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Month: April 2019

Union Update: Happy Easter

You asked us earlier if we plan to add new things to the game after the big release and last week, we let the cat out of the bag (gentle-cat doesn’t mind) about our season pass and free updates during the post launch of Anno 1800. With our announcement of the season pass, we also recorded a video for all of you where we talk about our plans to expand the world of Anno 1800.

Union Talk
Luckily, Basti was far from alone with our small release celebration on Twitch. Thank you to everyone who joined our rather spontaneous stream, we had a “jolly” good time especially thanks to so many Union members chatting with us during the show.
And when we kicked off the party, we released our third Union Talk video which was, of course, pre-recorded. (Just because some folks in the chat asked us questions).

And in case you missed the whole party stream, you can watch it now here:
Highlight: AnnoCast – LAUNCH PARTY von ubisoftbluebyte auf www.twitch.tv ansehen
Last but not least, let’s talk about your feedback and reports.

Patch incoming after the easter weekend
We are working on a patch update to fix some of the issues you reported to us. The patch will hit next week on April 25 and here are the patchnotes:

ANNO 1800 – Patchnotes (Patch 01, coming 25.04.2019)
Fixed several crashes.
Fixed several Multiplayer Desyncs.
Fixed an issue for the Steam version, that made the games FPS drop significantly.
Fixed a rare issue, getting no further quests, after loading a savegame that has been created while a Newspaper was displayed.

Added some balancing fixes:

  • Diplomacy: Lowered the cooldown of “Flattering” and “Gifting” from 60 mins to 30 mins.
  • Diplomacy: Negotiations in the late game now cost ~70% less.
  • Visitors: Visitors are now more generous (Visitor income increased by 50%).

We will continue to improve the game in the future so keep up the good work and share your feedback in the Ubisoft Anno forum. With that being said, we had an incredibly exciting, successful as well as very busy first launch week. As there are two bank holidays about to come up in Germany, we will recharge our batteries in over the long weekend and will be back in the studio next week Tuesday.

Thanks to all members of the Anno Union for that incredible launch week and keep in mind: leave the PC once in a while to get a coffee or to stretch your legs!

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DevBlog: Scoring the industrial revolution

A cityscape of smoking chimneys. Streets brimming with life, as the upper classes take to the zoo for a day out with the family. None of these evocative scenes could unfold their full impact on the player without the proper musical accompaniment. Orchestral soundtracks have always been a key part of the Anno experience, and this is no different for Anno 1800. So join us on a journey intot he creation of Anno 1800’s grand soundscapes.

Let us raise the curtain for veteran composer Tilman Sillescu (who has been working on the music for Anno games since 1701) and his team at Dynamedion, as they carry you away into the world of the industrial revolution:

And while we focused on Tilman in the video, we would be remiss to forget all the other talented composers who contributed to the game, as seen here:


If all of the above has put you into the right mood to light candles and to dust off your old record player, we have some great news for you! We have created a limited vinyl edition of the Anno 1800 soundtrack in partnership with Black Screen Records! If you want to call one of these precious records your own, you get still get them here.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy the full digital soundtrack on spotify!

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Announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass and our free content plans

One of the most frequently asked questions over the past weeks and months has been what kind of post-launch content and support players could expect from Anno 1800. Today, we are happy to answer some of those questions, as we announce our Season Pass, which consists of three DLCs (which will also be available separately) that we plan to release throughout 2019. We are also giving you a first glimpse at our free content plans, and detail how you can upgrade your standard edition of the game to the Digital Deluxe Edition to secure the Anarchist character that we will release in the coming months.

The 1800 Season Pass is here

Let’s start with the biggest news: We are announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass, which will give players access to three big content drops that we will be releasing throughout the year.

Our goal with these DLCs is to offer a variety of content that expands on all the new features and systems of Anno 1800. This includes some new additions that the community has been asking for or speculating about. So let us a first teasing look at what to expect when you buy the Season Pass.

DLC 1: Sunken Treasures

Expand your island with a new European session and large continental island, as you join an eccentric inventor and his diving bell on a treasure hunt.

DLC 2: Botanica

Grow your city’s attractiveness to new heights with a modular Botanical Garden, allowing you to earn new items and rewards as you draw the tourist masses to your floral masterpiece. Alternatively, construct the new Musical Pavilion and enjoy beloved tracks from previous Anno games inside your city.

DLC 3: The Passage

The Passage will take you on a new adventure to the Arctic Circle as you explore the legendary Northwest Passage. To succeed in this merciless climate, you will need to construct an arctic outpost and master all-new production chains and goods.

Cosmetic Content (available on Day 1)

Buyers of the Season Pass will also immediately receive three cosmetic customization items that you can use to customize your game profile for multiplayer: the prisoner portrait, and two exclusive company logos (“Promethean Fire” and “Eagle Crest”).

The Anno 1800 Season Pass is now available for digital purchase and is priced at 24,99$/€.

Upgrade your game to Digital Deluxe and secure the upcoming Anarchist character

Another question that has frequently popped up is how players who have bought the standard edition of Anno 1800 could get access to the Anarchist character when it is released. This is now possible, thanks to our Digital Deluxe Edition upgrade, which you can now buy to upgrade your version of the game.

Doing so unlocks fours things for you:

  • Access to the Anarchist character (once he releases in the future)
  • 4 unique company logos you can use to customize your profile (now available)
  • A digital version of our beautiful artbook (now available)
  • A digital selection of music from Anno 1800’s orchestral soundtrack (now available)

Also, to avoid any confusion: The Anarchist is only available as part of the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade and the Pioneers Edition. It is not part of the Season Pass (see above for details on what is included in the Season Pass).

So, who is the Anarchist, exactly?

“A self-proclaimed anarchist, Dr. Mercier has created a radical new society free of the state. Formerly champion of a union of student dentists, Mercier was asked by the Queen to use his popular appeal to pacify increasing threats of revolution in her territories. Instead Mercier sided with the protesters, declaring the people’s complete independence from crown authority.”

In game terms, the Anarchist is a new NPC opponent you can select to play against, including his own unique set of quests and rewards for the player to tackle. And while we don’t want to spoil too much, we can safely say that he will bring a very flavorful and unique playstyle to the game, with his own set of behavioral rules that mirror his views on politics and society.

Consider yourselves warned…

Did someone say Free Content?

As you can see from the above, we do have some big plans to support Anno 1800 and to make sure it stays exciting and fresh for our Annoholics. To this end, we are also planning to deliver regular Game Updates that will be free for all players of Anno 1800. Those will not only include bug fixes and ongoing balancing, but will also include all-new game content- some of which is a direct result of your feedback here on the Anno Union. So let’s see what’s in store (Note: We can’t promise any dates when this content will hit, so the below order does not necessarily reflect how it will be released).

Statistics Building

One request we have seen from many of the more experienced Anno players that love to go all in on the min-maxing is to have more information about their production chains and their output available. To provide you this information, we will be introducing a new statistics building in the future.

Co-Op Mode

You asked for it, and we listened: Anno 1800 will receive a free co-op mode in a future update, allowing you to team up with your friends to take shared control of a single empire as it evolves throughout the industrial revolution

Community Challenges

We will be giving the Anno Community regular challenges that will require all of you to come together to reach a shared goal. Doing so will unlock new cosmetic customization options like company icons or even skins for all participants. Go Anno union!

And that’s it for today! We know that you are all busy enjoying Anno 1800 as it currently stands, but we hope you enjoyed this first glimpse of what we have planned for you in the future.

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Anno 1800 sets sail!

It was all the way back at gamescom 2017 when we announced Anno’s steam fueled step into the industrial revolution. 15.000 comments later, we can say that we have not only created the biggest Anno game to date, but also that all of this was made possible thanks to the collaboration with and the unwavering support of our Union members. 

Today, we are happy to announce that Anno 1800 is leaving its harbor here in the Ubisoft Blue Byte Mainz office for its grand maiden voyage, ready to bring its proud heritage of 21 years of city building and exploration to players around the world.

We also want to send a big, heartfelt “thank you” from the whole development team to all Anno players and Anno Union supporters out there. This journey has been something truly special and the result is a game made with an incredible amount of passion by old veterans, new talents and our dearest fans alike.

Join our AnnoCast Launch Party
To celebrate the big launch of Anno 1800, we want to invite every one of you to celebrate with us in a live stream, which will happen tomorrow at 1pm UTC.
We will host the AnnoCast Launch Party where we will go on a serious trip down memory lane, eat cake, raffle out Anno swag aplenty and chat with you about the development or maybe even turn the tables once and comment on other streamer’s playstyle.
This stream is dedicated to you, our loyal fans, who made the game possible in the first place: April 16 1pm UTC at twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
Our first taste of our upcoming fan site kit
We have been talking for a while about our fan site kit, but so far kept you waiting. That wait is finally ending, as the first version of the fan site kit is now available (though we will add more stuff to it over time).

For now, you can grab a customized Anno 1800 streaming layout, as well as the first wallpaper and a variety of social media assets here: Anno Union Fansite Kit Preview

Release times and day one time
As a reminder, below are the global release times of Anno 1800. While Annoholics in Asia and Oceania have already set their sails, other regions of the globe will get to join them over the coming day. Should you find yourself craving some Anno-tainment in these last hours of waiting, you can already pop over to twitch and YouTube to see more of the game, or read up on the first reviews that came out today.

Keep in mind that the below world map only applies to unlock times for Uplay. Timings on the Epic Games store and Steam vary, as we are reliant on our partners for these launches on their platforms.


We also want to remind owners of the physical copy of the game that there will be a 23GB download for our Day 1 Patch, as we have been busy further improving the game since we started producing the game discs a few weeks back.

In the spirit of reminiscing on 1 ½ years of the Anno Union, we would love to hear your stories about your favorite memories and moments from this exciting time.

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Union Update: A Contest, and lots of videos

Today we are short on text, but have lots of videos to entertain you in-between those lengthy Open Beta sessions this weekend. But first- your chance to win something!

Show us your love for Anno and win a vinyl soundtrack
As announced during yesterday’s AnnoCast twitch stream, we are giving away one of the limited Anno 1800 Vinyl Soundtracks from our friends at Blackscreen Records (which we will happily sign if requested by the winner). We also have one runner-up prize, which is a signed Anno 1800 t-shirt. To claim this piece of Anno history for yourself, you have to get creative, and perhaps even a bit crazy. In short: We want you to show us your love for the Anno series. The more inventive, the better! Whether you create a music video or record an audio play, we want to see you express your creativity as it relates to Anno.

Show us your creations in this forum thread here, and make sure to use the hastag #Annophony if you want to share them with the world on twitter. You can submit your content until 11:59pm UTC on Friday April 26.

Enjoy our Accolades trailer
With only 4 more days to go until the big day, we have released a new trailer for you all to enjoy, including some of the accolades Anno 1800 has received from press so far.

 

Anno 1800 Influencer Challenge
Our colleagues at Ubisoft US have challenged four popular strategy gaming influencers to see which one of them would make the best 19th century island governor.

For challenge number one, they had to compete to see who could reach 5.000 citizens first. Fair to say that their the approaches (and ethical standards of living) they settled on to reach this goal differed a lot between our contestants…


Alex the Rambler

Blitz

Draegast

Drew Durnil

We hope that our contestants provided you with some inspirations for our own Anno 1800 adventures! Check back next week for part two of the challenge, as they race to be the first player to reach the New World!

Reminder: Play the Open Beta to claim your ornament

Don’t forget to play the Anno 1800 Open beta this weekend to claim your chess table ornament for the full version. The Open Beta is available to everyone via Uplay and the Epic Games store.

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Union Update: Your questions about the launch answered (Updated)

After rubbing our eyes in disbelief when looking at the calendar, we have to face the facts- Anno 1800 is only six days away from launching the franchise into the age of the industrial evolution!

In last week’s update, we extensively covered the topic of our Open Beta (reminder: everyone can participate via Uplay and Epic Games store between April 12-14 to earn a fancy Open Beta ornament for their city’s parks). This week, we turn our attention to answering many of your burning questions surrounding the game’s launch (such as pre-loading, day 1 patch, when the game goes live etc.). We also have some live streams to announce, and encourage you all to take another look at our beautiful open beta trailer. So let’s get started!

Let’s talk about launch

Pre-Loading:
Pre-Loading for anyone with a digital pre-order on Uplay, Steam or the Epic Games Store will begin on April 12 at 3pm UTC . The total download size will be around 25 GB. Update: Pre-loading will start on April 11 at 3pm UTC, and not 9am as had been previously communicated. We apologize for this change.

Day 1 Patch:
We have been busy bees and worked hard to further improve Anno 1800 after we shipped the gold discs off to the factory to produce all the physical copies of the game. That means that anyone who bought a physical copy of the game will need to download our Day 1 Patch before they can start playing (the patch is already part of the pre-load for digital buyers). The Day 1 Patch will come in at roughly 23GB.

Launch timing:
We are currently ironing out the last details and will give you an update on the exact launch timing as soon as possible.

Removing Beta clients
As previously announced, you won’t be able to carry over existing downloads or save games from any of our test phases (Technical Test, Closed Beta or Open Beta), so feel free to delete them to free up space.

Open Beta trailer
This should give you answers to the most pressing questions regarding the launch. But before you have to worry about that, there’s out Open Beta coming this week! And what better way to get into the Anno mood than with another look at our Open Beta trailer?

This week’s live streaming
With only one more week to go, we will of course have some more streams for you all to enjoy as we count down the last final days until Open Beta and launch.

The entertainment already starts tonight, as we have granted select influencers and media early access to the Open Beta, which they are free to stream as they see fit. You can keep an eye on all available streams here: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Anno%201800

Then we have our latest AnnoCast on Thursday at 3.30 pm UTC. Join us one last time (before launch) as we play the game and answer your questions. Plus, there are rumors that our Pioneers Edition and the limited edition vinyl soundtrack will drop in for a live unboxing…

Friday afternoon while have another Anno Afternoon with Guddy and John continuing their Anno 1800 adventures. Join them for a relaxed fun time at 3pm UTC. Hey, with your help, there is a high chance that they manage to push forward into the fourth residential tier!

As always, you can watch out live-streams on our official Ubisoft Blue Byte channel: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

That’s it for this (very busy, and filled to the brims with Anno-goodness) week. See you in the Open Beta!

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DevBlog: The prodigal Scion returns…

Welcome to the second half of the 19th century: fading aristocracy tries to tighten its iron grip on the population while the power of progress sparks a flame that will eventually engulf and change the entire world. It is a time of ever expanding cities, black sooted factories hungry to fuel the revolution of the machines, but also of the crumbling shackles of old ideologies. Inspired by classic tales such as the Count of Monte Cristo, here is a tragic tale of a family in ruin.  It will be up to you to clear the name of your father’s business and to bring righteous judgement to the malevolent forces responsible.

In today’s DevBlog, we will give you a glimpse at the story and content you will be able to experience in Anno 1800’s campaign. As most of you want to experience the tale of a family rising from the ashes on your own, this blog will be very light on spoilers and should be considered as more of a teaser for what is to come. We also give you some general information about how the narrative campaign is embedded into Anno 1800’s sandbox gameplay.

Anno 1800’s campaign- the facts, and only the facts
While the sandbox experience in Anno 1800 is a customizable playground offering hundreds of hours of gameplay, the campaign is often the first entry port of call in Anno games,  welcoming new players and old veterans alike into a new setting. Over the span of our four campaign chapters, you will not only learn the fundamentals about the core and advanced gameplay mechanics, but we will also transport you to a long bygone era of social unrest and scientific progress. And there is no need to constantly start over, as the entire campaign will unfold over one game during which you keep growing and expanding your empire. To ensure that you can keep playing in this world for as long as you want, the campaign turns into a sandbox game once you finish the final mission of chapter 4.

Many parts of the campaign are hand tailored to the story, and we created several unique locations where this dramatic tale will take place. You will however still be able to alter the full range of sandbox settings, ranging from your starting money and fertilities all the way to deciding which second-party AI characters you want to share the world with. Of course, you will also meet many new characters unique to the campaign story, like your despicable Uncle Edvard and the mysterious Acolyte (whom you may remember from a previous appearance on the Anno Union)…

When playing the campaign, a few key parts of the natural progression of your city will be unlocked via specific story beats, which let you experience and influence important events, such as leading your city into the industrial revolution. This allows us to intertwine the progression of your city with important moments in the sandbox gameplay.

Player freedom is a key goal of Anno 1800, so we want you to be able to play the game how you want, while enjoying a riveting story on top. That includes two campaign-specific expeditions, fully voiced cutscenes, unique voice lines for some of the Sandbox NPCs and more. And then there is the newspaper, acting as a family album of sorts that memorizes important milestones of your story in special issues.

So what’s the story?
In Anno 1800, you relive the story of a family in the 19th century, in a dramatic tale about tragic loss, revenge and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed.
After you are stripped of your inheritance, it is up to you to restart from the ground up with the support of your sister Hannah and your trusted companion Aarhant.

Soon enough, the open questions about your father’s death pile up. Did you malicious uncle Edvard have a hand in his demise? Or is he himself a mere puppet for a yet unseen master? This story unfolds against the backdrop of a tumultuous time, as old monarchy and new money struggle to control the industrial revolution.

Over the course of the campaigns four chapters, you will also learn more about the background stories of many of Anno 1800’s NPC characters, adding an additional layer to our 19th century lore.

But that’s a tale for a different day…

And that’s it for today! With only a week left until our Open Beta, you will soon be able to take your own first steps into the world of Anno 1800’s campaign. Until then, we are looking forward to reading about some of your favorite memories from the campaigns of previous Anno games

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Stream: LIVE from EGX Rezzed

Annoholics, we’re live here at EGX Rezzed in London, where you are able to play Anno 1800 shortly before launch. Come and visit us at our booth. We won’t bite! It’s been a pleasure so far and we are looking forward to meet you guys.

If you are not able to be in London in person don’t worry! We will stream this afternoon and you are welcome to join us online! Watch the Anno 1800 panel from EGX Rezzed in London LIVE at 5pm CET/ 4pm GMT.

UPDATE: The panel has ended. You can watch the Stream here:

Watch Anno 1800 | Developer Sessions | EGX Rezzed 2019 from EGX on www.twitch.tv

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Union Update: Open Beta details and system specs! (Updated)

In today’s update, we detail everything you need to know about our upcoming Open Beta and reveal the much-requested final system requirements for Anno 1800!

Let’s talk Open Beta
The Open Beta is the perfect opportunity for you to test the game prior to its launch. Starting on April 12 and running until April 14, it will give everyone in the community a final chance to test Anno 1800 prior to its release on April 16.

Open Beta Game Content
You will be able to test a near-final version of the game and see the improvements since our Closed Beta for yourself, including access to the Multiplayer mode. Moreover, while game progression will again be capped at tier 3, we will for the first time invite you all to get your hands on Anno 1800’s story-based campaign, as the complete first Act will be part of the Open Beta.

There’s no NDA, so stream away
With this being an Open Beta, there won’t be a NDA. Therefore, you are not only allowed, but also in fact highly encouraged to share your experiences and to create content, whether it is streaming, videos or resource calculators!

If you’re on Social Media, make sure to use the Hashtags #Anno1800, #AnnoUnion und #Anno1800OB and tag our channel @Anno_EN. That way we can share all your great creations with the rest of the Annoholics community.

Supported languages
We are also happy that the Open Beta will for the first time give Union members a chance to experience the game in all supported languages! As with the full game, the Open Beta will be localized in all of these languages:

Fully localized Text and Audio:
English / German / French / Russian

Fully localized Text:
Italian / Spanish / Japanese / Korean / Polish / Chinese (traditional and simplified)

Save games will not carry over into the full game
Your Open Beta save games won’t carry over into the final version of Anno 1800, so you are free to go absolutely crazy and try wild things without having to worry about long-term repercussions. You also won’t be able to update the Open Beta to the full release version, so feel free to delete the Open Beta as soon as it sends to save space on your hard disk.

We always try to give you some context and explanations for your decisions- so why can’t your save games be carried over? One key reason is the way our AI works in the game. As the Open Beta content is limited to the first three (out of five in the full game) citizen tiers, the AI will of course also be blocked from progressing any further (as to not have an unfair advantage compared to human players). This could lead to issues with the AI if you were to carry your save game over into the full game, where they would suddenly have access to tiers 4 and 5 again. Our top priority is to ensure that you will have the best possible experience playing Anno 1800 on April 16, so to avoid any issues with such scenarios, we decided against carrying over save games. Rest assured that this issue won’t appear in the full version, where there are of course no limitations on the available content (for either AI or human players).

Is there a reward for participating in the Open Beta?
We are glad you asked- yes there is! Participants in our Open Beta will be able to earn the exclusive “Chess Table” decoration, which can be claimed from the Ubisoft Club after launch! All you need to do to earn it is to play at any time during the Open Beta period.
How to play the Open Beta?
Anno 1800’s Open Beta will be available and open to everyone via Uplay or the Epic Games Launcher. You won’t have to register at the Anno Union and can just download the game as soon as the pre-load becomes available from your launcher.

We prepared a chart for you with the release timing of the Open Beta. To make sure you are ready the moment the Open Beta begins, we will also offer pre-loading starting from April 10.

Updated: Always-Online for the Open Beta

We also want to give you a heads-up that the Open Beta will require a constant internet connection to play. Please note that this is not the case with the main game, as you will be able to fully enjoy Anno 1800’s singleplayer modes while being offline! 

The final system specs are here
After spending some additional development time optimizing the game performance following our Closed Beta, we are happy to finally announce the official system requirements of Anno 1800. We tried to break them down into some of the most common settings scenarios to give you a better idea of what to expect.

We have also been hard at work with our friends at Intel to optimize the game for integrated GPUs, and are happy to be able to include some of Intel’s iGPUs in our system requirements matrix (a first for the Anno series!). We hope that this will allow an even wider group of players to explore the industrial revolution with us.
We will stream our panel at this year’s EGX Rezzed live from London
Anno 1800 will be playable at EGX Rezzed 2019. This year’s event, taking place at London’s Tobacco Dock on April 4-6, is an opportunity for you to lead the industrial revolution and try out new gameplay. Also, join Bastian Thun, Anno Community Developer, on the Developer Stage on Thursday 4pm GMT+1 as he provides an insightful commentary into the world of Anno 1800.
You can also head over to their Develop session page to find out more details.

Keep an eye on the Anno Union as we will share the live stream on our website this Thursday at 4pm CET.

Next AnnoAfternoon: Lead the industrial revolution together
Following the stream from EGX on Friday, we will have a new episode of our AnnoAfternoon community show where Guddy and John need your help to steer their empire successfully through the industrial revolution. As always in our community livestreams, you can have an impact on the way we play while meeting other Anno crazy strategy game aficionados.

AnnoAfternoon: Revolutionize together
4pm GMT +1 Live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

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