I for one do not like the idea of essence cost for non-permanent spells provided that essence does not regenerate (which is the impression I have gotten from other dev journals). If that was the case, I fear it would make spells WAAAAY too rare in the game, and all of those pretty animations would be wasted. Of course, if the costs and spells can be modded, I don't really care WHAT they put in, as I can change it when I get the game. (Not a big multiplayer guy).
Over all, a built-in animation editor looks really cool. Can we use it to crerate animations for other things (I'm thinking GC2 weapons), or do the spells use a unique file format that cannot be converted?
Oh, yeah: and BoogieBac looks almost exactly like my middle school IT support guy.