My observation is “spells with multiple effects do not (always) seem to be atomic”. In this sense “atomic” means “everything happens at the same time”. I think players expect it, but if it’s a game rule then it’s “consistent” enough players can learn it.
I see it with Emperor Khorvash all the time. We read “Drain mana, do damage, stun” like it’s one action. But what really happens is this:
- Drain mana (from the first enemy.)
- Do damage (to the first enemy.)
- Stun (the first enemy.)
- Drain mana (from the second enemy.)
- Do damage (to the second enemy.)
- Stun (the second enemy.)
“The first enemy” or “the second enemy” recalculates every step. So if we number the troops 1, 2, 3, 4, and the “do damage to the 2nd enemy” step kills enemy 2, then "Stun (the second enemy) sort of chokes and hits 3.
That’s buggy in and of itself because technically 3 is now the first enemy, but this is very consistent. My interpretation has always been this is an unwanted interaction from the devs, the “choose a 2nd target” code realizes it has an invalid target and the “failure” state is “I don’t know, start the targeting code over again and see if it finds something.”
That’s what I think we see here: Kraken’s “damage” step and “devour” step are so distinct they can choose different targets.