I'm new in this forum, although I've played 4X games since I was a kid. Sid Meyer's Pirates, Railroad Tycoon, Civilization, etc.
In 1996 I spent tons of endless nights playing Master of Magic, which I think is the best game ever invented.
Elemental takes inspiration from MoM, of course, and I think there are some areas in which it should EXCEL.
1) Diplomacy: diplomacy, both in Civ or MoM, has never played a mayor role. This thing should change (and it can be made without making changes to the game engine, or graphics). Having lots of options and opportunities for diplomacy, as well as having "metrics" to measure the impact of your actions, etc, would be a great add. Knowing, for example, that my Djinn, stationed nearby an enemy city, is worrying my neighbor, would be useful.
2) Espionage: again, even Civ4 has a little espionage option, and of course MoM didn't have it. It would be great to see another set of "individuals" that can help you out; you have heroes to fight, and "agents" to infiltrate the enemy lines and do different things. Infiltrates could be not just humans or elves, but also strange creatures. They could have the option to spy on a city, destroy a building, steal a spell, etc.
3) Complexity: the risk of adding too many spells, races etc is complexity. These games should be DEEP, but not TOO complex. Too complex means that you are adding unnecessary option that don't add anything to the game.
4) I still play MoM every once in a while, despite his 640x480 vga graphic. The game is GREAT anyway. Elemental will have great graphics, but graphic is not what makes a game GREAT. Remember ASCII-based Moria game?
Just my two cents.
Now, a question for you: when is the Alpha coming out? If I pre-order Elemental, would I get the Alpha, or will I need to wait for the beta? If so, when?