Responding to another thread got me thinking about variety of spelsl in Elemental. In most fantasy games, there's not that much variety in spells because a lot of them simply boil down to dealing X damage. Elemental is going to be a traditional 4X game so I have no reason it will handle things differently. I'm trying to get a response from developers.
In Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Water has Cold Ray and Cold Ring, air Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning, earth Meteor Swarm, fire Fireball and Firestorm (ironically, these 2 are among least efficient direct damage spells). Basically every single school has direct damage spells.
In Master of Magic, there's Life Drain for Death, Psionic Blast for Sorcery, Fire Bolt, Doom Bolt, Flamestrike, fireball for Chaos, Lightning Call for Nature. Even Life has Star Fires. All direct damage spells.
My point: having omnipresent direct damage spells simplifies the game and tactics used. In many games, direct damage spells are favoured to more manipulative spells, because, after all, direct damage always works and solves all troubles. Schools being just different names for direct damage is not very cool. If you're going to mostly favour direct damage, school choice is not really that important... All too often games just fall into 'direct damage, buff, curse, summoning' schema. People who read books know more inspiring examples. Shapeshifting (that's not just for increase of combat stats !), divination, illusion and deception, mind affecting spells...