As I’ve mentioned before, I once had a magazine article turned down because the editor thought I was kidding. The article was how magic (and this was magic from that really big FRPG that everyone played at least once) could be used to beauty and health care - two HUGE industries. Obviously this still bothers me. So many GMs believe that enchanters are going to hide themselves away in their little labs crafting huge swords for their buddies to use. That’s ... what’s the word ... stupid? ... dumb? ... ill-conceived? Whatever!
What would a mage (or alchemist or enchanter, etc.) lock himself away in a tiny tower for? Money? OK, yeah, that would lead to big hulking swords. But I think they’d be a lot more likely to do it for personal power, fame or knowledge; and to a mage, all three of those tie together. The more knowledge the more power and the more power the more fame. Look, these guys aren’t studying so hard just to become flunkies to some sword swinging dolt. They want to be “the man”. So what do they need to do that? Well, some of them would be developing new battle magics. But I think that a lot of them would be like modern research scientists. They would be trying to find that next thing, that next development in magic that would be the start of a new generation of magic or a revolution in the way magic is practiced.
So what is the enchanter doing? I think he’s trying to use his magic to learn more magic. He’s experimenting; he’s researching. I just finished watching the entire series of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The whole series comes down to the fact that some alchemists were trying to gain immortality, so they created a life - a homunculus. The homunculus helped them figure out how to gain immortality, only he tricked them and gave the immortality to himself. What’s my point? Well, that magic types develop their magical powers for themselves. The alchemists basically summoned up a demon in hopes of learning from it. Learning what? Learning more magic.
In my world I have created a few magic items and enchantment spells that actually help alchemists and enchanters make stuff, either easier (faster) or more powerfully. While I have to admit that I haven’t exactly created hundreds of items (only a few), I think the reality of a fantasy era would be that there were a few spells that helped the military, and a ton of spells that helped the researcher.
My last point on this - Think about the wizards in movies. You walk into their lab and books are floating in front of him because the desk is so cluttered. Little creatures wander around stirring pots and watching over his experiments. Remember Merlin in the Sword and the Stone? His “best” magic was to shrink his entire home/library so it would fit in his satchel. He didn’t create magical swords, just knew where to find them. If you think about it from the wizard/enchanter’s point of view, you’ll make them more selfish, more self-centered, and develop more magic for magic’s sake, not for a warrior’s sake!