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Month: January 2019

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!

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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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