Just as arrows can be equipped to bows for easier draw and clearing a space for some other item; I feel doing the same with the shield to a one-handed weapon would be just as beneficial. I really don’t think anyone’s going into battle with only a shield.
I don’t think I’d like this.
Sometimes I have a torch, shield or rope in my offhand.
Sometimes I have an axe, truncheon or tool in my main.
I use all possible combinations of the items above. Having a shield and weapon bound to each other would make things more tedious - I wouldn’t be able to swap on the fly.
I agree with the Derketo follower here above me. Sometimes I want to mix and match stuff. But I feel your concern about the limited action bar slots for the large amount of possible items, you should check out my multiple action bar idea, and comment about what you think of it.
I have dedicated arrows for my bow, but that doesn’t stop me from changing ammunition at will. I feel the same can go for any weapon as well. When equipped, simply swap out the shield with another item. I don’t understand how you find combination equipment tedious, you need to equip your main and off hand independently anyway.
I press one button for that, well one button to swap out what’s in my left or right hand. To change ammo, I open the inventory and drag arrows to the bow. That’s more tedious than a button press. You can also change ammo by having the arrows on the bar, but if you have to do that for melee items, what’s the point of the combination?
By dedicated combination, I’m referring to one action. Sword and shield would be in one bar, torch another, etc. When sword and shield are equipped you could switch to a torch; to equip to shield again, simply remove the torch. That’s the idea of combination equipment. Apologies if my English isn’t properly descriptive. Hopefully this is far clearer to understand.