I think we would be fine with only the half of the quickbar.
I completely agree with Tinkley on that limitations making survival actually survival.
Lets say we are limited to 4 slots.
Then you would stick to your weapon (some might like a polearm, others sword+shield) and if harvesting up to two tools.
If you want to fight, you might want to use up to 3 slots for weapons and one for healing. (Or two for weapons and one for insects/else cheap eating healing, one for potion.)
Want to eat something? Go into inventory. Same goes for drinking. Other people ask for animations for them, I only want to have people go into inventory, which would cause those people to loose time by doing so already.
This would force people to think about what they actually need on their quickbar.
No one needs the possiblity to have 7 weapons easily accessable and one for healing.
That way players with actually different playstyles could really counter each other.
Though I am completely forgetting about controllers here, so maybe that hotbar-switch-idea would be fine. But stuff being tied to some else hotbar should be put away when switching the bar.
Of course someone would be more vulnerable with only 4 slots. And I think this is just perfect, as those games are about survival.
Quality of Life-changes are due to players wanting things to be more comfortable, getting lazy there. (Just like admin powers in singleplayer.)
I can understand those in actual MMOs where there is no survival element.
Thus maybe a serveroption would be neat.
If combined with i.e. easy, medium and hard pvp-servers with easy being limited raiding+double harvest, medium being limited raiding and hard being the current mayhem…
It would cause easy servers to not only let people harvest twice as fast/much with limited raiding time, they would eighter have up to 10 or even 12 slots in hotbar. While medium servers would allow the current 8 slots with limited raiding time and normal harvest. Last one would be hard servers with 4 slots, unlimited raiding and normal harvest…
Do the same with pve but exchange the pvp part with purge part.
As pve is about fighting against the environment, I think the purge should be really hard on hard pve servers. Like having up to 50? people being purged every day. As I didnt get purged until now, I have no clue about the strenght of it.
Like easy pve: double harvesting, easier and less often purge, 10/12 quickbar slots
medium: normal harvest, normal purge, 8 slots
hard: normal harvest, very hard and often purge, 4 slots.
I think this would make pve challenging as well.