After reading everything from the initial post, I think it would be best if I start off by complimenting your presentation and writing ability. Part one, is very detailed, to the point where I assume that you intended to write this as a book. The story seems very well thought out. Now although you have a nice balance of characters, I believe that as a whole, their characteristics are a little to cliched. However, since this feels like it will turn out to be a traditional fantasy rpg, (apologies if I'm mistaken), this may not matter at all. It's just that it's 2010 and it would be refreshing to see a new spin on commonly used characteristics for a hero and his/her party members.
As for game play, I'm getting the impression that the story is going to be a somewhat linear one that will take up a lot of time to explain, leaving little time for actual game play. But this is just speculation of what could potentially happen, since there is no actual game to play. This is just the vibe I am getting, but I hope I am wrong, because this is a game I would like to play but if there isn't a good blend of story and game play, (and it's just press space bar to see the next text like a visual book), then I will get turned off very quickly since I get bored easily. (A.D.D.
I chose side view battle system in your poll, simply because I honestly hate the default battle system, because a picture is not as personalized as an actual sprite.
Any other battle system is fine but I just dislike the default.
Overall, I like the way this game is shaping up and I love the fact that you are assembling a team to get an original feel. (i.e. no rtp, wish we were all as lucky).
This project is promising but it also looks like it's a ways away from completion, so I do hope you maintain your commitment and focus, as I would love to play this someday.
Good luck, NO ID.