The Runescape many of us loved in the mid-2000s is still very much around. And if you were around to see the demise of the Wilderness and its eventual reintroduction, you'll know how big a deal that was for the fast majority of the playerbase. They're looking to change it up again; but in all the right ways.
Even if you haven't played Runescape since your school days, you likely remember the Mage Arena toward the end of the Wilderness - the game's tiered open-world PvP zone. It housed a quest that pitted mages against a series of bosses to unlock a cape and staff of their preferred deity. It's certainly still there and it's finally getting a continuation. Players will need to master their craft and hunt down 3 new bosses to be granted an ever stronger cape. This time, however, you're not in the safe confines of the arena.
Despite the dangers of being killed by another player for the goods that you carry, Jagex have decided that offering a massive Prayer EXP bonus to the alter found within the Wilderness will be a great time for all. Offering around 100K more EXP per hour than the current best method, they want players to risk life and limb to train their stats. Anyone found offering bones there will likely be an easier target, and players looking to get the drop on these devotees will know exactly what's in it for them.
Scamming was rife in Runescape. A lot of kids played it and would often make mistakes on the Trade screen, resulting in bandit-like switcharoos on the offer page a very viable tactic for bad mannered players to get goods for cheap. All that built up until both Free Trade and the Wilderness were banished as a drastic fix. What took its place were Revenants, but they too were lost when the ruling was overturned causing many powerful items (like PvP armor) to go the way of the dodo.
The new Revenant Caves reintroduces that feature without sacrificing others and you may want to finally let go of those Barrows gloves. Finding a specific item in there will allow you to toggle the 'Loot Keys' system players will recognise from the Deadman gamemode.
There's a lot to offer by braving the wilderness, but there's a much higher chance of losing it all, too. Any of these activities still places you at the mercy of another player while encouraging you to bring your best equipment. It's the kind of high-risk high-reward gameplay that's only recently been embraced by gamers thanks to survival sims like Conan Exiles and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Something Jagex once ran scared from became Runescape's greatest asset, and it's nice to see it only grow fierce.
Many of these features are still in the polling phase, however. So while they may seem fleshed out already, they won't be introduced unless players specifically agree to the changes. You can read much more about them here.