On 28 July 2009, the Animation Pack 1 update changed the appearance and attack animations of the Rune Scimitar in order to make combat look more realistic. This was done with the godswords, the dragon scimitar, the rune and dragon longswords, and the abyssal whip.
On 23 July 2009, five days before the scheduled update, the Rune scimitar image in the Grand Exchange database was replaced by the new model. Players found the image and posted about it in the RuneScape Forums, making it widely known before Jagex removed the image a few hours later. Five days later, the image was once again put up along with the official release.
Before the Evolution of Combat, the rune scimitar was one of the most common, if not the most common, weapons in the F2P game due to its popularity in the F2P PKing community. After the launch of the EoC, however, many F2P PKers began switching to either the rune 2h sword (with its better damage per second) or the rune mace (due to its +4 Prayer bonus, cheaper cost, and identical stats and attack speed to the scimitar). The lack of monsters with a slash weakness in the non-members game is also contributing to its sudden drop in popularity. Nevertheless, due to the reputation it has gained before the EoC, it is still a fairly common sight among free players.