I would love a classes less system, which is what originally was going to happen before the game shifted direction to a more standard MMO (for good and ill). But I think that sort of system needs to be designed from the ground up not bolted on after the fact.
Exactly. In my opinion, what should distinguish character "classes" in an 18th century role-playing game should be their legal status (ie, outlaw, commissioned officer, letter-of-marque holder, etc, and their consequent relationship with the NPC authorities.
However, MMO convention says that "classes" should have slightly different roles in combat, so classes are what we get. It seems to be part of a deliberate design decision to favor accessibility and balanced combat over historical role-playing, which doesn't yield the game that I would have preferred to play, but which is probably understandable given the market.