Q: What is weapon swap and when do I get it?
Once your character reaches level 15 you will be able to weapon swap during combat.
Essentially it means you can equip 2 different sets of weapons at the same time, and swap them even during combat. When swapping weapons your ability bar is also swapped alongside it, so you can have access to 5+1 other abilities.
As an example, you will usually have damage-dealing abilities on your main action bar. When things get rough though, you can swap in the middle of the combat to your second weapon/bar with for example healing abilities and Restoration Staff weapon to quickly top off your health.
You can swap weapons as much as you like without any penalty or resource cost, though it does include a quick animation during which you won’t be able to cast any spells or attack.
Weapon swap’s usefulness only gets better and better as you progress, especially since the game does get more difficult in Veteran content. Having a second bar with healing or self-buff abilities can be immensely helpful.
If you know you’ll run into a tough situation with many monsters and a boss, before you engage them throw a Regeneration buff on yourself to heal you a bit over time, and perhaps another ability like Immovable (from Heavy Armor skill line) to buff your armor and magic resistance. It can easily mean the difference between life and death. Your buffs will persist even after you swap to a different weapon!
As another example of the usefulness of weapon swap, I mainly play as a Templar healer in dungeons. When necessary though I can quickly swap to my second bar which includes tanking abilities and 1h weapon and shield. Veteran dungeons can be tough for inexperienced players and you will often pull large groups of 10 or more monsters, and no tank can ever hold aggro on that many monsters. Monsters will attack you sooner or later, and you can absorb a lot more damage while blocking with a shield, and even taunt monsters to attack you instead of your damage dealers. In addition, in case your tank dies you can weapon-swap and taunt and tank the boss while your group resurrects him.
Overall weapon swapping is incredibly useful, and the sooner you can get accustomed to using it the better. There’s a ton of potential for additional utility whether you play solo or in groups.