Table of Contents
- What is the purpose of the “Road to Unicum” videos?
- Who is the intended audience?
- Your account is not Unicum yet, so why are you publishing these videos?
- Why don’t you use gold ammo (“premium ammo”)?
- How do we know you really don’t use gold ammo?
- Why don’t you use mods?
- How do you choose your replays?
- Can you post replays where you are the bottom tier?
- Why don’t you have a purple (60%) Win Rate?
- What crew skills and equipment do you recommend for a given tank?
- Will you make videos of arty gameplay?
- I’m feeling incredibly generous and want to support your WoT gaming with a donation, so how do I do that?
What is the purpose of the “Road to Unicum” videos?
When I read the official WoT (World of Tanks) forums, WoT sub-Reddit, and WoTLabs forums, one question comes up more than any other: how do I improve my gameplay?
This is particularly challenging for players who have hit a ceiling in terms of their measurable performance (e.g. win rate, WN8 rating, etc) and are not sure what to do. While players can download replays of highly-skilled players, those replays don’t capture the thinking process of the player behind the tank – you see their actions but don’t necessarily know the how’s or why’s behind them.
Therefore, in this video series I share what I’ve learned as I progress towards account Unicum rating (top 0.1%) with silver ammo only. I talk through how I’m reading the battle as it unfolds and discuss key decisions and mistakes. My hope is that these videos meaningfully help other players improve their gameplay.
For full disclosure, I spend money on the game, and that most definitely helps with stats. I believe that it’s possible to reach Unicum as a F2P player and with silver ammo, but the process would be extremely tedious and suck the fun out of the game.
Who is the intended audience?
Basically anyone who does not already have a purple WN8 Recent and who is looking for guidance / tips for improving their gameplay.
Players who already have a purple Recent WN8 already know what I know.
Your account is not Unicum yet, so why are you publishing these videos?
The title implies the journey to get there, not already being there.
That said, if I continue playing at the level I’ve been playing the past several thousand battles, I should reach account Unicum (2450 WN8) prior to 13k battles on my original WoT account.
I’ve been averaging a Super Unicum WN8 (2900+) for over 3000 battles, all with silver ammo only.
Beyond WoT, I have a long history of publishing guides for various online games that have meaningfully helped players improve their gameplay. Sharing knowledge and providing guidance are things I love to do.
Why don’t you use gold ammo (“premium ammo”)?
I don’t use gold ammo because it’s very problematic for tank balance.
No judgement on players who use it, it is a built-in game mechanic and is a powerful tool.
For the purpose of these educational videos, I think it’s more illustrative and helpful to viewers to show how to perform well with silver ammo, as opposed to firing a lot of gold.
How do we know you really don’t use gold ammo?
I can’t offer you exhaustive proof – that would require my collecting and posting over 10k screenshots or replay files, and frankly no one would go through them all anyway.
That said, I can offer meaningful proof – I have posted hundreds of screenshots for battles in which I earned Ace Tanker or 1st class badges, and you can see from the ammo re-supply costs that I’m firing silver ammo only.
Aside from that, you’ll just have to take my word for it, and the fact that no one will ever be able to post a replay of my firing gold ammo at them.
Why don’t you use mods?
I’ve never used any mods in WoT, for multiple reasons:
- The stock UI is pretty functional, relative to other games
- Some mods give information (such as XVM player stats) which I think would be depressing or distracting to see. I react to game flow based on what my eyes tell me. I do keep a mental note of good players and good clans (e.g. the top 10 listed on WoTLabs)
- It’s a hassle when mods break, especially due to game patches, and I don’t want to become overly dependent on them
- It’s not completely clear to me what mods are legal and what are not. If I’m ever accused of hacking or using cheating mods, it’s much easier to simply respond that I’ve never used any mods
- Some people in my cross-gaming guild kept insisting that mods were essential, same with gold ammo, and I often like to buck the trend to prove a point. Mods can definitely help, but I believe they’re aren’t needed to play at a Unicum level
- Some (formal) formats don’t allow mods. I’ll probably never do tournaments and stuff, but you never know…
That said, there was one mod in particular I believed which would be helpful, and that was the minimap mod with tank names and last-spotted locations, but as of 9.5 those things are now built-in to the game :)
I do use mods in other games, e.g. WoW, WildStar. For the reasons above, I don’t in WoT.
How do you choose your replays?
I chose replays based on the tank lines I’m working on, poll votes from viewers, and comments from viewers.
Let me clearly state that I don’t just upload any random or normal replay.
I intentionally choose replays where there is educational value, in terms of good illustrative gameplay and mistakes that I make. For the most part, the replays are of battles in which there is meaningful challenge, since there isn’t much to learn from a faceroll victory unless you are the one enabling it to happen.
Can you post replays where you are the bottom tier?
Yes, I’ve been doing posting bottom-tier replays since the 5th episode and will continue to do so.
Here are the episodes where I’m bottom tier:
- Episode 5: T-44 in a Tier 10 Battle
- Episode 8: ELC AMX in a Tier 8 Battle
- Episode 13 (not released yet): IS-3 in a Tier 10 Battle
Why don’t you have a purple (60%) Win Rate?
My recent (last 1k battles) WR is ~59%, or 1 percentage point away from Unicum WR.
WR is easily padded via platooning with skilled players, since WR is a reflection of team performance. WN8 is more of a reflection of individual performance.
I’ve probably solopub’d (solo-queued) ~90% of my battles. Even after joining a clan (WANTD/WNTED), I’m still soloing 80+% of the time. It’s not that I don’t like platooning with people – I do – but some nights I hop around various tanks or play tiers other people don’t want or people are playing pref MM.
Unicum WR is 60-64%, Super Uni is 65+%. Those are very difficult WRs to sustain mostly solopubbing, especially with silver ammo only.
I have no doubt that if I platooned regularly with equally-skilled players, my Recent WR would be over 60%.
What crew skills and equipment do you recommend for a given tank?
Watch the first 15 seconds of the video in the garage – that will typically have the recommended and most recent setup that I’m running with for that tank.
Will you make videos of arty gameplay?
No, for two reasons:
- I enjoy driving tanks as well as operating a gun. Arty is more about the latter than the former. This is not to say it wouldn’t be fun – for me the timing of shell travel over distances would be interesting – but the gameplay wouldn’t be as engaging to me as other tank classes
- Arty tends to make battles much more campy since players are uncomfortable moving out of arty-safe positions
I’m feeling incredibly generous and want to support your WoT gaming with a donation, so how do I do that?
Aside from sending me stuff through WoT itself (e.g. gifts of gold, premium tanks, etc), here are other options:
- Donate via PayPal
- Shop on Amazon through one of these links: CA | DE | FR | UK | US
Any purchase you make supports me and won’t impact what you pay
Before you gift me a premium tank (and thanks, that’s very generous of you), please let me know your intention, because I may decline. E.g. I declined a TOG II gift because I couldn’t stomach the snail-like mobility. That said, there are plenty of premium tanks that would be interesting to try, so let me know and we’ll discuss.