Today's Queue has a bunch of great questions, glad to be able to answer 'em for you.
Let's get started...
Do you foresee either a new Warcraft RTS or perhaps an RTS minigame within WoW itself? Would be wonderful to go back to roots.
Blizzard has never shut the door on a new Warcraft RTS game, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a ways off, if it ever happens. We're talking 10 years or more. The WoW story is just too deep and critical to all of Activision-Blizzard right now, they're not going to do anything to segment the franchise. EQ did that and they failed wonderfully. Of course a new RTS is not the same as making a WoW 2, but it's close enough that I doubt the business risk would be taken.
A minigame RTS would be interesting, but I don't see how the current game systems would allow it to play out in any meaningful way. And before this rumor rears its head again ... no, WoW's graphic engine isn't the same one used in WC3.
From my perspective in covering Blizzard's actions every day, I see that their MMO focus is split between WoW and Titan (and not to either's detriment – let's also not get into that A-Team/B-Team crap), and between Diablo and SCII. They've all got their excellent designers, artists, and coders; I don't really see where a new RTS would fit here.
But hey, if it were to happen, that'd be pretty awesome!
How realistic was Kara's opera event compared to what really goes on at an opera?
As some of you may know, I recently took a part time job as the "internet guy" for the Minnesota Opera, helping them improve their site and everything that deals with electronic communication. This is actually the second time I've worked for a non-profit, the first time being with a symphony orchestra up in Fargo, ND. So I've been around a lot of opera and concerts professionally.
The opera event has some elements of truth in it. The stage is essentially as it would be for any dramatic event, and the story adaptations would all be plausible in their own way.
One thing that doesn't really jive is the stage manager making the pre-show announcement. That's usually left to the music director, conductor, or an executive. The stage manager is pretty damn busy at the start of the show, and going on stage is the last thing on his mind (also another job I had at one point).
The audience is pretty spot on, cheering at the right points and being slightly more than silent. Opera audiences tend to be a little more lively than symphony audiences, but not as much as jazz shows.
The hall itself is kind of strange in that there's a lot of division between the stage and the audience. Most performance halls have seats right up to the stage/orchestra pit.
I'd also like to note that if you like the stories in WoW, then you'll probably also like most operas and classical theater. WoW's plot lines are very old school in many ways, the same story has been told countless times (maybe just not with internet dragons). Operas? Same dramatics that happen when Thrall goes on a vision quest and comes back to a whole host of new problems; the only difference is it's all live and on stage.
Strength polearms with mastery and parry will we ever see them?
No, I doubt we will. It's sounding increasingly likely that pole arms will be made transmoggable to other 2H weapons, so using them will be an option, in a way.
Many people ask:
What happened to column XYZ about spec ABC?
WoW Insider is a very large and very old site, and there are a lot of great columns that people have come to enjoy that are no longer actively being published. The ebb and flow of columns on a site like ours is entirely natural, and it's a sign of our strength and longevity that each column contributes to, but is not responsible for, our health as a site.
To be perfectly honest: each writer in their own way wanted to step away from their column. Each writer's reasons are different, and all are honorable. No one got in any trouble or anything silly like that. I consider everyone a friend, even those that are not actively writing for us. There's also been no budget slashing or other ridiculousness.
Stay tuned though... I hear there might be good things happening.
Have questions about the World of Warcraft? The WoW Insider 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!