unless they intend to make rebuffing during combat a strategic element
I think that would be really neat if they did do that, actually! In many MMOs today, buffs may as well not even exist: they are very low-cost, very fast-cast, and considerably long-lasting, meaning that they merely add in a single, habitual button-press every 30 minutes to an hour... it's not strategic and it's not interesting.
In fact, buffs are so easy to administer that their existence is as mandatory as they themselves are commonplace. In several MMOs, even, the buffs mages have all come down to the same things: increased armour/HP/MP recovery/intelligence that are used more a means of balancing PvP (and PvE, I suppose), of negating the classes' most dire shortcomings, than helping a party in need.
I personally think that it would be interesting if buffs weren't
considered mandatory by virtue of their innate efficiency and simplicity, but rather something that a somewhat-skilled player would need to administer strategically throughout the duration of a fight. They could, of course, be reasonably powerful because of this.
In all honesty though, what I think will happen is just an extension of buff duration; then everybody will have the longest-lasting, most powerful buffs active at all times. But, if this were like an offline Final Fantasy, those very buffs would be involved only in the more difficult battles - because their shorter duration makes them less efficient to keep active at all times - and they would add in a small, new dimension to the relevant battles because of that.
Of course, I may just have such a problem with this because there's no buffing class (yet?)... I miss classes like Bard. XD