Ole Herbjornsen has updated the official developer blog beginning with apologies for being "absent" for so long:
Yes, I have been quiet for some time. Yes, I feel ashamed. Yes, I promise to update this blog on a more regular basis. Yes, yes, yes...
After that, however, he hits the ground running with lots of news about texturing in the game with specific regard to the ground. It doesn't sound that exciting but when the textures are viewed between old and new, it IS exciting.
Well, after looking at the usage of ground textures, we decided that we wanted to reduce the quantity of ground textures while at the same time improve the visuals of the game if possible. A lofty goal but a noble cause ;) First we set about identifying the ground textures which were similar to each other and could be marked as duplicates for later removal. The ones we had left we wanted to optimize (run faster, use less memory etc) and polish (look better, more bling). After some testing and discussion we decided to focus on three key areas: a) add specular map b) normal map and c) remove patterns in the texture so we could use the same texture in a bigger area without it looking like the texture was repeating itself. Regarding a) and b) just look them up on the net if you want more info or just accept that they look great when they work as intended :)
The blog has some old/new screenshots of the new textures so be sure to check them out.