I agree with Ramsey on this one, gear swapping in combat will only lead to the same headaches it did in XI.
Some people may have liked it but I thought it was bull and have heard alot of people who seem to agree.
The flip side of the coin is that, for developers, allowing gear swaps gives them the ability to keep players around longer with the same amount of content by introducing "best" gear in each category. It's somewhat underhanded, and there are better ways of going about it, but from the perspective of the developers (specifically the accountants) there is justification for allowing gear swapping.
It's a bad choice overall for developers, because it narrows your audience to the people patient enough to actually set complex macros for each and every spell. Most players are going to say "What the @#%^ I have to wear a different outfit for weaponskills, disappear when I use them and not even see the effect?" and leave. They can make situational gear, that's fine.
Here's a good example of a situations that could benefit from a different set of gear: you've decided to go out solo adventuring, you've decided to fight the empire with an alliance, you're journeying deep into a fiery volcano full of fire enemies.
Here's a bad example of situations: you're casting cure, you're casting poisona, you're casting protect, you're standing around between casting cures. (These should not require different outfits. Period.)
To be honest I never really worried about it extensively in XI, and I don't think it will be a show stopper for this game either should people decide to go that route. I personally wont, it seems like a hassle for marginal gain.
Not to sound like a **** but, the gain wasn't marginal, it was an immensely powerful gain in most cases, and significantly upped your performance, swap to haste for TP gain, swap to certain potency for certain spells, back to refresh gear, etc.
FFXI wasn't doomed by this because it was launched almost a decade ago, when MMO choices were limited, and it never gained an enormous western following. I'm not saying this game can't adopt some aspects of FFXI, but this is not one that spells success. I'm not ready to cry wolf yet, but as soon as people are expected to, or can gain a significant benefit from gear swapping during combat, I'm honestly done.
It's not fun, it's a hassle, a headache, and it's bad design. It totally kills my ability to enjoy the game. I used gear swap to it's fullest extent in FFXI, I was a Red Mage for crying out loud, every fight was a fashion show. That was fine, for FFXI, it's not fine for this game, and it really will kill it for me.
I really hate to derail this thread, because there's so much good coming from 1.19, so take what I say with a grain of salt, I'm not a doomsayer, but I honestly cringe at the idea of swapping gear. It doesn't create more variety, more fun, more anything, other than headaches. Edited, Sep 30th 2011 8:25pm by RamseySylph