these properties would have to be assigned individually?
You mean assign
, right? If so: No. You can select a bunch of similar elements (Find & Select) then apply the value that you want once and all the others with that property will display the new value. Very similar to a Layer definition.
personally i never understood the concept of hiding a specific object like in revit.
I am not a Revit user. But from what I saw and understand, Revit has just a dumb Category Filter that you can define any intrinsic value. They are simple "Tags". Like: MEP, Architecture, Structure, Landscape, etc. Then you just filter elements that have that "Tag". The proposed Archicad Model Filter will use any data associated to an element to filter the model. Including Story, Height, Length, BM, Properties, etc. Way more powerful.
from what i understand, eliminating layers would create a very sofisticated system with extreme flexibility, but also it would elevate complexity and potential for chaos for less experienced users;
I don't think so. It would be more like a biker learning how to drive a bus. It is not rocket science.
I also think that this logical approach to deal with data from a BIM Model would allow for a future digital assistant like Siri or Alexa. Imagine: "Alexa"... "Show me only MEP ventilation duct elements that are scheduled to be applied today by the Contractor X"... Bam!
Now imagine how could poor Alexa do this with Layers.