Characters are now added to the game! What characters are these then? Well, they are like heroes in the sense that they are individuals in your employ that you can boss around sending them on various missions, etc. However, they are not quite as formidable as a hero. Your characters can be sent on tasks, for example, a sergeant-at-arms could be tasked with assisting in the training of a regiment, a caravan master could be sent to trade with far away lands, a hunter could be sent to eradicate nasty wildlife threatening one of your settlements, etc.
You can find your characters by clicking the “Characters” item on the top menu bar – next to Quests and Magic. Tasks aren’t implemented yet, so at the moment you can just inspect your loyal followers, see what traits and classes they have, and wonder what fantastic adventures they will be able to have in the next update!
WinXP users get .NET 4.0: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17851 instead of 4.5 (which is not compatible with XP).