game. We’d say more, but that would break our NDA and we’d be thrown out of our own beta. ;)

To celebrate, we’ve done two things.[]

First, we sent out a wave of several thousand beta invites earlier this week. This takes care of the first round of forum veterans that had not yet received their beta invite, as well as other upstanding (or lucky) individuals. These join the thousands already careening around Hyboria killing Picts, exploring dark dungeons, and sending us lots of bug reports.

We hope you enjoy, guys.[]

Secondly, this weekend, we’ll be doing a PvP test with the Capture the Flag minigame you may have seen demonstrated at Dragoncon and various other shows. It will be one of our first big external PvP tests, so naturally, we’re eagerly anticipating all the feedback on the game itself, as well as valuable information on the performance and abilities of the hardware.

And while this may be the first, it certainly won’t be the last. We’re planning a lot of good stuff coming up in January and since the large-scale PvP will need a large number of players to test it, well…

But perhaps I say too much. ;)

As for the website, we’ve been working on some most-requested features and one of those is RSS feeds so you can keep up with the goings-on around here. We’ve set up one for each community site, with an English feed here, a German feed here, and a French feed here and we hope you enjoy.

One thing we’ve learned about the people who follow Age of Conan is that they have an almost unnatural love for taking surveys, and to that end, we’ve put together a Community Survey. This particular survey covers the usual demographic information, plus some areas of interest to us at Funcom and some areas that are constantly being debated on the forums. Please give us a few moments of your time and fill it out.

Finally, to show but one example of the changes in the new patch, we’ve taken a couple screenshots of the newly madeover Picts. While they were pretty cool before, now they look like the sort of people to chop you into bits and wear your face as a hat, which is, after all, the general idea when it comes to Picts.