I'm thinking of making new players start at max level and gear but when you die you lose a moderate amount of XP, and your gear takes damage that can only be repaired by getting rare material drops. Gear also decays at a slower rate from combat. Gear can break completely.
I want to start players at max level and gear, because I want to have open PvP. The gear you start with can't be traded, or sold.
There would need to be new character creation restrictions, to prevent players from just making new characters if they died too much and lost levels/gear. I'm thinking, players could only make a new character every 3-6 months.
Just a rough idea. I'm open to refinement suggestions.