See, that's what I have a problem with. It doesn't add danger by any means. It adds inconvenience.
Say I'm skilling - mining to be more exact. Someone who I'm competing with decides to kill me for hours straight (as has happened). There's no danger, just wasted time. I'm not losing anything when I die. If I'm banking the ore, no one cares that I've lost a whopping 10 ore before he's killed me again. I'm losing the few seconds/minutes spent travelling back, which is often a single click.
I know DarkScape give the impression, "You could be attacked and killed at any time by anyone! The risks are high! Etc etc etc..." However, in reality, it's, "You're most likely only risking 500gp in resources you've managed to gather before a 1 itemer comes to PK you for no personal gain of their own apart from the satisfaction being a prick and wasting someone's time!"
This is what keeps me from bothering to give Darkscape a serious go. I wouldn't be able to stand that crap. Being pk'd at runespan all the time? Ugh.
How did this differ from the original premise of the Wilderness? How did this differ from the first few weeks of players using the Abyss to craft nature runes? How does this differ from the standing recommendation that Lava Strykewyrms be placed on one's ignored task list?
There is always some prick out there willing to mess with you just for their sick, twisted satisfaction. Even if you're minding your own business. At least with DarkScape, you're going into it eyes open, and you realize that it's a threat. The difference here is that you can at least do something about it; fight back.
Yes, this means that the road to maxing out all skills in DarkScape is going to be long, hard and arduous, if nothing else, but for the sake of some jerk wanting to slow you down. But, at least you know about it. And, by the time you elect to go for 200M in all skills, one would hope that you would have enough equipment to fend off a pesky one-itemer or two.
What is sad about it is that you rather keep your goals a secret to avoid being killed by some other guys "friends" when you are racing for a set goal. It makes me think of situations where one player wants to get 99 in a skill, hires in all kinds of people to camp with him/her so that they will kill everyone who comes at the same spot. Basically you would get the opposite of what you just said, you would have to be in a large clan to be able to skill fast and it would be no fun anymore for solo-players. I am not saying that it will turn out in this, but it might.
You're absolutely right. This sort of serial escalation wouldn't be very fun, but the only way to solve it is with more serial escalation, or with self defense. A single player probably can't take on three or four trying to strongarm them out of an area, but if only one guy were there? Why not stand your ground?