Rather than selecting a normal or hard mode toggle before pulling an encounter, Ulduar raid groups were tasked with completing different objectives during the encounter or defeating the boss mechanics in a different order to activate hard mode. Famously, players would press a large red button behind Mimiron labelled "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON," activating the encounter and a rather angry Titanic watcher. Other fights during Wrath of the Lich King such as Freya and Sartharion featured a "choose your own difficulty" mechanic wherein the player's choices before the encounter increased or decreased the boss' overall difficulty. Harder combinations of abilities would yield more impressive items.
Will Mists of Pandaria bring back our beloved "choose your difficulty" encounters and in-fight hard mode triggers? I know I'd like to get another Sartharion-style encounter, especially with mount rewards like the original provided.
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