Auto-Tool Use: For gathering, it will be enough if the right tool is in your inventory. You will no longer have to equip it. This also means that you weapon will not go on cooldown when you gather something. You can still equip a tool, but you will only really need to if you want to fight with it.
Rare Resources: There will be rarer versions of existing ressources that will spawn randomly (i.e. an existing resource node has a certain change to transform into a rare node for a certain amount of time). Those rare resources are used to craft rare items.
Other Notable Features
Mounts: We will add abilities to certain mounts, and possibly also auto-attacks to certain mounts to Buy Albion Online Gold. However, while doing this, we will be extra careful as we do not want mounts to be too powerful in chasing down fleeing players to keep open world PvP balance in check.
Arena/Solo PvP Options: This is still at concept stage, but definitely on our to do list.
A lot of additional small changes and improvements, that are too minor to list seperately.
Looking at the above feature list, we will not be able to have everything ready for the next Alpha test. However, if you have followed us before, you know that we are quite good at getting a lot of things done in a short amount of time.
Still, if we already launched the Winter Alpha in December, we believe that we would present you with a version of the game that would be far below its potential and still too similar to the current version for the test to be meaningful.
As we really want to present you with significantly improved game, we have decided to start the Winter Alpha in mid/late January. By then, our goal is to achieve at least 50% of the points mentioned on the list above. A specific start date for the Winter Alpha will be published in December.