I think that you need some challenging skills in the game. I mean I know mining's boring but getting to say 70 mining feels more rewarding than 70 cooking. If every skill was easy the game would be boring, everyone would be good at everything and people would give up. It's nice to have a few more difficult skills in the game.
There's a difference between 'challenging' and 'pointless'. Runecrafting is challenging; quite literally the slowest skill in the game to train, with optimal experience gains per day coming between 60K and 435K [RScript Tracker backs me up on this], and the runes you make are actually useful. Mining is pointless, since chances are, you're not using it to its fullest potential, and mining Mithril/Adamant for Smithing or to sell on the market is typically out of the question. Heck, if players sold off all of the Iron they powermined, then there wouldn't be all this talk about 'inflation'...
The difference between challenging and pointless is your own opinion which depends on how you play the game.
You totally missed my point.
Mining is pointless since you do not use any of the intermediate ores (Mithril or Adamant), you do not mine them in bulk, and the only level worth getting is 85, so you can compete with other Rune miners and Revenants.
RuneCrafting is challenging because it's difficult to level, the Runes as a byproduct of training have an actual use, and players aren't shy about making Bloods or Deaths.
Do you see where I'm going with this now? It's not about how I play. It's about the point of the skill to begin with, which was to be a feeder skill to Smithing. You're not mining Mithril or Adamant when you mine, are you? That's my argument.
I completely agree with the first two points, but as for the last, I don't see a problem with grinding. Whether you train for money, skill/quest requirements, or for just achieving a level goal it's really all the same. You can't put an absolute value on those. You might see the quest requirement as more important than the other things, but someone else might feel that achieving the level goal is the more important one.
I don't really see a problem with grinding either, but I contend that it's the only feasible way to train Mining. Most every other resource-gathering skill has elements of grinding to it, but leveling either Fishing or Woodcutting isn't always a grind - you can use Monkfish and Maples/Yews. All I want is an alternative to that.
The purpose of mining was to be able to smith stuff. Back in the days of old you could make a lot of money smithing but now you can't. And because people really only smith for either quest requirements, to mine runite, or get the cape (Which usually is one of the last resource skills to obtain), no one really seems to care about mining.
But Jagex has already noticed this problem. If you complete the Varrock Diaries, your special armor allows you to mine more than one ore (just 2? FAILURE) up to Adamantite. I'd actually do the skill if it had some major updates. All I see in F2P is macros, and all I see in P2P is powerminers (Macros as well).
If the effects of the armor were global, I would be complaining a lot less. But they only apply to Varrock's mines, which don't have much to offer for someone of my caliber.