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"if you want to smith and make money, you have to spend hours mining first."
Here's the misconception. Of course you can get ores and then smith them then sell the product. But at that point, you're making rs gold with Mining and then wasting it with Smithing. Smithing in itself isn't very useful unless you do it for its own sake (For Smith xp)
"make it cheap and you destroy every other combat skill."
I'm not saying super cheap, I'm saying reasonable. And it wouldn't destroy every other combat skill either, because some enemies are very resistant to Magic, and therefore you have to rely on choosing the correct combat style. What you're saying is comparable to stating that the Ranged skill destroys the Melee skill, since it obviously has more utility (you can safespot pretty much anything in this game).
"Any buffs to magic attempting to make it a viable option compared to melee or range for Player vs Monster would have to be limited to non-PvP only. Otherwise the teleblocks, freezes and highly accurate hard hitting attacks will make magic the only option for PvP."
I don't think PvPers care about spending 20 Runes more or less in a single fight when they're walking around, risking hundreds of Ice Barrage Runes anyway. By the way, in my first post I specifically said Player vs Monster and left out utility spells like Snare or TB. For Ice Barrage I suggsted a 5% Rune refund rate, knowing that it's already good. You can't argue that this would break the game in any way.
"Speaking as a person who specializes in the magic skill, cost is really of no issue and the Trident was released for this very purpose-to provide mage's with a more viable method of Player vs Monstering."
The Trident is exactly what works with Magic. It's reasonable damage for reasonable cost. I stated this in my OP and said that this sole option is very limiting and restricted to high levels.
Guys, I don't want easier or cheaper Magic xp, I just want cheaper Magic damage.
Why not go with the refund idea, but make it so a refunded spell doesn't grant any Magic xp, since you seem to care about easy xp so much (OP had been updated with respect to this).
Right now, killing a thing with Magic just costs too much, therefore it's not viable for Player vs Monster.
Melee and Ranged damage let you kill something without spending lots of money, therefore you can earn runescape gold with drops.
You keep bringing up arguments relating to skilling, and I agree with having to balance the difficulty and cost of skilling, no argument here.
But this is about Player vs Monster. Why do people Player vs Monster? Not primarily to gain xp, but to get a roll for the monster's loot table.
PvMers don't kill stuff in order to gain more levels, they gain their levels in order to kill stuff.
This is what Player vs Monster is all about.
Gaining Magic levels just doesn't let you kill stuff (except for the Trident), because any reward you get from your Player vs Monster is invalidated by the cost of dealing damage. You're hurting yourself and it doesn't feel worthwhile to do it. My interests lie SPECIFICALLY with those of people with high Magic levels, like you guys seem to be. You earned your Magic level long and hard and with it being a combat skill, it should be possible to use it in combat, to go kill stuff.
Imagine there was some weapon in the game, maybe a sword. The sword would require a Magic level to wield, scale its damage off your Magic level and deal Magic damage, but return only a small amount of Magic xp, hell, maybe it would even cost a reasonable amount to slash with it.
This wouldn't make Magic easier, or make it more profitable, it would just give you a new option on what to do with it.
This is what I want, a way to Player vs Monster with Magic damage. And my suggestion seems a lot more simple and reasonable than adding some obscure Magic sword.