But honestly, why anyone wants to have their stats fluctuating dramatically from skill to skills is really beyond me. I think what those who support gear swapping really enjoyed was the fact that so many different pieces of equipment got use and weren't immediately replaced. This can definitely be accomplished by having armor use be geared towards different (broad) situations.
I doubt it. I mean, you could invest time in obtaining a tanking build or a chi blast build as a Monk, but honestly speaking every item not designed for maximizing DoT was and is inferior. That's
what you were after. Specific items designed to help other aspects of the job like Chakra potency were important, but only because it didn't hurt your DoT to use them.
I am very doubtful that would be realistic. Especially when Jobs have a clear role, possibly even more so than in XI where you could in fact have anyone tank with /nin as long as they managed to deal enough damage.
The fact that they would not only have to design different situations and equipment for them, but also make actual use of them regularly for it to be worthwhile to go after said equipment is what makes it very difficult to do, in a game with specific job roles. Classes are immediately inferior when it comes to any harder content, because you can outweigh single class diversity with numbers.
I wouldn't put much weight in conceptual theory. Many things are possible in theory, hardly as many work in practice. Making us go after specific items (or whatever you choose them to be) designed for specific tasks is much more guaranteed to bring good results. Especially considering the concept was already realized in FFXI, not perfectly but enough to understand what needs to be done to make it better. Going for this hypothetical "broad situations" concept is risky and once again hard if not impossible to balance.
Whether it be class or role balance you can always fall back to the fact that it's possible in theory. But that doesn't help the people actually designing these things. "Oh you just have to be good enough" really is not much of an argument, when we have already come across clear limitations that are not simply bypassed by being more competent. Edited, Nov 7th 2011 1:06pm by Hyanmen