In celebration of Independence Day, or a very early Bastille Day if you're not American, today is a super-sized edition of the Queue, filled to the brim with info from the Cataclysm beta. There are spoilers ahead, so be careful!
"Have the plague-affected zones become less ... plague-like? Also is there a time gap between the two expansions?"
The plague isn't completely gone from Azeroth, but in some of the places it affected the most, it's been more or less neutralized. Western Plaguelands especially is an incredibly different place after Arthas' death.
There does appear to be a time leap after Wrath, but we're not sure exactly how long it's been yet; an NPC in Hyjal claims that it's been ten years since your exploits in Outland, which is a pretty big leap, but given how much has changed, that's not very surprising.
"What are the starter pets for each hunter race going to be?"
- Worgen: Mastiff
- Goblin: Crab
- Human: Wolf
- Forsaken: Bat
- Orc: Boar
- Dwarf: Bear
- Troll: Raptor
- Draenei: Moth
- Night elf: Nightsaber
- Tauren: Plainstrider
- Blood elf: Dragonhawk
"Do Worgen actually get top hats?"
They absolutely do, as a reward from a Gilneas quest.
"Are the World Dragons still guarding the portals to the emerald dream? And if so have they scaled in level?"
Ysondre is apparently the only one who survived the Nightmare with sanity intact. Taerar is still around, but crazy, and you team up with Ysondre to put him out of his misery.
"How tall are the worgen compared to humans?"
Roughly night elf height.
"What do the mastery stat that you find on gear do?"
It boosts the effect of your third mastery: Shadow Orb effectiveness for shadow priests, for example, or Elemental Overload damage for elemental shaman.
"Is Old Blanchy still in the game, post-cata?"
Yes, just don't ask if she's alive.
"How does the Worgen transformation work? Is your character wolflike all the time or do you get to choose when to be human or...?"
You can choose to be in human form out of combat if you so desire, but you're forced into worgen form in combat. If you never want to be in human form, you never have to be.
"I heard that STV would be changed a lot. Is it?"
Very much. STV is split into two zones -- Northern Stranglethorn and the Cape of Stranglethorn -- by a huge whirlpool, and quests take place in one zone or the other. There are several new flight paths, brand new questlines and hubs, updates to old questlines, and more. We'll go into detail on STV in an article soon.
Also, Old God blood.
"Will we need to pay for flying in Azeroth?"
Doesn't look that way. You have the ability to fly in Azeroth if you have the ability to fly, period.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW.com crew is here with The Queue, our daily Q&A column! Leave your questions in the comments and we'll do our best to answer 'em!