I had browsed through the Dorms posts, and came across some replies that mentioned how cool it would be to use magic outside duels, freely in the environment.
I want to suggest something that would add an extra kick to the game. Make one or two quirky little magic spells for wizard from each type of school, that are usable outside in the environment.
For example, allow the Storm wizards to summon a little raincloud over the ground, with some flashy lightning coming out of it. The second spell would be for veriety, but the second spell could be a personalized pet specific to each school.
Storm wizard: Create raincloud over the ground. It would be stationary, with rain and an occational lightning bolt flickering out of it.
Fire wizard: Create a Fire Elf jumping out of the ground. That Fire elf would shoot an arrow at a target area, and have it ignite in some flashy flames.
Myth wizard: Create an earthquake, cracking the ground in front of them, adding some flashy effects.
Ice wizard: Create a little snow shower, much like the raincloud, it would rain a bit of snow for a frosty effect.
Balance: Fire off a Spectral Blast spell over a targeted area. Would work like the real spell, either Ice, Fire, or Thunder, with some nifty effects.
Death: A little pixie could pop out of the ground, and do a flashy little effect over or on a targeted area.
Life: Have a rainbow shoot out of the ground for a little beautifying effect!
As a second spell, allow each specific class to summon an exclusive pet, a pet from one of the respective spells. Storm wizards could summon a Thunder serpent (not ice), or have a shark fin following behind them on the ground. Fire for example, would be able to summon a little fire elf.
The pets would be exclusive to each school, and would be found absolutely nowhere else. Or simply give the pet the ability to cast an environmental spell respective to their element, on occation. For example, a Life wizard's Satyr would make a rainbow shoot out of the ground, or a Storm wizards shark would jump out of the ground to make a raincloud appear over it, or in front of the wizard, etc.
As for programming, the pets would have no additional movements, or animations, except for a little special effect that it will cast in the environment. So, the spell animals could simply be shrunken down to pet size, and added on to follow the wizard when a wizard summons it. :P
It is just an idea, but that extra little kick it would add to the game would give players a good shot more of an eagerness level to play.
i had an idea a little different from yours so for each school they could pick a spell that would act great as a pet like satyr (my favorite spell) or wraith then the wizard (out of combat) would cast the spell and it would go off normally just facing the wizard and before it ends the attack or other thing it freezes and shrinks down to a smaller size that is a little taller than normal pets and by the way i definatly think healing spells should be used anywhere being a life wizard myself it is very annoying