I like the concept sir.
While I understand some posters will disagree, I do believe unlimited weak spells can bring tactical diversity. The tactical diversity in my opinion would derive from choosing between strong but limited spells and weak unlimited spells. Simply put, I associate diversity with options. By options, I mean planning constant sequences of actions between characters. With a party of potentially 6, I believe optimal spell/ability management in a long fight could be rewarding.
One might argue that unlimited basic spells would allow for spamming and reduce the need for preparation, but I would disagree. Ideally, using only basic spells should not work. Instead, basic spells may fill the gap between cooldowns. I would imagine maximizing spell output and efficieny against a tough enemy can create a demanding fight. Players that let mage characters sit idle in between cooldowns could be punished in such a system.
Furthermore, I would argue that preparation mechanics, especially rest mechanics, are often abused (rest spamming) or not always tactical (just frontloading spells).
Ultimately, I do not believe there is a clear cut method to creating tactics and preparation. In the end, I think systems that mix cooldowns, fatigue/morale, etc will create the best platform for strategy.
Edited by Nixl, 06 October 2012 - 10:42 AM.