Are Hard Modes the New Line in the Sand Between Casual and Hardcore?

Once upon a time, in vanilla WoW, raiding was the line drawn between the casual and the hardcore player. It was a big deal to be in MC/BWL/AQ and ultimately Naxx.

But over the years, Blizzard actively made changes to make raiding be in the grasp of most — if not all — of the players who wanted to participate in end game content. PUGable raid instances replaced high-learning curve instances. And there was little left activity-wise to differentiate between the casual and the hardcore player.

But then there was the introduction of Ulduar and its hard modes. My casual guild has yet to actively go after them, despite at least a few being pretty readily attainable with a good crew. It would be lovely to see Algalon eventually, but I just don't have the expectation that enough of my casual guildies would be up for wiping for 3 hours to attain a hard mode kill.

So, does that make hard modes the new line in the sand between casual and hardcore? Are many casual guilds going after the hard modes? Or are they, after killing Yogg, swapping in alts or lesser-experienced players instead?

4 thoughts on “Are Hard Modes the New Line in the Sand Between Casual and Hardcore?”

  1. OK, so I’m ready for hardmodes. I’ve pushed this a couple times, but haven’t gotten a lot of excitement from the upper echelon which I can completely appreciate and understand. To satisfy my needs, I’ve been concentrating on the heroics achievements, trying to take a small group of likeminded people in for those. I know, I know, not at all the same thing, but something I hadn’t previously concentrated on.
    That all said, if we were to take a 10m crew in to try the first few…who would you want to take?

  2. I think that trying for the hard modes is overall incompatible with the way we do our signups and raid slotting. You really do need to cherry-pick your teams to be able to follow the strat and have the endurance to keep at it. I think our Yogg killing team was very solid and has the folks I think could — and would want to — do it.
    At a minimum, we have to go after Heartbreaker. There are a bunch of guilds on our server who haven’t killed Yogg who have that.
    And for the record I consider myself to be a displaced hardcore raider. In that I previously was involved in progression raiding but burnt out and just don’t have the same number of nights available but want to focus and kick ass in a condensed time frame, which I think is totally possible.

  3. Hard modes can be a lot of fun. On Ally side two of my buddies and me 3-manned a lot of instances at level from Scarlet Monastery all the way up to Northrend at level. I healed on my Holy Priest, the Pally tanked, and my other buddy joined our group on his Druid, Pally, or Death Knight. It depended on where the Pally and I were level wise since we were blowing through levels fast.
    We weren’t in the best gear, we had a mix of greens and blues (from quest rewards and instance runs) but we all knew our classes fairly well m so that helped out a lot.Although we didn’t get achievements for 3-manning instances at level we still had a blast since at times it was extremely challenging. ;
    I took a lot of pictures and a few videos of some of those runs. 🙂 I used to do achievements with Holi before I took a break from her. I’m hoping to do more.

  4. The SO and I did quite a bit of our own personal heroics leveling up as well. Hunter+SP could take on almost any instance at our level. The pic on the blog with the gnome pirate + pumpkin headed SP was when we duo’d RFD/RFK (I always confuse the two.)

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