Borderlands Patch to Test Sequel's Tech and Add Steamworks Support

According to a report from Kotaku, an upcoming Borderlands patch should introduce a data-mining technology - similar to what BioWare is already doing - and Steamworks support in the PC version of Borderlands. Apparently, the first is meant to be a feature in the game's sequel, and its introduction in the first game is meant as a "test" for the technology.
"This technology, dubbed B-Test for this patch, is about increasing the relationship between you and us, " Gearbox president Randy Pitchford said as he announced the patch at a Gearbox panel at PAX. The new tech will send data back to Gearbox, letting them know "which guns suck", which areas aren't being visited and other info that, presumably, Gearbox can tweak.

"This will allow us to make better games," he said.


The addition of Steamworks support, Pitchford said, will help people not lose their saves, which people will be able to save in the cloud.

[UPDATE: I spoke to Pitchford after the panel and he clarified that the B-test may be used to test a two-way connection between players of that game and Gearbox, the intent is to test that tech so that we'll see it actually work and affect change and interaction post-launch in and around Borderlands 2. Pitchford emphasized to me that it would be a two-way connection but doesn't want to divulge more details or over-promise.]

Here's how Gearbox describe the update themselves:
Detailed during our panel at PAX Prime, BTest is the code-name for an experimental update coming to the Steam version of Borderlands PC on September 9.

The result of ongoing work within Gearbox Labs, BTest offers you the chance to help us tune and improve our games. By choosing to participate in BTest, you can help us learn more about your favorite parts of Borderlands ...just by playing the game! For example, what guns are the most popular and effective, what areas are being played the most, and exactly how many times your cat walks across the keyboard.

As an added bonus, BTest also brings Steam Cloud support to Borderlands PC, so you'll never have to worry about a corrupted save or losing your character so long as you have an active internet connection!

While, Community Manager "ChrisF" notes that the patch dubbed "BTest" won't remove GameSpy:
No. BTest does not replace or remove GameSpy.