While the DayZ team wait for that "core network architecture" to hurry up and finish, they've turned their attention to the smaller stuff: stuff like the inventory, the animation, and whether or not the game features handcuffs. (You'll be pleased to hear, 50 Shades of Grey fans, that the answer is now yes.) Some of the changes have been outlined in this post-Gamescom ' devblog ', which also reveals that the zombie A.I is being totally redone (and will likely deploy after the alpha has eventually launched).
You'll find the video after this giant paragraph, but if you don't have 21 minutes to spare here's a list of the salient enhancements in the process of being implemented into the Standalone's alpha version. More user-friendly inventory! More animation transitions! New item degradation system! Player restraints (handcuffs)! The video also contains the revelation that Dean 'Dean Hall' Hall and co. will be replacing the current zombie A.I system, which they've been on working on for the last year, with an entirely new one. Thankfully, this won't affect the Standalone's alpha release - expect it to be patched in further down the line.
But enough talk - here's some more talk, only in video form.