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First of all, I fondly remember stuff in numerous games I played in the past. I used to PK and make pizza with friends at the Bandit's Camp in the Wilderness and we pretty much had a hunting party that scoured multizones to find players to pick off. I also remember doing a lot of enjoyable stuff in WoW, particularly back during the Wrath expansion.
But unfortunately times have changed since then. People have gotten smarter and online resources more extensive than ever. In a sense, this development is both a blessing and a curse and may even arguably be a reflection of issues related to society as a whole in some way but that's way too broad so let's consider this progression in the context of gaming.
I think one thing that has to be made clear is that it's pretty much not possible to go back. Even if time travel existed, short of artificially inducing amnesia it would be nearly impossible to replicate the experience of being an innocent newb who knew no better and derived enjoyment from almost everything they did. So while it would be nice to use such a method to deal with jaded veterans including myself, that option is not a viable one. Such players also can only tap into such an experience by playing entirely new games because their experience can allow them to develop an advantage by deducing game mechanics and the like.
Instead, a different solution should be considered, and I think the following would work pretty well:
1. Be welcoming. One thing that tends to drive potential players away before they even try the game is the notoriety of that game's community. Judging from the 2007scape subreddit and its high level of hostility especially towards Runescape3, this is one thing that needs enormous improvement. Note that all gaming communities are automatically at a disadvantage to begin with due to the events related to Gamergate.
2. Be kind to newbs. As a Friend has shown, the sharing of information among players was a highlight of playing Runescape and this was definitively the case for other games. Online resources and an increase in player knowledge have made players more intolerant of newbs who could be having a similar enjoyable experience as others have in the past. In addition, in some sick twist of a biased view of past experiences, such players think it's appropriate for newbs to "suffer as they did" when in truth that was rarely ever the case. Keep in mind sort of newbiness is very different from the stubborn, selfish noobs who can't take an ounce of criticism.
Also, if you're not willing to help (no one's forcing you to after all), then at least don't be intentionally unhelpful.
3. Make new experiences. If there's one thing that something like OSRS or the Legion expansion in WoW has shown, it's that as long as the gameplay is compelling enough, the players will congregate. While not every social interaction between players is going to be a healthy one, there are ways to develop around fostering healthy interactions as well, though I'm not sure if this has been realized in any online game. For now it's satisfactory for developers to make the game enjoyable to play and focusing on both player retention and playerbase growth (and not one or the other - both are essential to prevent a "death spiral.").
4. Do not dwell excessively on the past. This one speaks for itself. Seriously, go focus on doing 3.