Did it finally happen? Did they finally admit they were wrong? Of course not. This is Jagex; they can't do anything wrong, and even if they did they'd never admit it. But those of us who can read between the lines know better.
I'm just going to come right out and say it; Jagex made a mistake with the Evolution of Combat and they are now trying to repair the damage and salvage whatever is left. But I'm afraid it's too late.
The EoC takes a long time getting used to (and I'm not even including the interface), but it is a very robust system that doesn't experience wild flailing of the scales every time they are tipped when a new weapon is introduced, for example. It's a system that is very adaptive as well, but it relies too much on the weapons used, and not the level of the players wielding them.
I could go on, but it's safe to say that it has its ups and downs, pro's and cons, but so did the old system still in use in 07.
While numbers on both games are holding steady in terms of server activity, there is little doubt that most of the players on 07 actually use bots to level their accounts to a point where they become usable. No one wants to take a step back, especially after you spent years levelling your character on (what is now) RS3, so it's only expected that people who prefer RS07 are willing to cut a few corners.
That said, there's a reason why this is happening, and Jagex tipped their hand with their latest poll: Legacy Mode. Right now a Dragonstone level poll (wow!) is in effect, asking us if they would like us to develop this Legacy Mode or not, which would combine both combat systems in use. I can already predict the outcome of it.
The hundreds of players still massively dissatisfied with the EoC who've holed up in 07 all this time logging in once to vote and logging back out can only partially be blamed for it, but the biggest problem is the EoC itself.
Dreamed up literally over half a lunch break between a total of two people with what I can imagine are penthouse offices at the towers of Jagex, the new combat system was pretty much botched from the beginning. It left beta way too early, didn't show any clear direction towards what the final product would be while it was still in Beta, and has, since its release, had too many "adjustments" made to it for any casual player to keep up with.
If you ask me, we should still be in beta, going about the changes currently suggested in the re-evolution of combat beta, where Special Attacks, an upgraded Momentum, Ability Queueing, Automated Basic Ability Cycling, Action Bar Set-ups, faster Loadout switching, and PvP refinements are considered.
All those new in-current-Beta improvements should have been done in the first place, and this tells me that the EoC was rushed at best. And now they are looking to integrate it with another, completely unbalanced and obsolete combat system.
Tell me, how are Jagex going to combine two combat systems, of which one is in Beta (again), when they have a clear history of failing at producing just one from scratch? Is the left hand knowing what the right one is doing? More importantly, are we ever going to see a finished product?
It's a bad idea, and reeks of despair after that chief executive EoC-dream-upper uttered the simple yet powerful statement of "Oops!" when they realised that their idea isn't nearly as brilliant as they thought it would be. Even the removal of Yelps suggest an inkling of failure-realization.
RuneScape once had the potential of being a game we loved. Instead it's become a bad joke, a punchline to be used at events like comic-con (cuz god forbid you dare speak of it anywhere else). Yes, it's tried to change, but it hasn't tried hard enough, and as a result, the relationship between it and the players has changed.
It's no wonder people are talking about finding another game. I've dropped in on many a conversation that had the lines "Well, if you like this and that about RuneScape, why don't you try..." in it. It's also the reason why we will compare every next MMO we will ever play to RuneScape; because fortunately, RuneScape has some redeeming qualities.
Let's face it, we all want a game just like RuneScape, just not RuneScape.