The Burning Legion exists in the alternate Draenor timeline, yes. Gul'dan has already made contact with them, but the rest of the orcs haven't partaken of the demon blood. The Draenei were also driven to Draenor (which they named) by the Burning Legion, so the Legion must exist for the Draenei to be there. Will that Legion team up with Azeroth Prime's Burning Legion? It's possible. Blizzard has said we won't have two versions of any character running around in the same place, but that may not apply in every case. One Legion could possibly devour the other one. Who knows?
for a while, the weekly server maintenance was very compact.. a few hours during the dead of night. It seems we're back to almost full days again. Is there any indication on the Blizz side why this is? The half-day downtime started way back in the day when they had serious infrastructure flaws and were literally swapping out servers and upgrading wiring on that day to support the expolsive growth. This is no longer the case, as hardware hasn't been surpassed by network infrstructure again. I mean, ya.. it's not THAT big of a deal, in the long run, but it seems to be rising back up to that level of downtime.
It seems to be feast or famine when it comes to server maintenance. I don't keep track of downtime too closely, but sometimes it seems like we go months with little to no downtime, then get a few weeks in a row of long/extended downtime. That can make it tough to predict -- a long stretch of no downtime lulls you into a sense of security, then it's down for 8 hours.
Personally, I just assume there will be maintenance every week and plan for an inability to play Blizzard games Tuesday morning/afternoon. Even if there is no downtime, it's kinda nice to know I won't be tempted to play when I could be doing more productive things. Sucks pretty hard for people who have Tuesday as one of their few days to play, though.
If you could implement one not-WoW fictional race into the game, what would it be and why?
One caveat before I go: it can neither be another race of humans (so no 'Humes', or what-have-you) unless they have been wildly transformed by external processes, nor another version of a race that is already here (no Tolkien Orcs or D&D elves).
Listing Mass Effect races might be cheating since they're more sci-fi than fantasy, but Mass Effect has some of my favorite fictional races ever. The asari, the turians, the krogan, drell, salarians ... all awesome in their own way. I'd happily play any of them. The Mass Effect 3 multiplayer had me in its death grip for a long, long time, because it allowed me to do just that.
If we wanted fantasy, I'd love to play some kind of fairy. Or faerie. Whether it be the Tinkerbell variety or the deadlier variety. I love fairies. I installed a fairy door in my house. Seriously.
will the new models have some 'off-faction' options, such as Mag'har skin for Orcs, Dark Iron skin for Dwarves high elf ears or similar for forsaken.
As was mentioned in the comments yesterday, Blizzard isn't currently doing that but have said they'd love to do it at some point. That doesn't mean they will, but they'd like to.
Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near?
It's the old suet-in-the-pocket trick. Works every time. The ladies love it.