Challenge where you find it
Certainly, many guilds look to the current endgame content for their challenging game play. Even small guilds who don’t raid will look to the current endgame instances and heroics. Some players, particularly those who play rogues and hunters, pursue extreme soloing.
But for some players, these are not enticing ideas. My partner and I play a Protection and Retribution paladin respectively. And it’s really impressive what two paladins can do. One of our most active guild members plays a Holy paladin. Three paladins, one of each spec, can successfully complete an awful lot of old content.
Just the two of us could take out the Ruins of Ahn’Qiraj. With our Holy guildmate, we took on Ragnaros in Molten Core for an easy success. Add in our hunter, and we got C’Thun from the Temple of Ahn’Qiraj in one try.
The three paladins took 4 bosses in Mount Hyjal, without reading any strategies. We did die to Rage Frostwhisper the first time, but the second attempt was flawless – at least in terms of none of us dying. Two of us had fought Rage when he was current content, but I had never seen him die due to stopping raiding during that part of the guild’s progression. Our Holy paladin also said he’d never seen the boss after Rage.
After that success, Sonaira and Shoryl leapt into the Black Temple. Without strats, we didn’t kill Najentus, but in a future attempt? We’ll very likely be able to kill the first boss in the second to last raid made available in Outland.
Is this hard-core challenge? Probably not. But that’s not really the point. The point is finding the level of difficulty and interest that you’re happy with. Shoryl wants to carry the old instance and raiding achievements, to hearken back to her predecessor’s prowess on the battlefield in Classic WoW. Sonaira wants a chance to explore the content, which is why we do this stuff without strats, frequently on our own, and certainly only with guildies.
On another note, there’s a secret place in Icecrown that shows the early developmental styles that went into Vashj’ir. I was so excited when I accidentally found it while hunting saronite and titanium to get my chopper built. Sonaira looked over my shoulder while I explored, then looked up why it was there, and what it might be. I’m still surprised there were faceless ones there, and not nerubians.