There is an interesting post on SLUinverse about Avatar 2.0 by Darien Caldwell. See: A Modest Proposal: Moving toward Avatar 2.0.
Darien’s idea of making a new avatar compatible with the current avatar’s UVMaps is a deal breaker for me. That just drags those problems along. Fixing the UVMaps and attempting to use older clothing made for the previous UVMap is going to be a problem causing even more distortion.
Darien does key in on the layering problem. We can layer system clothes. We cannot layer textures on objects, like mesh avatar bodies. Adding that capability would likely be a complex change to the system. Whether it is or not, it would allow the use of even more textures. With the texture load increase coming from Materials use, that could be a serious lag producer.
I imagine that limits could be placed on texture sizes. System clothes are already limited to 512×512. We can have 10 of those now (5 per upper and lower body). With materials that would jump to 30 (add normal and specular to the mix). And how does one layer normal maps? Or specular maps? I don’t know of any system that does that.
The thread does bring out the problems associated with Avatar 2.0. I remain of the opinion that Avatar 2.0 is a ways off and will be a big project. This is a problem that has been pushed into the realm of a ‘comprehensive fix.’ The Lab is not going to do anything significant without addressing all the issues and establishing a plan that addresses most of the complaints of the user base.