Great ideas in this thread! Not too get so far off topic but I want to see "Create an Artifact" spell as well (like in MoM). All in all, I support any "in game" editor that is tied to the magic system!
I am not against "create an artifact spell or forge but PLEASE use your most skilled developers to properly balance such. I say this because I often find that once one can create things in game it takes away any reason to go on quests or adventure in hope of getting that super ultra rare item "surprise".
I am all for customization during the game set up (at the start of game crating sovereign and making your faction and units choosing what spells to commit to what custom summons you will be allowed to research etc. But once the game has started and all the game play "switches" have been set to what all the players have agreed to it should be all about strategy and how you play your game choices(made before the game started. If not then say you made a nice creative custom faction and your opponent has no clue what he/she is up against once the game is on the way and the "cat is out of the box" he/she can rest assured the tide can change in there favor buy creating items to compensate thus the other side does the same and in the end you end up with two uber factions that one only looses to because of human error or fatigue and not so much strategy and uniqueness to its custom content.
I would not love AoW so much if it did not have all the switches to turn on/off city building, magic, population growth,telephoning, forge, etc.
Frogboy said he wanted to make a "world class AI" well I say let him put lots of effort in that and have him give us the tools to put that AI to the test instead of him trying to spread himself to thin (with dead lines and such trying to put to much pre made content like factions and tech trees, spells, tech trees etc) If he works on giving us the tools to choose all this from the get go, a base selection and allow us to create our own he can focus on making the AI and game engine balance and "World class" He can always release expansions of pre made high lore game content if he is successful at the latter we will all buy them to add to our own ideas and creation and for the fun of playing using someone else' s ideas but confident when purchasing such expansions that the game itself is solid and flexible enough to fix anything that is not to our own personal liking.
P.S. with that said please do not make things so thin that things like the Dynasty system are removed or severely hampered Randomness is also fun and essential for re playability.