Blizzard is implementing a new instance, we are all feeling rather run down with the rather 'casual' friendly nature of said instance (ok, I will admit my guild still doesn't get the safety dance, and someone always crosses the beams :) ). Ulduar 10 and 25 both have a hard mode, where fights are more complex / damaging (think Sarth +3D) however what does this really mean.

Ok, they can hit the tank harder (proven ineffective unless its a 2 shot... which just results in massive CD rotations), they can enforce a DPS requirement (to stop us stacking healers with those CD rotations), they can force multiple adds (tanks), new targets (tanks), speed burning contests (stacking debuff...). Ok, frankly its all rather dull. Their mechanic of making hard mode in general a 'Daft Punk' mode (Harder, Faster, Stronger) is not really fun, if anything its anti-fun. Every fight can end up like Patchwerk, or like Saph on steroids however it doesn't really test people individually. The benefit of many old instances (and yes I am thinking ZA, Kara in certain points, Leotheras, Teron) was that they tested individuals not just the raid.

Hard modes should not just be 'Daft Punk' mode, there should not be a simple "hit tank twice as hard, up dps requirement to 5k / dps or wipe", instant kill mechanics are equally boring "can x press y or does z die". Instead what I want to see are fights that test us. Imagine for a moment Zul'aman, the Eagle Boss. Sitting in front of you is a boss, your tank and melee are spread 10 yards apart to avoid lightning chains, the ranged further out to minimise damage, the raid starts, and the storm approaches. Suddenly you all pretend to be at a Scottish Wedding and Old Lang Syne starts playing and you rush towards the boss ... one of your misses, getting caught in the outer ring, instead of dying though you rise into the air, your healers now must keep you alive because if you die a lightning point spawns causing a second lightning storm to spawn on a separate timer.

Lets beat around the bush and push it further,in a 10 man instance you are fundamentally restricted to something akin to:

2 Tanks
3 Healers

So we are fundamentally limited to ~ 8 roles in the group. 25 man is larger, and each error compounds more but the principle is the same. Archimonde, Teron and suchlike weren't hard fights (stand and dps pretty much), what made them hard was that those players you really never let click cubes on Magtheridon... suddenly had their own personal cube, and if it wasn't clicked they beat up the raid. Hard mode shouldn't be about finding 10 people overgearing an instance, that is simply not fun, it should be more akin to the Oculus, no matter how much you overgear it you cannot gimp the last boss its a matter of skill and knowledge over brute force. Lets have hard modes not test our raw gear stats, normal does enough of that if we want it to, but make the hard mode sufficiently interesting to make them skill fests, no longer do you worry that 10 man hard mode rewards the same as 25 man hard mode simply because it takes the same amount of skill per player to achieve the result, perhaps not perfection, but at least undying.