Aww. I'll miss all the arcane knowledges. And the spell design system, a *lot*. I mean, yeah, it was overcomplicated, but it's by far my favorite spell design system in any game ever. It didn't feel like you were min-maxing game mechanics - it felt like you were freaking designing a spell. It was awesome. I have never in my life felt more like a real wizard than while designing spells in Torg.
That said, I totally get wanting to clear out all the independent sub-systems Torg had. I mean... well. Honestly, I never found them to be that big of a problem. They made it so that, yes, you really had to have the Cosm books, but there were other reasons for that, too, and they helped make it *worth* having all the Cosm books. And for the most part -- the players who were interested in each piece learned that system, and nobody else (even the GM, usually) especially had to. But, the big trend in gaming these days - especially for reviving a system - seems to be simplifying all the ridiculously over-complicated stuff everybody was doing back in the 80's and 90's, and that's... not a bad goal at all.
I DO hope that you guys are... not squashing them so much that they're the same thing? If you see what I mean? Like, well, not to point fingers, but D&D, which also has Spells, Miracles, and Psionics... but they're all *exactly the same*. Priest Spells are just spells cast by priests, and psionics are just spells cast with points instead of daily slots and there's no *flavor* to any of it. In Torg, not only was praying for Miracles very different than casting a spell, but being a magician in Aysle felt very different from being a magician in the CyberPapacy.
I guess what I mean is, I'm afraid it's going to be (or more likely, has been - I know I'm weighing in pretty late in the game here) awfully difficult to simplify them all without losing that. I, for one, really hope that you have enough little differences in both form and function to keep them feeling different, even if that means it has to be a little more complicated.
Hey, wait. Without the arcane knowledges, do Ayslish characters still have their zodiac? Getting that intrinsic Knowledge was an important piece of that. Is that still a part of character creation for Aysle, or is it... gone, or relegated to pure background fluff?
On a related note, I have to admit to having an instinctive flinch from adding new skills to Spirit -- Spirit had very few skills, but they were important ones. But with all Reality-manipulation now being CE-Only, it makes sense. I will admit that my reaction to all Reality-manipulation now being CE-Only is *also* an instinctive flinch -- but I think if it had always been that way, I would have thought it was awesome. It's rare to see the normal Humans looking cool. Earthdawn is the only system I can think of where there's a serious case that the baseline Humans are OP. So I'm pretty sure once that settles in, I'll be all for it.
...Though, speaking as an Atheist, I'm sad to see that piece go. I loved that Atheism was a real power. It was kind of awesome being able to stare down a Cyberpriest and just say, "Nope."