As far as equipment goes, ferdk hit it right on the nose. Equipment in this game is rarely about boosting your stats directly(the aforementioned +10% thing one exception). While it means you won't always be buying new equipment, it balances out by most weapons being relevant through the entire game.
Like most useful abilities for weapons end up being things like(late game) Deathstrike(100% chance of instant death on attack), Evade and Counter(if an attack can be dodged, you dodge it and attack back outside of your turn), and First Strike(equipped character always goes first in battle, regardless of Ambush or anything else).
Likewise, armor is less about defense and more about the bonuses it gives you(Like getting a permanent Haste effect later) --- FFT SSCCs:Completed(49 Arch Angel) My name used to be spelled right, but then I took an arrow to the e.
I'd said this in another topic and I'll repeat it here.
It's not a game about exploring an unknown world. It is a game about going to point A then B then C, places that a majority of the cast is familiar with. It's not a game where you have to go to a place no one has been in hundreds of years. Your going from town to town on a planet that spreads itself out for safety. For me, it works in the game, and in the context of the story.