Yeah not set in stone and now that people on the official forums cried about that idea, it won't happen.
I can't disagree that it's an unattractive idea, though. On what grounds are permanent job choices better than the alternative(s)? Is it because it would have been so
neat to never be able to play one job? One thing that FFXIV certainly does not need is content that completely locks players from experiencing other content! XD
I was thinking it might be good to introduce some specializations into the DoH and DoL classes. Goldsmith specializes in Boneworking or Gems, Alchemist powders or potions, etc... Just conceptual obviously but I think as long as were trying to make unique jobs for DoW and DoM why not do the same for the rest.
Ah, now, see, I can
understand a specialty for a crafting or gathering class, though.
Allowing crafting and gathering classes to specialize in one thing over another - like, say, an Alchemist being able to choose a potion specialty or something - would not only diversify the economy once these classes reached the cap, but it would also, as you said, contribute to a bit of uniqueness. I wouldn't consider the relatively small choice of what to HQ more often, or of a small handful of recipes, akin to barring a player from a significant amount of content. I think it's more akin to choosing a great reward at the end of expansion, really, rather than skipping a large portion of that expansion.
Restricting entire classes from players, on the other hand, with their dozens of abilities and traits, I think would cross the line and take too much away for making a choice; it could also have many impacts later (if, for example, the playerbase found out that any melee worth anything needed a DRK trait to be set).
In short, a crafting specialty could help diversify the crafts and the economy, and I don't think that it would restrict too much as a result. Restricting an entire class, however, is too much. It would ultimately be a good idea to allow players some way to undo their choice in any case, if such choices exist, but it should be appropriately difficult to discourage frequent switching. That seems to solve all problems, really~