I'm not in the alpha, so I'm going to sulk, drink my coffee, and look longingly at this beautiful shot of Shadowmoon Valley. Oh, and answer some questions, too!
Q4tQ: So far, what is the one single thing you are glad to see removed in WoD and the one thing you are not so happy about being removed?
As other commenters have said, I am incredibly happy to have hit and expertise removed. I will also be happy to see the back of reforging, which in recent times has come to feel less like a way to make poorly-itemized gear useful and more like yet another raiding gear requirement to juggle. As a resto druid, I will also not miss the spell Nourish, which has been rendered 100% useless in Mists and is not even on my bars. I guess that's not "one thing", huh.
I will, however, miss Symbiosis, because it's fun and I like getting warlock teleportations.
q4tq: is there a reason why some race-gender combinations have two casting animations, whereas some only have one?
I think this is a matter of the age of the model, mostly. Human models were some of the first designed and implemented, and thus some of their animations and designs are not as impressive or fluid as others. There is, sadly, a huge disparity of quality between many models that were available when WoW launched. I think my female night elf has held up far better than my female troll, for example. (Sad trombone.)
It could also be a flavor thing, like the jumping animations. Night elves and blood elves get an extra option to flip or spin mid-jump, but nobody else does.
Q4tQ: Should Tree Form be permanent again? Barkskin could become passive, allows the use of other healing passives, other shapeshift stuff would stack with the tree form (like Shadowform does ) and could lead to alternate tree forms depending on druid race
I am going to scandalize fellow druids here by saying: no, it should not. There are a couple of reasons I feel this way--first, I know plenty of druids who do not take the talent for tree form at all, and the option for alternate builds is fun, as is the option to have at least one druid class that allows us to show off our transmogs. (Seriously, my feral mog is awesome, but no one ever gets to see it.)
Secondly, because I think it's pretty clear that tree form was never intended to be permanent for resto druids. When tree form was implemented in Burning Crusade, there were a number of spells that couldn't be used while you were in it, decurse and cleanse poison being the most important of them. You had to shift back to caster form to use them. At the time, I and my fellow resto druids complained bitterly about this--why give us this form if we couldn't use all our tools while in it? In retrospect, however, I can see that the original intended function of tree form was probably for druids to shift into tree form during periods of intense healing to give a boost to those healing spells. The implementation was, however, imperfect, and what ended up happening was that we druids just stayed in tree form all the time, and raids assigned other classes to do things like decurse and cleanse poisons.
Taken from that perspective, having tree form be a cooldown is probably how it should have been designed all along.
Q4tQ: I want to learn more about Baine Bloodhoof. Where should I look? Are there any quests in-game that feature him, or are there any books that build his character?
Baine doesn't have much of a presence in-game, unfortunately, but features pretty regularly in the extended universe products. He's got his own Leader Short Story, As Our Fathers Before Us (which is free to read online), and has a bit part in the novel Stormrage, and more important parts in The Shattering: Prelude to Cataclysm, Jaina: Tides of War, and the more recent War Crimes.
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!