When I first started playing Battle for Azeroth on my hunter Sriset, I was using Survival spec. I imagine it’s because I liked the Artifact appearance for that spec from Legion. Then somewhere along the line, I switched to Beast Mastery, probably because I was dying too much in Survival because I wasn’t properly geared or I picked up a bow with better damage, or both.
I stayed in Beast Mastery spec for quite a long time and was for the most part content with ranged fighting. Although my original fighting style as a hunter way back when was charging in all wild and crazy, I’d learned to behave better. Plus, I made my paladin Solunai so I could fight up close in plate and kick butt. But there’s always been that part of me that enjoys being up close where the action is no matter what class I’m playing.
Following the stealth puzzle nightmare in Mechagon, I really wanted to play survival for the rest of the dungeon because I needed to release the stress by pummeling things. However, I didn’t have a good polearm or stave so switching would’ve been unwise. After that though I was on a mission to acquire the right weapon and step back into the Survival spec.
I looked through the Adventure Guide in Warcraft and saw that there were some decent polearms or staves in heroic BfA dungeons. So I began queuing for random groups and running the dungeons over and over. Despite my efforts, I didn’t receive any of the possible weapons that would suit Survival and I felt very discouraged. Trying to get Sri geared better for the Nya Raid has been rather disheartening overall because Blizz really hasn’t made it that easy to catch up, no matter what they say.
Yesterday morning, with heroic Darkshore finally up for Horde, I tried to get into several groups before one finally accepted me. I know it’s not really personal when groups reject my character, but it’s still discouraging. Darkshore went quite well with me only dying a couple times at the end boss and I got a nice upgrade on gloves, but no weapon of course.
I ended up buying a polearm from the AH that wasn’t great but was better than the nothing I had before. The Twitter group was scheduled to run Nya that afternoon and I wanted to try it in Survival spec to see if I did any better. I ran a couple more dungeons and came up empty but decided I’d still run in Survival because that group is all about learning and not judging anyone, so it was the best time to try it.
I couldn’t stay very long because I had to pick up my daughters, so I missed killing Wrathion, but I was able to rejoin them later for the boss named Maut. I lasted longer than I had in BM spec but I still died because I’m just not good at getting out of the way sometimes. Plus, in Survival spec, I’m much closer to things that can squish me in my mail armor. But the group had no trouble beating him without me and I was able to loot him.
Much to my delight and amazement, I received An’zig Vra, which is a two handed staff that had almost 250 more damage than the weapon I’d picked up in the AH. It was way better than anything I could’ve gotten in the heroic dungeons and I was so thrilled! After trying repeatedly for a weapon that would do, I ended up getting exactly what I needed from the one boss I had time to do in Nya! I removed the corruption from the weapon because I don’t enjoy being attacked by my own equipment and I mogged it to look like the Survival artifact weapon. I took the staff as a sign that I was meant to continue with Survival spec and it made me feel more optimistic about my abilities to catch up with the other players in the Twitter group.
Later that evening, I hopped back on but the group was done with Nya for the day. Fortunately, some of them wanted to run the Pandaria Timewalking dungeons. As I knew those dungeons pretty well from the previous Pandaria TW event and running them on characters the correct level, I was happy to go. I was surprised to learn that some of the people in the Twitter group didn’t know Pandaria dungeons. I just assumed that to be as far ahead of me as they were, they must’ve done everything by that point. I can understand skipping certain content though because I’ve only done some of the Cataclysm content.
Running the dungeons was tons of fun with the group and it was so nice playing in Survival spec and being able to do decent damage. It was also almost a miracle that I knew where to go because I’m so good at getting lost. One thing I did discover though is that I’m a bit out of practice with some of the hunter abilities, in particular Freezing Trap.
Traps used to be a much bigger thing when I started playing hunter during Burning Crusade, but they’ve been reduced and modified so much that I usually forget about them. However, when we got to a particular boss in a Pandaria dungeon, someone said that because we had a hunter we could CC one of the baddies. First I had to ask what CC meant (crowd control) and then I had to ask what they thought I could do. They said I had the Freezing Trap and at first I didn’t think I did, but then I saw it on my action bars and facepalmed at my own obliviousness.
It took me a couple tries, but I managed to get the trap on the right baddie just as the others rushed in to take out the other enemies. I was so proud of myself! I also realized that I needed to go back to hunter school and figure out what else I could and should do in dungeons and raids.
So that’s exactly what I did this morning. I went to Icy Veins and looked up what pet and talents were recommended and what Azerite armor traits worked well for Survival. I also tamed a new ferocity pet, a scalehide from Zandalar, because my ferocity pets in the stable were few and far between. Plus, a new pet is always a good thing! It’s still going to take me a while to get used to playing Survival but I imagine I’ll get the hang of it eventually.
One of the things I like most about Survival spec is that I don’t see a lot of hunters using it. Nothing wrong with that as I understand the desire for ranged fighting and I love gathering pets. But sometimes I really enjoy being the oddball and doing things a bit different than the crowd. Plus, there’s always that part of me that wants to charge headlong into danger like a crazy wild woman. 😉