Since I left the game around the release of RuneScape gold WGS, major shifts in Runescape's paradigm have happened. One thing that seems clear is that a change of thought in how skill leveling ought to be balanced, evidenced by fluctuations like bonus exp items like the Penance Horn becoming commonplace or Historical Effigies. Formerly the'available levels' of an art, specifying available as moderate time commitment to reach, were generally the initial 65 or so. Therefore, most endgame quests, such as Mourning's End PII, demanded levels around 60. Endgame content can be carried out in a limited way by individuals with such levels, but may be farmed by men and women with maxed levels.
At the near past, the requirements for endgame PvE, defining endgame PvE as soloing GWD bosses, demanded 90+ from the respective stats. This model had adverse effects in Jagex's head, since it put the goalposts for brand new players really far away. Runescape is game which strives to keep up a facade of casualness; it's played in a browser and needs hardly any cash.
This leviathan time requirement had a direct effect on subscription numbers; gamers who joined and hit it off with all the game were quite likely to remain for years. However, the unwanted side has demonstrated more of an effect. Players that don't dive into the sport, taking it daily, tended not to even bother subscribing for a month before leaving. Every MMO has temporary players, players that join when fresh content looks and depart once the newness fades. But other MMOs make big sums away even these short subscriptions due to initial game cost, which for WoW in particular is roughly 100USD with no discount. Runescape's capacity to hold onto its players could not keep up with the number that rejected the game, and consequently even though Runescape is becoming a lot more well known than it once was, its revenue has increased little.
Also a different thing. I preferred that much more than BXP weekends, because it had a set amount of Potential XP and a very long time limit to use up that possible XP, as an outcome not damaging the economy as rewarding or much no-lifers/acc sharers over normal players. I'd prefer having events like this (but for many skills, not just combat) more than BXP weekends.
Since it's been brought to a lot of people's attention within the past month or so, freeplay, quite simply stinks. Mainly due the large number of bots and suck running a muck, making actually playing near hopeless. I had been freeplay two decades back, and I spent almost two years playing that, and it was nothing like what goes on today. It boils down to a big change: free trade.
But in all honesty, how does freeplay need free trade? Think about the advantages of removing free commerce to freeplayers: Less bots are destroying actual playing. While there probably would still be a fair few around (it will likely never reach the low levels of before the introduction of free trade), it might make the game playable again. Even though some may refer to it as classic, getting scammed will be less of a problem, and buy RS gold newer gamers would be less likely to fall for it.