It was easy drop it already, most people beat it with that setting, because it was the most optimal setting, like any boss out there, there is an optimal way of killing it, now if you go out of your way to discard such ways or methods and do it your own way, then pat yourself on the back, but that does not make it "Harder" you made it harder, like when you play an RPG and you do low level runs... Does it make the game harder ? Yes! Is the game hard ? No... You made it hard by handicaping yourself HUGE DIFFERENCE!
lol going out of your wy to make it difficult? No Im sorry but do yo know the definition of "going out of your way" to do something? the example you gave about beating an RPG at lower levels of ppl who beat the original FF with an all white mage group, THAT indeed would be called challenging yourself or "going out of your way" to make it hard... but if youre playing the game normally, not spending minute sin an area grinding to over level yourself, and only participating in the fights you run into trying to get from point A to point B then youre playing the game normally.. and while playing it normally if you still see game over screen at every other boss. Id say its definitely a hard game on its own (as opposed to a game where you could beta the whole thing just tapping X with your butt and the only way youd see a game over screen is if you literally stood there and TRIED to die.. which would be the case with a few games i could name)
now since you like to use the term "going on of your way" let me give you an example of doing JUST that in regards to FFXI. A great example of going out of your way would be taking the hours or day required to level the "correct" jobs, jobs that you dont even give a crap about, for the sole purpose of beating CoP/making it "easy" doing all that JUST for one set of mission is the very definition of going out of your way... now if you already had those jobs levied PRIOR to CoP then by all means yes, use them, but if you start leveling them JUST to do that, then you are indeed going out of your way.