When we first walked in on Thursday, I remember everyone saying "Oh, it's another one of those half body bosses." Do we have to DPS his arms or something?
Close. It turns out Kromog is the groping king and he has lots of little hands popping out of the ground everywhere just dying to grab you and also likes to squish you between his hands as well. Oh and avoid the sound rings that emanate out from the boss as well.
We wiped all night on this boss, even though everyone said it was easy. There were a number of reasons why I think it wasn't easy.
We were trying to do it with 4 healers for 19 ppl. Koda, myself, Nok and Yuuda. Yuuda is a little bit undergeared for it but he knows the fight, having done it as melee. Crooked switched to healing halfway through the night.
We are also melee heavy. Which means when they take that slam there's a fair bit of healing to do in that direction.
Tanks were also taking a pounding. They were swapping at 3 stacks but the slam still hurt them a buttload!
People were DPS'd out of the hands a bit early and got hit by clapping hands or something. You take less damage from clappy hands when you've been gripped.
And of course we were learning mechanics so people kept not getting into a rune, or they were hit by Reverbs, or the slow rock force wave that the boss does or during the Stone Breath which is a raid wide AoE damage which happens every 30 seconds or so. So I need 6 healer cooldowns to be able to get through each stone breath.
We just died all night. Lots. Poor Hwired was getting frustrated and a lot of people were too, it just felt like an impossible wall and that we were missing some simple mechanic somewhere. We tried moving the tanks closer. Ranged were moving to the left. Ranged weren't stacked up enough IMO, but that wasn't so bad, really. Healers were tunneling a little bit and getting smacked by avoidable stuff.
There was an uncomfortable moment where there was some yelling, and I felt bad about that. But it was officers yelling at each other - we can take it. But I bet everyone else felt a bit AWKWARD /whistle
So what we DID do well was that we were using half the room instead of being spread out all over the room. That made it easier for DPS to break us out. Unfortunately, the cleave damage people weren't spread out in a nice line to distribute damage so there were some spots where people got out really quickly, and others where they got out really slowly.
It frustrated me that I didn't know when to time the cooldowns and I really wanted to learn. So after the raid, I went to queue up in Group Finder looking for Heroic Kromog.
I got into a PuG and they wiped a few times (and eventually killed it) but there were a number of things that I DID learn from that PuG which were quite important.
- Tanks can have Hand of Protection and run around in that groping hand phase and not die. In fact, I think even a normal person can have that too.
- You can 3 tank it. With three tanks they took 2 debuffs each and therefore less damage overall. That would put less strain on the healers, because the tanks seemed to instant die a lot. They used a DK, monk and warrior tanks. And that worked REALLY WELL.
- They used 6 healers for 20 people. Ok, so I was really short changing myself with healers. Bish, where the hell were you! They had 2 druids, 2 disc priests, 2 shamans. Whereas I was trying to do it with 3 druids, 1 shaman and 1 monk.
- The ranged were stacked up reasonably tight. And they avoided the mechanics better - I was bad on the kill attempt I must have been hit by 5 bloody rock waves. I guess that will improve with practice.
- People were spread out to the far corners of the gropey hands but they managed to live and get broken out. I don't want to do that though but it was nice to see that it could be done like that and not be absolutely detrimental to the raid.
- There IS an enrage timer. Enrage is at 9 minutes. But it's a very generous enrage timer. Someone told me that it doesn't have an enrage timer. But it does, I saw it!
- Deterrence does not save you in that groping hand phase if you didn't get groped.
- The melee and tanks can stand how we had them in our raid without issue.
So I am really pleased that I did that PuG because now I understand the fight a WHOLE lot better. It really is just avoiding stuff and not dying. And judicious use of cooldowns. If I have Bish, Koda, myself, Yuuda, Nok and Crooked then we should have enough cooldowns to cycle.
Aimei said to me that the average number of wipes on Kromog was 19.6 before a kill. Well we just hit 19. So I hope that we won't be too far beyond par. I think that the once we all know which rune to take for our gropey hand so that we don't take each other's, and cycle our healer cooldowns better it will be much better. And we can do the three tanks thing... damn it, Cptsars and Arelion are moving house! It would be cool if they were both on, because then we can easily 3 tank. Guess it will have to be Kyjenn in the meantime then.