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Month: January 2019

Anno 1800 Closed Beta Screenshot Challenge

While the Closed Beta is understandably on every Annoholic’s mind right now, we are already setting our eyes on the future to ensure that some of you can enjoy the full game in style come April 16th. To this end, we have joined up with our friends and fellow sailship-enthusiasts at CORSAIR, who are providing some of their great gaming peripherals as prizes. Introducing- the Anno 1800 Closed Beta Screenshot Contest!

To participate in the contest, all you have to do is play the game all the way up to tier 3 (the Artisans), cross the ocean and share your most beautiful New World screenshot with us. Moreover, if you did not get the chance to get an Anno 1800 Closed Beta code yet, CORSAIR got you covered.

Get all the details on the contest and code giveaway here!

The screenshot challenge starts today and ends February 5th at 23:59 CET. To give our team some time to browse through your scenic New World shots, we will announce the winners on Friday,  February 8th.

And here is the loot table for the New World screenshot challenge:

1st prize:

  • K70 RGB MK.2 keyboard (Cherry MX Red switches)
  • IRONCLAW RGB mouse
  • MM800 RGB Cloth Edition mousepad
  • VOID PRO RGB Wireless headset

2nd prize:

  • STRAFE RGB MK.2 keyboard (Cherry MX Silent switches)
  • IRONCLAW RGB mouse

3rd prize:

  • IRONCLAW RGB mouse
  • MM800 mousepad

Thanks again to our friends at CORSAIR for sponsoring this contest. Enjoy the Closed Beta, give us feedback aplenty and good luck for all participating photographers!

13 Comments

DevBlog: Newspaper

“Breaking News! Breaking News! The despicable tyrant Graves strikes again. While his fleet of buccaneers wears itself out on our superior coastal defenses, the Governor assures all citizens that the attackers constitute no threat to our brave city. Cheer and sing the song of our proud metropolis, while we pity the poor souls getting torn apart by our brave soldiers!”

In the wake of the modern world, information became available for everyone, whether it was in the smoking clubs of the aristocracy or in the crowded working class pubs after a grueling shift in the factory. In the 19th century, the newspaper allowed everyone to get a grasp of what was going on in a time of dwindling empires and rising nations, a powerful tool to bring the truth to the populous- or to twist it in the most convenient way to reach one’s goals.

Hot of the presses – the newspaper in Anno 1800
The newspaper is a new addition to the game, which not only highlights the milestones of your empire but also looming issues in your ever growing city. It’s a flavorful tool which helps newer players to understand what’s going on while Anno veterans have a satisfying stage to showcase their big achievements (or being reminded of their failures). Reading the headline “grand opening of the wondrous World Fair” or the shocking news about an outbreak of war also helps to immerse yourself in Anno 1800’s colorful but often dramatic setting of the 19th century.

The “Anno Chronicles” keeps track of everything noteworthy happening in your city, both good and bad, and will highlight the top three news on the front page of every new issue released. And as your residents are always eager to get the latest rumors, word of a beer shortage in your city can spread like wildfire, affecting the happiness of your entire population. In the same way, news about your newly opened school will have a positive effect on the mood in your city.

With that, news can have either a positive, negative or no effect on your city, depending on the nature of the event. While ravaging fire is naturally makes for a menacing newsflash, the other two articles can also generate positive effects, if there is something positively exciting to report.

The range of possible positive or negative effects of the newspaper on your city includes happiness of your population, consumption of goods, the chance for a riot and taxes gained from your residents.
Once an issue is published, the global buff or debuff on mentioned categories can last up to an hour.

The system tracks all important milestones of your empire, with usually one issue of the Anno Chronicles being published roughly every 30 minutes, reflecting the actual development of your metropolis. But if dramatic incidents happen, such as a sudden declaration of war from your neighbor or your first expansion into the new world, the newspaper won’t miss the chance to publish a special issue to cover the breaking news.

Furthermore, as old news become less interesting for the esteemed reader, ongoing issues will lose priority over time. As an example, the scarcity of bread is surely a matter people care about but they can get used to it, especially if there are more emergent issues on the horizon. That way, the Newspaper always ensures that you get interesting and not overly repetitive news. As you can imagine, a well-developed empire will give your newspaper plenty to work with. And should there ever be a time where nothing noteworthy has happened in your city, your always-reliable editor will back on his stock of humorous anecdotes and filler stories.

In total, we have prepared a total of over 250 possible articles, ensuring that the release of a new issue of the Anno Chronicles always makes for an entertaining diversion. On top of that, all published articles will get archived which allows you to browse through the history of your empire.

PROPAGANDA
The newspaper is interested in the latest rumors and breaking news, which can be rather inopportune to a besieged ruler of a troubled empire. Thankfully, there are ways that you can make your influence work in your favor, persuading the editor to instead publish some alternate, more helpful news- all for the greater good of your island, of course!

Enforcing propaganda allows you to change or erase unloved articles by temporary spending influence points. But backing your editor into a corner will not only let you get rid of the thorn in your side, but also benefit from some of the positive buffs that propaganda can (temporarily) apply to your city.

The different propaganda articles vary in strength, effect and influence cost. There is also a progression curve attached, with more effective articles becoming available as your empire and company level grow.

While standard articles have only a limited amount of effects, we have a total of 9 different positive propaganda buffs which additionally come in three different levels. And with that, taking control of the newspaper can have a high impact on your economy and other game elements.
From simple announcements, which erase negative news articles up to morale boosting propaganda which lowers the riot chance, reducing the consumption of certain needs or improving your tax income.

During an island siege, propaganda can unfold its real power of influencing your residents. Use war speech to make your people less willing to surrender during a siege, mobilize your workers to speed your military production or encourage your soldiers to increase the firing rate of your harbor defenses.

But spending influence is not the only downside, as some propaganda articles might have additional negative effects on your empire or on the standing with other third party characters. Depending on their nature, they might dislike the idea that you manipulate your people; other NPCS, who themselves are not opposed to exploiting their citizens, may however feel attracted by such behavior.

But times have changed and your residents might not be willing to belief every news article you feed them as they might be able expose your web of lies.
The more propaganda you use, the higher the chance that riots occur as residents refuse to accept the manipulative doing of their leader. However, education plays a role in looking through your deception, so higher tiers like the engineers will be more likely to look through your lies than the more humble farmers. In that scenario, it can even happen that a propaganda article you use increases the overall happiness of your islands while the engineers rally on the streets.

A word from the editor
We will leave it at that for today, as many of you will be able to get their hands on the newspaper system themselves as soon as tomorrow, when our Closed Beta begins. Until then, we are of course curious to hear your first thoughts about this new system, which can have a profound impact on many other aspects of the game.

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Union Update: Closed Beta Information

Keeping it short and sweet today, as we’re in the middle of preparations for the Closed Beta! And we got a few details that could be of interest to you. Plus a small tease at the coming DevBlog! 

Get ready for the Anno 1800 Closed Beta
The Closed Beta will be a bit bigger than last years Technical Test. And if you were one of the lucky selectees, then you won’t have to wait too long. Invitations will be sent out in the coming days, so check your inbox (and spam folders 😉 ).

A few things to note:

  • As with the Technical Test, this Beta is not representative for the finished game, which we’re currently finishing and polish so it’s ready for the big launch in April. Some things won’t work occasionally or outright break. This is intentional, as the Beta gives us important insights into topics such as Balance and Performance of the game. So please use the Closed Beta Forums (which will be opened on the english Ubisoft Forums soon) to provide us with Feedback and Bug Reports.
  • No NDA: This Closed Beta won’t have an NDA. That means you can stream, record and share videos and discuss your experiences in public. And we urge you to do so! If you’re on Social Media, make use of Hashtags such as #Anno1800, #AnnoUnion, #AnnoUnionCB und #Anno1800CB, so other Annoholics and ourselves can find your messages.
  • The Closed Beta won’t encompass the full game. The campaign won’t be playable and you can only reach the third residential tier in Endless Mode. Additionally, you’ll be able to challenge or cooperate with other players in Multiplayer, as well as explore and build in the New World.
  • The Closed Beta will run from 31. January 2019 to the 4th of February 2019.

Registering for the Closed Beta
If you’re still wondering how to get a chance to participate in the Beta: Log into the Anno Union with your Uplay Account or register a new Uplay Account if you don’t have one. You can do that using the buttons in the upper right corner of this website.

So if you haven’t yet logged into the Union for whichever reason, now’s the time to get that sorted. 🙂

System Requirements for the Closed Beta
There are only minimal changes from the specs since the Technical Test, but please keep in mind that these still aren’t final, as we’re still optimizing the game.

Current Minimum Specs:

  • CPU: Intel i5 3470 oder AMD FX 6350
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 670 GTX oder AMD Radeon R9 285
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (jeweils 64-bit)
  • Hard Drive: 60 GB

Current Recommended Specs:

  • CPU: Intel i5 4690k oder AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 970 GTX oder AMD Radeon RX 480
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (jeweils 64-bit)
  • Hard Drive: 60 GB

DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE NOT THE FINAL REQUIREMENTS! As Anno 1800 is still in the middle of development and performance optimization, you should not consider these specs to be representative of the final game. This test specifically should help us to find some areas where we can further improve the game’s performance.

Language
We are still in the middle of localisation of texts and recording voiceovers. Therefore we’ll only be able to offer this Closed Beta in English only. Sorry about that!

When we release in April, the following languages will be available:

Fully localised Text and Audio

  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Russian

Fully localised Text

  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Chinese (traditional and simplified)

Livestreams and Videos
If you have no opportunity to play yourself or need to take a break from being at your computer, then you can still get some impression from the Anno 1800 Closed Beta. You can check out what other players show from the game on Youtube, Twitch and Mixer.

Last but not least, we’ll want to show off the Closed Beta Trailer here. It was first revealed during last weeks AnnoCast and gives you an idea about the Feature we’ll showcase in this weeks DevBlog.

And that’s it for this weeks Union Update. We wish you all good luck to get a Beta invite!

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Anno 1800 releases April 16th

Today we have an important update for all our Anno Union members: The release date of Anno 1800 will now be April 16, 2019.

This wasn’t an easy decision for us because we know how much you are looking forward to the release, and we ourselves can’t wait to have you all experience the full game. Since the announcement of the game at Gamescom 2017, we have always been committed to deliver the best Anno experience possible at launch.
We are very happy with where the game and its wide mix of new and classic features are today, but we know that it can be even better with a little additional polish and tuning. These extra weeks will allow us to deliver a game that fully lives up to its potential.

Of course, you don’t have to just take our word for it! Starting next week on January 31st, our Closed Beta test will allow many of you to get your hands on the game to see for yourself how we are bringing the world of the industrial revolution to Anno. On that note, we are also happy to confirm that the Closed Beta won’t have any NDA- so feel free to discuss, create videos or to stream the game to your heart’s content.

In the coming weeks to launch, you can look forward to more news and details regarding Anno 1800 right here on the Union, as we discuss an all-new feature, give you more details on the multiplayer, lift the curtain on Anno 1800’s campaign and preview the game’s orchestral soundtrack. You should also keep an eye out for previews from a variety of websites who recently got their hands on the game.

Finally, we wanted to let you know that the Anno 1800 journey won’t end at launch. We will share more details closer to April 16th but can assure that we have some cool ideas for future post-launch content for the game.
We are humbled by your excitement and passion for the game, and hope you support our decision to take a little more time to make it as polished as it can be.

Best regards,
The Anno 1800 Dev Team

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Union Update – Streaming Week

Welcome back to the newest Union Update, this time a bit shorter than usual to leave us enough time to prepare the upcoming Closed Beta.

DevBlog: City Incidents – Moved
This week we planned to publish a blog taking a closer look at the City Incidents that you’ll have to deal with when creating your cities. We are still going to publish this blog, however, due to some workload caused by the  preparation of the upcoming Beta of Anno 1800, we decided to move the blog to February. That way, we have time to prepare the Closed Beta starting January 31st and bring you the hot insights about the incidents right after the test has concluded.

We teased to reveal another new feature for Anno 1800 last week and even though we had to move the City Incidents blog, rest assured that we will still raise the curtain on the new content before the Closed Beta starts!

AnnoCast moved to Thursday 24th & AnnoAfternoon this Friday 25th
A reminder that this week we’ll hold another AnnoCast and AnnoAfternoon that you can watch live on http://twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte.
As a headsup from last weeks announcement, we had to move the date of the next episode of our AnnoCast gamedev stream to this Thursday instead of Wednesday and we hope that despite the change in times, you’re going to watch because we have some interesting infos prepared and lot’s to show you!

AnnoCast: Quests and Expeditions – January 24th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST

Follow our channel if you haven’t done so and use the links to the Events to receive a reminder when the Streams are about to begin.

That’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll have a huge chunk of information regarding the coming Beta and a DevBlog, so make sure you bookmark the Union and follow us on Social Media so you’re not missing out.

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DevBlog: Ornaments

For beauty builder, Anno games are a huge model kit, which offers hundreds of puzzle pieces to build the city of their dreams. For some of them, the sandbox is even a canvas for environmental storytelling and with Anno 1800 new city attractiveness and modular cultural buildings like the zoo; we will have more content than ever to support our city-building artists.

Today, we want to give a brief look on Anno 1800’s ornaments and how they complement our new city-attractiveness feature.

Every residential tier will come with a new ornamental set. From the first sets of trees, your collection will grow with fence modules, city ornaments such as statues, benches or city stands and with the later tiers, you will be able to create impressive gardens with hedges, fountains and pavilions.
In previous blogs and streams, we demonstrated how even your non player character opponents use ornaments to give their cities a more believable and unique look or how they can be included in your zoo layout to create a truly marvelous 19th century zoological park.

Visual Feedback in todays screenshots hasn’t been fully implemented yet, so the amount of people walking around is not final and the final game will feature a lot more.

The ornamental sets itself were designed as a modular toy box, coming in sizes from as small as 1 by 1 tile up to 3 by 3, allowing you not only to fill small areas in the back alleys of your workers district but also to create appealing park grounds. As we think that the construction costs and space is already enough of an expense, ornaments will not generate upkeep cost.
Once built, ornaments will generate a small amount of city attractiveness, which can sum up if you build large park areas, including tourist inviting vistas such as hedge labyrinth or a renaissance style garden.

Aesthetes like Gasparov or dreamers like Bente will not only comment on the beauty of your city, a higher city attractiveness rating will further have a positive impact on your reputation with certain characters in our diplomacy system. The robber baron Malching will surely not waste any breath to appreciate your ambitions as a landscape gardener.

Thanks to tourists now exploring your island for getaway trips, visitors provide satisfying additional visual feedback when sprawling through your city, stopping by attractions like the museum or even taking a break in parks or other ornamental structures. With that, a large park or plaza in your city center becomes a real treat for the eye when watching visitors and residents enjoying the provided getaway areas. If you need a break from managing your expanding metropolis, just sit back and follow the tourists closely while they explore the attraction of your utopia.

Ornaments play an important role if players want to get higher attractiveness level for your metropolis, which results in higher income from tourism and a higher chance of rare specialists arriving at your tourist harbor. As the zoo or the museum are real visitor magnets, how about building some nice walkways and resting areas between the animal enclosures and exhibits? To reach the highest city attractiveness ratings, you have to make use of your cultural buildings, the world fair and your ornaments.

Maybe you have already plans for city layouts or want even to re-create something you did in a previous Anno title? We are looking forward to your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

8 Comments

Union Update: Winter QnA

While some of us enjoy the snowy surprise and the resulting winter themed skin applied in many parts of Germany, we bring you another round of our Community questions and answers and streams for the cozy winter days.

With this week’s DevBlog: Ornaments, our blog series revolving the development of Anno 1800 returns from its winter hiatus. Next week, we will conquer the winter season with some heat: we hope that you look forward to city incidents such as firestorms, strikes and the season appropriate illness before we raise the curtain for the big feature reveal before our Closed Beta at the end of the month.

The next episode of our AnnoCast and Anno Afternoon
Save the date as our Twitch devstream will return next week Wednesday January 23rd. This time with Narrative Designer Marie who will demonstrate us how we applied some fresh paint to the quest system in Anno 1800. Nevertheless, that is not all as next week Friday, January 25th, Chris and John will be back with their aspiring Anno 2070 utopia.

Annocast: Quests and Expeditions – January 23th at 5pm MEZ
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm MEZ

Watch it live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyteand follow our channel if you never want to miss a show!

iyamaShiro
Will it be possible to change specific sound slider, such as voice, music and effects? I love to tune up the effects and dial down the rest of the game audio.
Answer: You will be able to change the following audio levels individually: Master Volume, Menu Sounds, Voice Volume, Music Volume and SFX Volume. Enjoy!

Ceib0
Will we only be able to exhibit artefacts in the museum or also art pieces such as statues or paintings?
Answer:Exhibits will mainly include cultural artefacts and sets will include statues. Bigger exhibits are displayed in open-air modules and come with their own unique asset while smaller artifacts will be showcased in museum wing modules. By the way: You will be able to place ornaments between your zoo and museum modules freely, which will allow you to create beautiful vistas with statues, fountains or other ornamental structures.

adriankowaty
Will there be a statistic overview like in 2205 which allows us to see how many units of a certain good we produce at a time?
Answer: We won’t have a statistic feature such as the one in Anno 2070 at launch of the game. But we are aware that many of you wish to see a comprehensive overview and statistics of your production, especially when reaching the end-game. We will keep continue to keep an eye on such feedback after the launch of the game.
The tooltip of each production building allows you to see how long it takes to finish one good and you will be further able to change the production speed with things like the working condition slider. If you compare the time it takes to create a good compared to the production time of the production of the needed resources, you can easily calculated the most effective rate of production and resource buildings.
Furthermore, you can check the overall amount of goods and if their stock is currently rising or declining in the kontor and warehouses.

g4mer901
Will it be possible to build sole production islands or will I need to create a new settlement with each island expansion?
Answer:
Reaching the fourth residential tier unlocks a new building: the commuter harbor. This new building allows you to connect different islands, which also have a commuter harbor and once linked; islands will share their workforce as one global pool. This means that you will not need to create settlements to support your production islands. But beware: an economy which mainly relies on a commuter network is an easy target during war, as one well-directed blow to your commuter harbors can cripple your whole production pipeline.

prgbrowne
I have read reviews on Anno 1800 where one of the downsides is the small size of land masses to build your empire. Is that a valid concern? It probably would be nice to have the choice of the size of the land mass you get to colonise, much like Civilization I guess. I don’t really want to see small islands close together. Varied terrain type options would also be good.
Answer: Anno 1800 will not only have the biggest maps in the history of the series, but also islands with vastest construction space. In the custom game options, you will be able to change the type of island world (which affects the arrangement of islands, such as atolls and archipelagos) and how frequents large islands are on your map. As naval exploration was always an essential game pillar of the Anno series, we further expanded on the ocean space to give you more room for trading networks or open water battlefields for tense ship fights on the high sea.

denNes_
Is a return of the research planned for the game? I loved it in 2070 and 1701 and would like if it celebrates a comeback to the series.
Answer:
We currently have no planes for a self-contained research feature in Anno 1800. We followed many community discussions revolving research closely and want to provide a few insides how Anno 1800 will cover that topic. In previous Anno titles, research served as an item generator and further allowed you to customize your playstyle with various perks and special abilities. Anno 1800 covers said options with several new features and as player freedom is important for us, we decided against a classic and often restricting “RTS” style research tree.
There are many different ways how to acquire items. In addition to quests or trading, you will be able to generate items with the new city attractiveness, the variety of expeditions or the world fair monument.
When on a zoological expedition, you will not only be able to acquire animals for your zoo, you can also get your hands on some cultural items or even hire specialists during events, which come with abilities which might not be related to the zoo at all. As an example, a specialist might join you who is able to boost one of your battleships with a special ability. If you want to focus on your fleet of warships, you can run naval themed exhibitions in your world fair or do bounty-hunt expeditions, which will reward you with naval related items such as weaponry or combat savvy specialists.
If you prefer to use the power of science to benefit your society, get marvelous new machines from the world fair, which you can slot in your guild houses to boost your factories with various effects.
Furthermore, you can make use of the influence system to get bonuses which suit your custom playstyle which are, in contrast to a research tree, are reversible at any time.
Add more elements such as electricity; Anno 1800 adds various layers, which allow you to optimize or to get experimental with your own unique playstyle.

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Union Update: 2019 – Road to Launch

We are back from our short holiday break and ready to tackle the last 7 weeks before Anno 1800’s launch on February 26th. With this first blog in the year 2019, we want to give you a brief outlook on the content to come until launch.

Road to launch
Last year’s Technical Test provided us with lots of valuable data, from player behavior up to bug and feedback reports. Fixing, fine-tuning and polishing is now our top priority for Anno 1800’s Beta period. After the TT, we followed up with another focus test session to get feedback on recent changes but also allowing us to get in-depth detail on other aspects such as balancing and overall gameplay experience, including progression through all residential tiers.
With the upcoming Closed Beta on January 31st, you will be able to see the changes and improvements for yourself as once more, we will invite a large number of players from the Anno Union to test the game.

However, it’s not all bug smashing and polishing- we are also putting the final puzzle pieces together, including one all-new feature we haven’t even announced yet! Between that feature, as well as upcoming DevBlogs about City Incidents, Ornaments and of course Anno 1800’s story-driven campaign, there is still a lot to talk about on the Union.

You can look forward to the first of these DevBlogs to come next week, alongside more information about our Closed Beta. And if you haven’t done so already, keep in mind that you can still register for our Closed Beta by signing up here on the Anno Union.

And if you want to get reminded if a new blog comes fresh from the press or stay in the loop about anything #Anno, you can just follow our official Anno Twitter and Facebook channels.

Winner of the Expedition Event Contest: The Lost Civilization
It was a neck-and-neck race between Hexagon19’s “Isla De Los Muertos” Event and Hojny87’s “The Lost Civilization”, with Argurino’s “Voyage Of The Beagle” also mobilizing many fans rooting for a throwback to Darwin’s journeys.

In the end, “The Lost Civilization” secured the 1st place and we congratulate Hojny87 for making the cut with his exciting expedition event.
This community-chosen event will now get the same treatment from our design team and together with the Union island and the ship variant, will find its way into the game itself.

While we want to continue to funnel the creative power of our communities in future contests after the launch of the game, we want to utilize the voting feature more in the future to allow you to voice your opinion on various topics like favorite game element or balancing.

Streaming schedule update
With more information out in the open and the big launch at our doorstep, we will start a new series of community streams, with the first show starting shortly after the Closed Beta has concluded.
Different from the AnnoCast, the show will be mostly run by our Community Developer and focus on answering your questions while playing the game rather than highlighting a specific feature in detail.
And to give as many Anno fans as possible a chance to direct their questions at us, we will host not only English but also a German episode.

But there is also the next episode of our AnnoCast game dev stream on the horizon: at the end of this month, we will have Narrative Designer Marie on board to demonstrate how we breathe life into the 19th century world of Anno with a great variety of quests and expedition events.

Speaking of streams- we know that many of you liked our ship preview during our naval stream. Hoist the flag and all hands on deck, as the video is now available on our Twitch channel. What is your favorite ship and will you rely on a bulwark of huge battlecruisers or a versatile wolf pack of fast gunboats?

That’s it for this week’s peek at the upcoming content. See you next week, as the final march to release begins in earnest!

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