Gamasutra has an interesting little essay up on the potential future of RTS games - one focused less on total annihilation of the enemy and more on the subtle complexities that are the mark of war in the real world. Unlike a lot of pie-in-the-sky game design articles, this one simply mentions a few aspects that could be tweaked and modified in years to come, with the hopes of providing a more satisfying gaming experience:
No RTS game will ever be able to represent politics in lifelike detail. These games are, after all, simplifications of reality. Still, RTS game developers could add a tremendous amount of strategic depth by building politics into their games. Players could be released from micro-managing society and the battlefield, they could be exposed to enemies both within and outside their societies, and they could be given more strategic options than attrition.
It's an interesting little essay if you're into the RTS genre - a little innovation is never a bad thing, since even the most beloved of genres will get a little stale after years and years of more of the same - though I have to wonder how many players would be truly interested in big changes.
The Future Of The Real-Time Strategy Game [Gamasutra]