@I have discovered that I have written a lot. For the sake of our eyes: Key points are bolded. Blanked ones are supportive arguments.
These days, with such an economy, money making is difficult, people are more conscious and money spending is more deeply-thought
@ Storm's Article: I would say, while envy certainly drives us to protest against those promotional schemes, I would rather suggest a sharp change of attitude towards promotion that causes such an echo. In particular, Jagex had previously stated that the promotion of p2p will be limited; that RWT is not tolerated (leading linkage of promotion benefits to RWT); that F2P will receive more attention. In view of the recent events, it seems that these promises are broken one by one.
In 2007 we see Gnomecopters, a cheap (and uber fail way in my opinion) way to promote P2P. Jagex later removed it, regretting such a promotion approach. Likewise, agility shortcuts are no longer seen in F2P. Yet, these few months see an increase in promotion of membership, such as those free XP bonuses for membership referral.
Later, Jagex added in-game items like ornate katana for subscribing using membership cards, or joining Runefest etc., triggering a discussion on RWT (defined by Jagex as exchange of in-game benefits using real life money). Although those items did not make any difference in skilling, questing, etc. , the fact that it can be shown off may be seen as a "benefit", and therefore, Jagex broke one of her principles and people reacted in awe towards such change of attitude.
We must agree that F2P has received some updates during these few years, the most prominent example is undoubtedly the Dungeoneering skill. Yet, the artificial cap of 90 combat for 50% XP cut introduced later amidst protests of F2P players has nevertheless showed that the voice of F2P is widely neglected at best (while P2P deserve to train faster, a progressive XP cut, more difficult dungeons for high level players (plus more items for P2P to tackle them) will do the job). This sentiment of F2P is further cultivated by years of neglect (say, pledge for more spells in F2P, which at the end, F2P did got wind rush also!)
Such a sharply changing attitude has already brewed player discontent for long. When F2P hiscore is removed (which has been serving F2P for 10 years), no wonder, F2P exploded.
I am eloborating on the consequences of ignorance and turning a blind eye to F2P. And this matches the theme of Seer's article - namely, the shrinkage of F2P player base.
@Seer: Yes, we are seeing problems with the demographics. Several years ago, F2P players are larger in number compared to P2P players (excluding bots). I cannot give any solid figures but that has been my impression when looking at server list: F2P servers are more full, and perhaps F2P got more servers than P2P exclusive servers. A lack of F2P players (especially those high level and experienced ones) will inevitably reduce the guidence that fresh F2P players receive, leading to bad impression in the eyes' of a new Runescape player. Fewer of them decide to stay in Runescape, and evolve into P2P players. In short, P2P will follow the fate of F2P. Jagex knows they are falling out of favor. But they use a wrong method to boost Runescape's popularity. Ads? They might help, but at the end, word of mouth counts. How often you make a purchase decision based on ads alone? How about friends recommendations?
Some people will try to argue that P2P can exist as an individual game, even without F2P. But Runescape has many features that are not explicitly presented at the first glance. We need to keep a fresh player playing in order to let them experience the goodies. On the paper, Runescape sucks. Steep learning curve (imagine you are a newbie, and you want to train magic, meanwhile, you realise you need runes. But soon, you find that runes are expensive, but there is a way to make it yourself. You then plow through your quest list and find "Rune mysteries". Here it is finally, you mutter, and only by doing the quest you unlock this skill), poor graphics, poor music (compare to Skyrim!), tons of grinding. Nevertheless, what can turn the table into Runescape favor? Deep storyline, a good community (hopefully), sense of achievement. And the latter three are not seen immediately by a new players. And thus, and good community, especially F2P community, is needed.
A new member; f2p for 4+ years
Seldom get online due to in real life business
Always support f2p improvements