"A weapon of mass destruction can only be used for one thing. You might think it will ensure peace and freedom, but I guarantee you it will never have the effect you're hoping for, until you use it at least once!" -Col. Jack O'Neill of SG-1
Once wasn't enough for the world during the 2nd world war. The Manhattan Project test was not enough of a deterrent as it took two more bombs, killing around 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to finally make the last of the axis powers surrender.
It went the same way for RSBuddy. One of the major bot developers saw his world crumble to dust as no complex bots would ever work again for a substantial amount of time. He proceeded to do the wise thing and surrendered. Whether or not RSBuddy can become a successful fansite still remains to be seen, but Jacmob now works for Jagex.
It was a different story for the European axis powers. The enemy was but a stone's throw away when Hitler committed suicide, and Mussolini was executed by partisans while being on the run from allied forces. Their story is drenched in desperation.
So too is the story of the Snellmans, owners of Impulse Software (a company that lost all value when the Bot Nuke happened) and the iBOT program that would help players cheat exclusively for RuneScape. Jagex had to sue them for just about everything they're worth and, even in the face of legal defeat, they continued to defy Jagex and accuse them of doing unlawful things. We know how that ended up.
But go back in time a bit. Neither appeasement nor sanctions had any effect. It didn't stop Hitler from re-arming Germany, nor did it stop him from invading most of Europe. Even standing idly by, or "remaining neutral" as they called it, would eventually make you a victim.
We know that the massive banning of bots did not help at all, more just kept coming. And if you think that having merely your XP and GP reset would deter people from using bots because they "have learned their lesson," you'd be wrong as well. Eventually, most people that previously had never cared one way or the other about bots would be confronted by the effect they had, even if it was only by the lag all of those bots created.
The parallels don't end there. When asked, everyone will say that they are glad that the bots are gone. But how to proceed next can be placed neatly into two ideologies. A slight majority holds the opinion that legal precedents as well as the Bot Nuke programming are both enough of a deterrent to keep future Bot-makers away and, therefore, rules and regulations can be relaxed much further.
The other side is slightly more realistic, bordering on the cynical. While few, far between, and not always accurate (a throng of sweatshop workers is easily mistaken for a bunch of bots), bots HAVE been sighted and they are making their way back in. To prevent the catastrophe we saw after the re-release of Free Trade and the Wilderness without any checks on cheaters, some people would like us to return to the regulations of '09-'10.
While this can hardly qualify as grounds to hate one another for, we saw what happened between the pro- and con- side of the FT/W debate during the referendum/vote/screw-up in late 2010 and we now lack a common enemy to hate.
It's not all bad news. Just as most of the populated world was blown to bits and needed rebuilding, so too have certain skills become viable money makers again. Many raw materials have by now at least doubled in price since the Nuke, making skills such as Farming, Hunting, and Fishing, even at the lower range of levels, a good source of income.
To this fact you can add that the vast supply is no longer coming from tireless bots, but from actual people doing the actual waking hours of click after click. These people will want good value for their time invested, and will, therefore, refuse to sell their items below a certain price. To say that these are actually unions would go a bit far, but if you were previously given a choice between all (Boss hunting) or nothing (Skilling), I can now confidently say that RuneScape has its middle class back.
The last parallel I want to draw with the real world skips ahead in time a bit. After I've completely ignored major events such as landing on the Moon, the fall of the Soviet Empire, and ever increasing globalization, there is one event from recent history that comes to mind.
RuneScape could very well see a temporary re-emergence of manipulated prices again. And while this would look like a corporate plutocracy, this time there are no pre-determined thresholds at which a select few know to start dumping their products. Instead it is merely an exaggeration of my previous point. Artificially blown up prices will exist, simply because people will refuse to sell for anything less than the above average price. But who knows, it wouldn't be the first time that China stepped in to provide cheap labour.