(And why I look forward to leaving the present one)
I started playing RuneScape sometime between Easter and Halloween of 2006. Most of my time as a new player was spent trying to figure out where I was in the world, where I could mine copper and tin, where I could smelt bronze bars, and smith those bronze bars into platebodies. It wasn't until early 2007 when I ventured into the wilderness, having achieved respectable levels in combat.
I entered the wilderness to the north of Varrock, a multi-combat area. This was before clan chats - fighting people was rather chaotic. You could attack a person, and depending on who hit first or had the lowest health, one to ten people would join in and pile on. Even more people might then join the fight, either trying to balance the fight or throw that balance.
This was before the clan chat system - and players were yelling out asking to form a "team!" left and right. This was the most dangerous of set ups, sometimes people formed large permanent clans and set up near the hill giants, stand in the infamous "death dots," and send one person to lure 2-3 from Varrock, only to slaughter those lured. It was also a time where a team kill meant that some teammates would beg for a share in the kill. If you were lucky enough to deal the most damage, all you would ever hear after dealing the final blow would be: "Share! Share!"
If your teammates felt that you weren't sharing well enough, woe was you. They'd attack you faster than a pack of hyenas, and if you didn't teleport out fast enough, you were sure enough dead.
I thought it was incredibly fun to roam the wilderness, walk aimlessly deeper and deeper, searching for another white dot on the minimap. If you were better prepared than your opponent and they were about your combat level or lower, it would be an easy kill. However, if they were a much higher level, you'd probably find yourself running for your life (unless you were already dead).
There were also special places in the Wilderness - a lobster fishing spot, an area that spawned large amounts of bones and big bones, a guy that would sell you pizza materials for cheap prices, and the mysterious yet sought after Runite rocks. These were popular places – where one could usually find others.
That all changed at the end of 2007.
Fast forward to the recent player versus player interaction: PvP worlds and Bounty Hunter.
I don't know about you, but as a PKer, I hate Earned Potential. I hate having to wait 30 minutes between kills in order to get a chance at a half decent drop. The EP system penalizes players that would otherwise be successful killing one after another. It forces them to idle, do nothing. It also makes it pointless to fight off a player jumper - get a kill, someone starts attacking you, and if you kill them you'll get nothing because of your diminished earned potential.
As an economist, I also hate how weapons, armour, and inventories in general disappear and are replaced by drop tables. Risking four million in god armour? Your opponent is lucky if they even received half of that. If you kill someone that is risking nothing but 26,000gp, you have the potential to gain upwards of 4 million. PvP should be more consistent and less of a lottery.
As a player that enjoys variety I hate that I can't PK on a whim, and there is no point of roaming in the Wilderness. There is only one access point to the wilderness, through Edgeville. The dynamics of North Varrock are gone simply because there is no bank or altar close by. I hate that I must get to Edgeville first before I can wait 45 seconds to hop worlds to PK, and that everyone in those worlds are PKers.
Lastly, as a player with a bad network, I can't PK in a world without lag. My best pings for these limited worlds are about 150 ms, compared to the 60-70 ms latency of my best. I've lost about 7 Gravite 2H's to lag - my screen freezes for about a second, only to find myself in Lumbridge.
I'm cautiously optimistic about the return of the old wilderness. I look forward to teaming with others, piling opponents north of Varrock, the removal of earned potential. I look forward to wandering the wilderness aimlessly, perhaps waiting near the fishing spots or the Runite rocks to attack a skiller. I look forward to better pings, and less lag… I look forward to the Allure of the Old Wilderness.