Intrepid 3.1 PTR reporter Michael Sacco here, reporting for duty and giving you the skinny on all that Ulduar has to offer you. The developers have allowed players into Ulduar to test some encounters, usually one at a time, and they've been steadily gathering feedback each night. Prior to this engagement, the boss that was up was Flame Leviathan, but we've seen him a few times already. I was ready for something new.
Flame Leviathan may give me guns, but I want to go to the gun show. What do you say, Blizzard? How about you give me a boss who exercises his right to bear arms?
Kologarn? Why yes. This will do. This will do nicely. Let me grab Matt "Matticus" Low and my other, less important coworker Alex Ziebart.
This writeup will be spoiler-heavy. If you don't wish to know anything about this or any Ulduar boss, don't click the link below. You've been warned.
We knew going in where Kologarn would be, which is the Antechamber of Ulduar. He popped up during a different night, having been accidentally spawned, so we knew what we were getting into.
The instance was already open when we logged on, thanks to extended Flame Leviathan testing. We used the handy teleporters to move past the Iron Concourse, the Scrapyard, and the Colossal Furnace straight to where Kologarn was.
Or was supposed to be, anyway. We cautiously entered the Antechamber doorway and saw only an untextured bridge. Alex Ziebart, in an expected display of Ziebartness, walked right up to where he'd be spawned and pondered aloud "Where the heck is he?", only to be immediately killed two seconds later as Kologarn spawned in. In fact, you can see his corpse at the bottom of the image above. Requiescat in pace, you crazy diamond.
Kologarn is a really neat-looking boss, reminding me a little of the gods in Disney's Hercules movie. He's just an enormous torso with two gigantic arms and a bearded head. The first thing we noticed was that his two arms were targetable as separate mobs. After a test pull, it was obvious that they acted independently of Kologarn himself -- he was tauntable, his arms were not.
Here are the abilities Kologarn used on us, in detail thanks to StratFu's diligence. The numbers are for the Heroic version of the encounter.
• Petrifying Breath: Kologarn only uses this ability when no one is in melee range. It's basically a "wipe faster" move. Someone should be in melee range of his main body at all times (preferably a tank).
• Focused Eyebeam: Two beams, one from each of Kologarn's eyes, appear to the right and left of a targeted player, then converge and follow the player, dealing 4000 damage every second in a 3 yard radius.
• Overhead Smash: Once every 10-15 seconds, Kologarn uses this ability, which deals damage and applies the stacking debuff Crunch Armor to his target.
• One-Armed Overhead Smash: Kologarn's Smash diminishes in power when he loses one of his arms. It still applies the same degree of stacking armor reduction.
• Stone Grip: Grabs 1-3 random people from the raid not including the MT into Kologarn's right hand and deals 4000 damage to them per second. The tooltip reads that 450,000 damage must be done to the Right Arm before Stone Gripped players are let free, but many guilds, including Fusion, have reported players being let out earlier. The Stone Grip debuff on a player reads "May break from damage to Kologarn's Right Arm," which may indicate that being freed from the arm is a random chance increased up to 100% as damage is done to the arm. Additionally, when one Stone Gripped player dies the rest are released. Further information, parsing, and testing may be necessary for a definitive answer to Stone Grip mechanics.
•Shockwave: The left arm periodically (about once every 25 seconds) sweeps across the raid, dealing 12k Nature damage.
Going into the fight, I imagined we needed to kill both of his arms to defeat the boss. We attempted that a few times, and on attempt three managed to completely destroy his Right Arm ... only to be killed by the adds it spawned. It definitely reduced his body's HP, by something like 15%, but the arm had more HP than that amount, so it was useless to attempt the fight that way. Not only that, but the arm respawned about twenty seconds later.
The point of the encounter, much to my surprise, appears to be that you don't want to kill the arms at all. To make things even more interesting, K-Dogg has an enrage timer.
We had to make a decision. The Left Arm was almost no threat at all, its main attack being a fairly weak raid damage ability. The Right Arm, though, was slightly more troublesome in that it would use its Stone Grip ability to incapacitate and damage one of our raid members. Raids will likely do it one of two ways: damage the Right Arm only when someone is in Stone Grip, to free them faster, or simply heal the person(s) being gripped for its entire duration (which appears to be "until the boss dies"). We opted for option 1, and freed our raid members as they were captured. This diverted a sizeable amount of DPS from the boss and we ended up hitting the enrage timer.
Both appear to be valid strategies at this time, though I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Stone Grip ability to was changed to have a limited duration and the gripped players were killed at the end of it.
Like many Ulduar fights we've seen, Kologarn is just in need of some fine-tuning to be an excellent encounter, and Daelo noted in his scheduling announcement that balance changes are underway for many fights. Fingers crossed, because this is a really neat fight.
I'll be back soon with our experiences with XT-002 Deconstructor.