Games change over time, it happens to all MMOs. I do not think the bot population is as high as you think. Just because someone doesn’t want to talk to you does not mean they are bot. My wife and I have never botted, as we do not want to lose our stuff, yet we get called bots all the time. Its funny actually to mess with people who think you are a bot.
It is hard to get to the top of any MMO that has been out for 12 years. New players will have to grind it out just like we did. I also do not have any problems making money, one just has to know how to do it. I know I’ll never be rich in RS Gold, but as long as I’m happy then I don’t care about not being rich.
They have added micro payments to the game, and they aren’t just micro payments, they are pay to win mechanics, as you can buy spins and get in game experience and gold, you can say what you wan’t but this is basicly buying gold and experience with real life money.
Botting these days is a massive problem in runescape, and most long time players know it and are well aware of it, the botting has basicly destroyed the game and its economy that used to be good.
Real players will have to work 10 times harder then botters to achieve anything in the game due to gold making with honest ways is extremely slow and non profitable, the only way to make honest profit in the game is to be maxed in most stats and do bosses, but even then these massive botters running multi account botting with 10+ bots, ( iv seen as high as 50 +) in living rock caverns, as its one of the easiest places to bot for professional botters, these guys are making massive profit, and crashing all prices to so low that legit players will have to farm gold for years to be able to get the better items.
Due to the botters farming more and more the prices will get lower, and the items that give the best experience in the game are costly and keep increasing the skill costs, as these players that buy them have so much gold that legit players will have to work insanely hard to be able to use them.
Grand exchange which is basicly an auction house was added to the game, before you had to trade manually which was good because it created a real community, nowdays if you are wealthy in the game, you can just but tons of items on constant buy and sell them because the price will go up. And you don’t even have to talk to other players to do this.
Runescape is introducing more and more pay to win mechanics, these players that take breaks won’t be getting any of the special auras as they reguire you to pay membership nonstop, else you wont get the points to buy them.
Squeal of the fortune which is the main micro payment system in the game you simply can’t win most of the promotional items with just using the few free spins you get a day, which is 2, and if you wan’t them you are going to have to use your wallet.
The community in the game is nearly dead, as most maxed players, barely play other then bossing, and most of the time they just afk in the lobby and chat with their clan, no activity is happening in the game. Its rather rare to find real players when doing skilling or slayer tasks as most places are filled with bots, the only places you find real players are few higher level slayer tasks and grand exchange which is a trading place in the game. most people in the game barely ever talk and keep their chat off so you can’t talk to them either.
New players will find the game incredibly hard due to its ruined economy and merchanting clans making sure to abuse the system as hard as possible, due to hard nature of the game the new players don’t stick with the game for long, only very few of them do, thats why runescape playerbase keeps declining because only the old long time players quit because of the massive time invested into the game, but slowly these players are quitting aswell once they reach the maxed status, and the bots just stay.
Most longer runescape players know that the playerbase that used to be as good as 200k active players is now merely 70k active players tops, and 70% of these players are simply bots, ( the bot rate is extremely high because most botters run several bots at same time ) , and only the 30% of players are real players, and this amount keeps getting lower, thats why jagex keeps adding more and more squeal of fortune promotions in order to keep the cash flow steady, but it won’t work for long term as the harder they use it, the bigger the pay to win gets.
Sounds like you got scammed, you should report them for scamming. There are bad people in every MMO, it is not fair to generalize the entire runescape gold population because you had a bad encounter or a lapse of judgement and got scammed. I have found most of the population to be kind and helpfull.