thats silly. EVERY non-instanced hnm mob type can be fought in an alternative venue often even more difficult than the king itself. either ksnm 99s or cop missions and enms. The only difference between them is the quality of the drops, and thats the whole reason to bother.
You missed the point, your post was a false dichotomy because you made the choice between hnms and doing nothing, and there are plenty of endgame options to do besides that. And come on, if you want to fight wyrms there are three cop ones very few people do. There were plenty of options to do hnm style fights without resorting to botting, if its the fight you want.
But it never was, lets be honest, its about the gear.
Exactly, it's about the gear. That's all it ever really is after the first few times you've fought something. Nobody in their right mind is going to farm trigger items for Sky so they can fight Kirin for the 57th time in their illustrious career. They'll do it in the hopes that they'll see the 13th Osode of their career and maybe, just maybe they'll be the one to get it this time.
The quest items for a MNK black belt, for example, only drop from the three 21-24 hour spawn ground HNMs. Can't claim them? Too bad... the rare/ex uber-belt of MNKalicious doom is forever out of your grasp.
Bragging rights to having downed Nidhogg? Not a chance. Unless you (or someone in your LS) is running a bot, that is.
I don't consider KS99s to be reasonable alternatives to ground Kings. For starters, it's 99 friggin' Kindred Seals. I don't care what job you are, 99 Kindred Seals takes hours upon hours upon hours
to farm, and then you've got to get 17 other people willing to go in. Then you've got to win the fight. And if you wipe? Get back to the farming.
This is old world content that many, many people (including myself) dreamt of taking part in. By the time I was creeping up on 75, I had a 75 Paladin friend who would relate to me the hours of tedious boredom that went along with camping spawn timers on Fafhogg. By the time his LS got a timer and got organized to go try their luck at the claim, they were beat to it. And this was even before rampant botting at ground HNMs became commonplace.
I don't think I've missed your point. I'm not just talking about being able to get teh uber gearz. I'm talking about being able to experience the
content. Not a Fafhogg knockoff in Limbus or a KS99. I'm talking about being part of the linkshell that goes toe-to-toe with Nidhogg's name in brilliant red high above them while 2-3 other combat-ready linkshells look on in slobbering anticipation. I'm talking about trampling the fields of Behemoth's Dominion with a giant, angry, blue demon dog fixing to drop a meteor on your head.
The gear is a part of it too, however. Ridill? Black Belt? SE will be the first to tell you that these are high status items in addition to high performance end-game kit. There was
a time when any LS could show up to any of the kings' spawn areas at the right time and have a fighting chance at the claim. It wasn't until botters started showing up that it became a waste of time to even try. The first botters were the real heinous cheaters, not the folks using them simply to level the playing field.
Again, if you're not interested in fighting Nidhogg, be it general disinterest or being satisfied with the other wyrm alternatives, that's great. For the players having invested 3-4 years on the same toon, still not being able to list Nidhogg/KB/Aspid kills as accomplishments is not a hard thing to see as a source of frustration.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The botting apps they're using give them no advantage in the instanced content anyways.