I understand that. In some situations it works, others.. not so much.
Take Gears of War for example.
In Gears 2 earning your wings (lv100) was a huge accomplishment. Once they added prestige in Gears 3 it became worthless ( and tedious) to keep ranking up.
Not to say it couldn't work here, but after all the whining people do about how long it takes to rank as is.. which I say "quit yo whining fools".
Not only that but it could potentially ruin the game for new comers. You would still have access to SoD and artemis armour at lv1 (unless you re-lock them), but that would cause more RQ and whining.
I really like this idea the only thing I DON'T like about it is--- it could get to the point where u didn't know **bleep** ur opponent is wearing-- don't know about u all but I like to look in FFA and sorta plan my attacks based on somones armor-- for instance-- do I go pure offensive on this weak defense or do I run and get health/ try to parry into a large combo on this full battle armor of Poseidon warrior--- etc-- as long as the skins still looked like the armor that it was but with color/ spike variation I think it would be awsome-- I like to see what people are wearing though
Even if the reskin changed the equipment a lot, maybe all players could preview them, so it would be possible to know what a player is using if you took a look at the items list and their variations.