Granted I'm not very good with mages, I much prefer the fast pace of dex/perc or str/con. But I am really starting to like this char and wish it weren't so impossible to level him. please append.
3c mages on the other hand, tend to worry more about cast levels, 3c words are generally harder to get than 2c words, and I frankly see no reason to make 3c words 2 pracs and 2c words one prac as all it will do is boost the already not inconsiderable power of the bastard mage and do nothing at all for the 3c mage.
On a side note, I'm a 2nd circle mage, so lowering the pracs needed for 2nd circle words would be to my benefit.
Gwalchmai ap Lot
How's this work? Well, the lower your cast level, the higher mind you would need to have in order to rely upon that spell regularly. As cast level improves with level, you wouldn't need as high of mind to successfully cast the spell reliably. (example: A level 10 mage with a cast level of 5 on stun would need 100 mind to cast the spell consistently, a failure of 1 in 25 or so, someone with 45 cast levels would need only 50 mind (the min req to cast the spell) to achieve the same level of reliability). This would give younger mages who focused on mind (as a mage's primary stat should be) a better chance at casting spells and using them in the course of levelling and fighting... moving emphasis away from having to rely on fight skills while practicing to be a mage.
NOTE: this is not 'what is going in'... it's an idea that could use a bit of feedback. Even if the feedback is popular, this change may or may not become a reality.
Gwalchmai ap Lot
The way I build mages currently, is to build up fight stats and not worry about actually using spells until I get a reasonable cast level, even though I always learn words first. I learn words by just gathering mind, perc and spi equipment, going over rent for a while, learning the words, casting in the spells and then selling the gear again to wear my con/dex/str stuff. It just isn't worth actually using the spells currently it can take ALL of a lowbie mages mana to get one single spell cast. But I don't really like this method of building mages, and it is a big disadvantage to those who don't really know the tricks to levelling without having either fight skills or usable spells. It would rock if we could start using the spells as we learn them and find that an equally effecient strategy.