When the models do go fully live it won't be as a "pick your avatar" option. Instead you'll have a male or female avatar permanently assigned to your Steam ID. It's the same deal with how race (or at least skin tone) is assigned in the game. Penis size also works that way but apparently that was serendipitous - the result of how skeletons are constructed for animation and the fact that one of these "bones" is the penis.
As developer Garry Newman says via the dev blog*:
"To clear up some confusion, when we it does go live you won’t get a choice of whether you’re female or male. We’re not 'taking the choice away' from you. You never had a choice. A man’s voice coming out of a woman’s body is no more weird than an 8 year-old boy’s voice coming out of a man’s body."
This latest update has brought a number of other options too, including Steam Inventory integration. The items which are part of that system will be purely cosmetic, awarded to players based on playtime and won't be charged for by the developers. At the moment it's only giving you the option to earn (and thus craft) some of the clothing items but armour is up for consideration as part of that system. It might introduce a pay-to-win element hence caution but there are several upsides or mitigating factors (needing to harvest materials in order to use it, potentially losing the armour to another player, the blueprint being a likely early drop anyway...) so Facepunch are accepting player feedback on the idea.
Looking down the rest of the list we have chat about cars, bug fixing info, crossbow progression and all that other stuff. What I most liked the sound of, though, was the ambient sound management.
"This week I finally finished up the first real pass at weather-influenced ambience. You’ll hear rain hitting the tree leaves when it rains in the forest, and some days will be windier than others. Things like wind volume levels and the thresholds that we switch between different weather sounds will probably need a bit of tuning still, but I’m pretty happy with where we’re at so far."
The number of sounds that are now in the game means the management system for which one plays at any given time is a bit wonky so reworking that is on the list for the coming week.
I'm not much into survival games - I'll play them for adventures with friends but mostly I like exploring the worlds and anything with a thirst-ometer and potentially hostile other players gets in the way of that. But talk of trees and rain and weather always gets me excited.
It reminds me of the first time I appeared in Day-Z and the exhilarating moment where the scrubby plants and the beach reminded me of a part of the Kent coast I know so well.
*It is the same blog which former RPS writer Craig Pearson runs as part of his work on the game.