A thought came to me the other day. I am not an expert on MMORPGs or their development or design but I thought it would be very cool if instead of level griding for more magic or getting little icons to cast spells, you made magic a scripting language within the environment.
When a player starts the game, you give them no information about how to do magic. They must be interested enough about the hints of magic to quest for it. Even when they do quest for it, you only give them a bit of information at a time in highly obscure language.
As I said, I am not a designer of these kinds of things but it would be much more interesting than level grinding. I am not sure how you would fit it into a consistent style but it is an intriguing idea.