I think we've overdone it with this whole concept of zombie avatars that magically rise from the dead every time they die.
We need to diversify.
I think that if you base game progression around the actual player instead of what gear the avatar wears or what stats the avatar has.
You should progress in the game by basically learning how to play the game.
We'd have to do away with levels and gear farming and make avatars disposable. It would also be a good idea to make it really hard to die. Instead of PvP always ending in death, there could be a surrender mechanism that grants victory to the opponent. (this could mean dumping inventory on the ground to be looted while allowing the loser to run away naked or something)