About the appearance of the dragons(if you transform in the dragon, not as a mount): I think that it should resemble your 'reputation' a bit. Like an evil character would change in a Black Dragon with little holes in its wings(like Illidan in Warcraft 3:TFT), and Paladin-like charactes maybe some sort of Golden Dragon with some sort of shining aura, or make it completly adjustable, like when you get the 'skill' to change into a dragon, be able to choose how it looks: its colour, its wings, its size, type of head, maybe with some attributes like strength, speed, intelligence. Strength would increase the damage, Speed would increase the dragons maximum Flying/Turning speed, Intelligence increasing manapool so the dragon can cast more magical attacks(maybe something like 'Firestorm' so that a whole area is set on fire, or 'Devour', picking up an enemy and slowly devour him while you regain health)
If the dragon would be a mount, i think it would be cool to first get some sort of egg that hatches, and after that it grows in physical size every time it levels up, and at a certain point it would be big enough to actually mount it so you can fly with it.
If there would be henchman/partymembers, how would they follow you if you mounted a flying creature/changed into a dragon? would they also have flying mounts/Dragon Form? Or does this mean there will be no party members?
And if you would be able to change into a dragon, it would also afect the 'map-system'. Like if you use these 'gates', how are you going to make the borders inpassable, as mountains or trees can no longer limit a flying creature, it just needs to fly higher to get over them.