There is a good array of spells, but I was struck, again, by the similarity between them; direct damage, stats manipulation, and a smattering of situational spells. There aren't a good array standard buffs (enchant weapon, shield, etc) that would be nice to see if magic was to be pervasive. As it is, it looks to be that games will be about saving up magic all through the game, and using it only sparingly if at all to get out of bad situations, followed by using it to essentially press the "I win" button. I fear that 90% of the game will still be mundane armies clashing, with no summoned creatures and no diversity of units.
I agree disappointing. Not at MOM level or Dominion level of magic. AOW2 also has more inventive spells. The level of magic in here is around HOMM level which can be cool, but then again HOMM is not about magic really.
Don't get me wrong, this is an improvement over WOM (hard not to top that), a few nice unbalanced quest/hybrid spells (as many have pointed out the one that does 1/10 of total mana pool damage might be a one-shot killer if there is no cap unless the spell is really costly in mana), some interesting effects (which I suspect aren't actually useful but are cool) but mostly disappointing.
Echo what everyone has said
* More summons please, every level should have at l-5 (more for earth maybe) , either strategic, tactical only or universal. Not sure why this isnt done, since fairly easy to do. Elementals alone are boring
* More meta-magic kind of spells - For a War of magic (okay this one is Fallen enchantress), there isn't anyway to counter/blast spells? MOM had dozens including Dispel Magic, Disenchant Area, Disjunction, Detect Magic, Counter Magic, Dispel Magic True, Disenchant True, Spell Lock, Spell Blast, Disjunction True, Spell Blinding, Great Unsummoning, Spell ward, Supress Magic, Lifeforce, Mana leak ete etc
* More variety in buffs - Not just +5s to dodge/dex/speed type spells, the one that takes damage out of mana pool is an example of the type of bluffs I want to see.
* More high level world wrecking/altering spells... Armeggdon/time stop/meteor storm type spells...Even crusade level spells (all units gain one experience rank) are not in there..
* As someone wrote, more variety in spells rather than simply +5 to dodge. Give us illusion/invisibility/mind control/magic immunity/invulnerability/
* You can see how MOM's spell system was planned, there had 4 levels (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare), and for each level they tried to put at least one spell in the following categories Summoning/city enchantment/Create enchantment/Global Enchantment/Combat Enchantment/Special . They differentiated each Realm of magic by having more or less in each category so for example, Chaos had more Combat enchantments (As many as 5 per level), Nature had more summonings (including 3 for highest level), Life has the fewest summons but the most or strongest creature enchantments etc
Such a system should be emulated to make spells interesting...
I would prioritize the first 2. But the 2nd one is hard to do due to AI issues i bet. The AI of WOM:FE better be a killer, if it's still as brain dead as I expect it to be, you might as well throw in all these spells and let us at least have fun using it.