As FFXIV will not have character levels, how could the system determine which pieces of equipment you can wear and when? It would be a little strange if it were to be based on the amount of skill you have gained from that particular weapon type - something not so intuitive.
Instead, to tie in with the "wear and tear" concept of the weapons which is likely to be implemented, and to differentiate when each piece of equipment can be worn, maybe only starting weapons can be bought from NPC vendors. It will then have to be "leveled up" or upgraded through the players extensive use/repair/smithing with new materials etc.?
In a sense, equipment will become ex/rare and can only be improved by the player themselves, apart from the smithing part whereby maybe you can find an NPC smith to do it for you at a cost. This could also put a point in incorporating smithing as a job, rather than just a craft.
If there is no incentive to keep the same equipment and repair them, then the game may, at some point, become "buy a new weapon" more so than to retain the used and try to repair it.
Edited, Aug 10th 2009 1:44am by hiyohiyo