This is in someways just a quick thought about the possibilities of future D&D video/mmorpgs inspired by interesting experience I had recently...I played some Everquest II.
D&D has a concept of power flavors being under the player control, the extents to which this is exploited varies but it is a narrative control element somewhat unique to the game. Third edition I hear started the ball rolling with player control over character appearances... enabling the chain mail bikini effect and 4th edition carried it on and hearkened it back to earlier editions where players description flavored what they did (in AD&D without explicit DM improvisation, there was zero difference between I hit it with my sword and various cool maneuvers you might describe and with a game turn being a whole minute you probably didnt want to make or describe a whole minutes worth of a fight in anything but a vague sort of way)
Any way the point of this is In this EverQuest game, On your character they have a feature which allows the player to choose there gears appearance independent of its mechanics (basically a separate appearance tab). D&D and video games are incestuous... bleeding basic blood and functionality between each other since a very long time ago so and the origins of so many things adopted and expanded upon in other games can be read directly in to the roots ... this feature in EQ, is one example that actually gives me a little hope even if its pick list style things like choose your animation for how your character does the power... could be used to flavor the fighting style of your character in a newer D&D video game. Green flame blade doesnt have to be green... could it be red hot blood or lava like splashes off your weapon... give me options ;
One of the features 4e gives is empowerment to define your fighting flavor both by power selection, feat selection and yeah power flavoring.