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Month: May 2020

Announcing the Anno History Collection

Hey Anno Community,

today we are very excited to share the announcement of the upcoming Anno History Collection with you all. With this collection, we are updating the first four Anno games (1602, 1503, 1701 and 1404) to take advantage of modern PCs, while keeping the classic gameplay we all know and love. Among the more notable improvements to all four games are:

  • All games being ported to 64-bit to improve performance and stability (say goodbye to Anno 1404 running out of memory)
  • Support for new resolutions all the way up to 4k, making your empires look better than ever before
  • Improved multiplayer, with all games now running through Uplay, with comfort features such as quickmatch and desync recovery (as seen in Anno 1800). And yes… ANNO 1503 MULTIPLAYER IS OFFICIALLY HERE!
  • Full save game compatibility (for both single- and multiplayer), so we hope you have held on to those beloved saves from years past
  • Of course, all games include their expansions, as well as any other official content that may have been released over the years

So how and where will you be able to get your hands on these releases?

Anno History Collection – 39,99€/$

Includes the History Editions of Anno 1602, 1503, 1701 and 1404, as well as their respective expansions.  The collection pack will be exclusively available on Uplay, at a special price of 39,99€/$. As a bonus, it will also include an exclusive new ornament celebrating these classic games and five new company logos for Anno 1800 (one for each game, plus one that is exclusive to the collection).

This commemorative Anno 1800 ornament is exclusively available with the History Collection on Uplay

Anno 1602 History Edition – 9,99€/$

Includes the updated version of Anno 1602 and the “New Islands, New Adventures” expansion, as well as a new 1602-themed company logo for use in Anno 1800. Available on Uplay.

See how it all began with Anno 1602

Anno 1503 History Edition – 9,99€/$

Includes the updated version of Anno 1503 and the “Treasures, Monsters and Pirates” expansion, as well as a new 1503-themed company logo for use in Anno 1800. Available on Uplay.

After 18 years, the dream of Anno 1503 multiplayer is finally coming true

Anno 1701 History Edition – 9,99€/$

Includes the updated version of Anno 1701 and the “Sunken Dragon” expansion, as well as a new 1701-themed company logo for use in Anno 1800. Available on the Epic Games Store and Uplay.

With 1701, Anno made the jump into the third dimension

Anno 1404 History Edition – 14,99€/$

Includes the updated version of Anno 1404 and the “Venice” expansion, as well as a new 1404-themed company logo for use in Anno 1800. Available on the Epic Games Store, Steam and Uplay.

The much-beloved 1404 is a true city-building classic

And the best news? You won’t have to wait long at all, as the Anno History Collection and all four stand-alone games will already be out on June 25th, making this a very short wait! In fact, pre-orders for all four games as well as the Collection are already available on Uplay right now (the games will be available from all of the listed platforms at launch). To help you pass the time until then, we will have separate blogs detailing each game and all the enhancements and improvements (yes, there is more!) right here on the Anno Union, so make sure to keep checking back.

As always, stay safe, and talk to you soon!

The Anno Team

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Ferris Wheels and Twitch Drops

Over the coming weekend we will give you the opportunity to already take a closer look at the contents of upcoming Season 2 Pass DLC “Bright Harvest” as well as Game Update 8 by watching some of your favourite streamers during another Twitch Drops Event.

The whole event takes place from Friday May 29 until June 8.

During the event, you will be able to watch how a variety of selected Twitch streamers attempt to integrate the new tractor modules into their farming islands and maybe also use some of the new ornaments to beatify their cities further.

Anyone watching them build a new farming paradise can grab two brand new ornaments, the Bright Harvest Flag and the Bright Harvest Billboard. The only thing you need to do is link your Uplay to your Twitch account and watch the streamers during the event for up to 3 hours to receive your loot. You don’t have to watch these hours consecutively to receive your drop; watching them accumulated on participating streamers will also grant you the ornaments.

If you haven’t already done so in the past, to link your Ubisoft- and Twitch-account, just follow the steps outlined on this website [https://drops-register.ubi.com/]

You can find the full list of all participating Streamer here:

A Day at the Amusements – Update

Our art team jumped on the challenge of creating 15 new ornaments as soon as the voting for our next Cosmetic DLC Pack ended. Today, we asked our Lead Artist Tim Witprächtiger to give you all a first update on where we are at:

Lately, we started working on the 3D object for the Ferris Wheel based on the concept our 2D Artists created. At the moment, we are trying to get the right scale and adding all the small details to the model before we start texturing and animating the asset.

We cannot wait to see how you make use of the exciting amusement park ornaments later this summer. While the Ferris Wheel is surely a highlight, we can tell that much that it won`t be the only stunning centrepiece for your funfair. We are eager to listen to your feedback and we hope that you are as excited as we are about the ornamental set, because we surely would love to bring even more variety to your metropolis in the future!

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DevBlog: Bright Harvest

In an office environment “working in silos” seems rarely a good thing, but out there among the buttercups and daisies these silver sentinels must surely be a reassuring sight to a farmer. Though the word comes to us from ancient Greek, Levantine silos for holding grain have been found dating back over 7000 years. The modern farm silo appears to have been the brainchild of one Fred Hatch, who in 1876, finally managed to convince his old man to let him build a grain store in the barn for green corn fodder. Hatch’s cows quickly became inflated distortions of themselves, living out the winter in luxury, and becoming the envy of any neighboring farmers.

Imagine then the effect, at a similar time, of the “portable” tractor, putt-putting its way nonchalantly about the place, undercutting millennia of peasant toil and hardship. Steam-driven, petrol-driven it didn’t seem to matter; the efficiencies were great, and drastic of course in their implications for Frank and Felicity the farmhands, who had to find other work. “Sorry you two, I don’t need ye, I got me a traction engine now…” And while the Luddites were long gone, you can’t imagine that at least some of these new tractors weren’t torched for their impudence…

Despite feeling much longer, it has only been a little over two months since we first announced our second Season of Anno 1800, including three new DLCs. Now the time is almost here to send you all out into the farming fields with our second Season 2 DLC, the agriculturally themed “Bright Harvest”. Today, we not only want to give you insights into what expect when “Bright Harvest” drops this Summer, but also our thoughts behind the creation of this new content. So, time to put on your favorite straw hat, and to hit the fields!

Stylish hat? Check! Tractor? Check! Let’s get farming!

From its conception on, Anno 1800 has always been a game of two worlds. Early on, you build picturesque farming hamlets that tell you little about the industrial revolution that is about to happen. Later, as you construct heavily industrialized districts full of huge, smoke-belching factories, those hamlets in turn start to seem positively antiquated. Of course, this evolution is not only visual, but also expressed in gameplay, with the electricity system giving players the option to give their industrial production a dramatic boost in efficiency later in the game.

So, when we started at possible DLCs for Season 2, we quickly decided that giving players a farming analogue to electricity is something we want to explore. Such content would have to check a few boxes: it should have nice visual feedback (“feedback units” being the term we internally use for all the citizens and units wandering around the Anno world) and it should incentivize players to consider rearranging their farms and associated buildings. The Tetris-like chase of the most optimal way to arrange buildings to make the best use of limited building space is a big part of Anno, and so we want to give players reasons to reconsider their layouts from time to time. With these goals in mind, let us see how we put them into practice.

The new gameplay in “Bright Harvest” comes from three new elements: tractor modules, silos, and fuel. Let us start with what you have already seen in our Season 2 trailer, the tractors. How do you get them? Tractors are activated via a tractor module, of which you can build one per agricultural farm, connecting it to the main building. Doing so will result in several things: allowing you to construct 50% more fields per farm, which you will need to boost the efficiency of the farm to 300%. In addition, the amount of required farming workforce will be lowered. In other words: tractors allow you to work larger fields more effectively, while requiring less manual labor to do so.

A Fuel Station is getting supplied with oil

Of course, simply building a module once and then forever benefitting from these boosts would be boring, which brings us to the fact that your tractors require fuel to function. This is where the Fuel Station comes in, which will (surprise?) produce the fuel needed to keep your tractors running, provided it is in turn supplied with oil via the railway system. Should your tractors run out of fuel, the farm will revert to its pre-industrialized state, requiring more workforce and only working the normal number of fields (ignoring new fields from the tractor boost). As such, tractors (a catch-it-all term we use for several different machines, as you can see in the screenshots) become available on tier 4 alongside steam motors (at 500 Engineers).

During our internal playtests, we quickly agreed that it would be a shame to only have the tractors for the agricultural farms, so we needed a counterpart for animal-based farms. Enter silo modules, which follow the same basic concept of allowing you to construct one attached silo per farm, which will boost the efficiency of your farms to 200%. Of course, it would be gross malpractice to try and feed fuel to the animals, so instead each session has a good that the silos will consume (and which needs to be transported to them): grain for the Old World, corn for the New World, and in the Land of Lio…oh, now that would be telling! Suffice to say that both tractors and silos will be available in all sessions that have farming buildings. Sorry Arctic, at least you get huskies!

A farmer in the New World

Of course, all these boosts could lead to a lot of additional goods being produced, which must be stored somewhere. Which is why you will be able to give your Kontors and warehouses an additional upgrade each: From tier three to tier four in the Old World sessions, and from tier two to three in the New World. Better even, both upgrades are free to all players, as part of Game Update 8. Buyers of the DLC will also get the ability to give their Oil Harbors another upgrade, as they will have to cope with the oil demands of their Fuel Stations.

That is it for the gameplay side, but there is more! When we released our first cosmetic DLC, the Holiday Pack, last Christmas, a lot of you asked for more every-day ornaments with an industrial feeling to further flesh out your cityscapes. As “Bright Harvest” is more of a systemic DLC that includes less new assets than previous DLCs, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to throw in some new ornaments that many of you have been asking for, such as haystacks and walls! In total, “Bright Harvest” will include over 30 new ornaments, with a focus on agricultural and industrial themes (including different fence and wall parts). We cannot wait to see all your screenshots once the DLC is out!

You asked fore them, so here they are: brickstone walls!

Beyond that, “Bright Harvest” also introduces 6 new Ubisoft Club challenges to test your farming skills. We also have new rewards you can spend your hard-earned club points on, but this time they take on a slightly different form- ship skins! Many of you having been asking for a long time for more visual variety in your ships, and so you will now be able to unlock new skins for the Battle Cruiser and Collier. Even better, you will be able to use these in already existing games, as you can change the skin of each of these ships individually to suit your taste. And since we already added this functionality, we are of course also extending it to the command ship and train, so you can at any time chose to use your Imperial Pack skins!

Now, after all this good news, it is time to tamper it with some bad news… As you know, we previously said that “Bright Harvest” is coming in Summer 2020. Turns out that is not the case, as Summer starts on June 20- whereas “Bright Harvest” will already be out on June 2! As always, owners of the Season 2 Pass will receive the DLC for free, while it will also become available for a la carte purchase for 6,99€/$ at launch. Stick with the Anno Union for more news on Game Update 8 as we get closer to launch and stay safe!

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Fatherlorris and the Arctic

All of the Anno games are inspired by history and our team spent a significant amount of time researching the era of Anno 1800. History buffs across all departments of the team spent countless hours going through hundreds of photographs and pictures as a reference for the design of ships and houses, researching on the societal changes and struggles of the time and discussing how to implement those as a gameplay feature. So while we are not and don’t want to be historically accurate, plenty of references can be found in the game.

The 1800s have also been an era of technology and innovations. Take “The Great Exhibition” that took place in London in 1851 as an example, which inspired the World’s Fairs in the game. Ground breaking innovations of the time found their way into Anno 1800, like railroads, electricity or steam ships, while Old Nate and his inventions are of course a small venture into early science fiction.

When we’re talking about expeditions, many of you were also curious about the inspirations for The Passage and we already had a Union Talk with our Game Writer África about the background of the DLC. So to give you a few more insights into the (ant)arctic expeditions of the time, for example the Franklin Expedition, we enlisted popular artist Fatherlorris of The Chapel and asked him to create some comics for us.

Who is this Fatherlorris and The Chapel, you ask? Well, we let him introduce himself:

Hi, my name is Ryan AKA Fatherlorris. And the Chapel is a little webcomic about strategy games.

How did you get into making comics – and even more so comics about strategy games?

I first started making comics as a hobby in high school, I am very dyslexic and wasn’t particularly literate so comics were a great way to make my friends laugh without needing to use too many words. But more importantly a great way of giving friends birthday and Christmas presents without spending any money. Then a few years ago I decided to sign up to reddit and post a comic there, it was a surprise success and I have been making comics ever since

Most of the games you’re creating comics about have a historical setting. A hobby of yours?

Yes, absolutely. Always been a huge fan of history. I am from South Wales, not too far from the Blaenavon Ironworks, one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution. The landscape all around is shaped by the coal and steel industry and I think it’s almost impossible not to take an interest in it.

Obvious follow-up question: How did you get involved with Anno then?

I was actually a bit of a latecomer to anno, I only started playing with the release of ANNO: 1404 Venice. At the time it was one of the only multiplayer city builders on the market, and that really appealed to me.

With these latest comics focusing on the (Ant-)Artic: Do you have personal connections to those regions or their history?

I don’t have any personal connection beyond my great granddad sinking the coal mine that dug the coal that fuelled the ships that sailed to the arctic. I actually got interested in the Arctic by accident, I picked up a copy of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard and it was one of the most gripping books I have ever read. Ever since I have been reading every diary about arctic expeditions I could get my hands on. If you are looking for crazy Tolkienesque tales about real people then I would definitely recommend a book written by or about an arctic explorer.

Thank you very much, Ryan!

So, without further ado: here is the first The Chapel comic about the events of the Franklin expedition. There will be 4 more about similar icy adventures which will be shared in future Union Updates – so keep an eye out 😉

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Balance changes coming with Game Update 8

Hey Anno Community,

while it is still a while to go before Bright Harvest will further expand your Anno 1800 experience, we want to take this opportunity to already make you aware of two important changes that will happen at the same time as part of Game Update 8.

Changes to map generation and seeds

As some of you may know, there is an issue during map creation that can result in maps not having certain fertilities, which players would sometimes only realize after playing for some time, or when reaching the New World. This can make for a frustrating experience, so we are making some changes to the map generation to ensure that every fertility will be present in newly generated maps.

And while we are at it, we will also tackle the issue of some maps having significantly more copper than zinc mines, despite game balance dictating that you should always have both resource nodes at a 1:1 ratio. With Game Update 8, this will be changed to ensure that copper and zinc mines will spawn at a better ratio to each other, though not necessarily 1:1 (due to the huge number of variables going into map generation).

As a downside of this change, map seeds will be changing with Game Update 8, so get ready to start the hunt for the perfect seeds anew.

Changes to Newspaper productivity buffs

The second topic we want to talk about today are changes to the productivity buffs provided by newspapers. Currently, the newspaper productivity buff is calculated differently from other buffs in the game, such as items or electricity, which can be confusing to players. In addition, it can also become too powerful under certain circumstances. With the below changes, we are bringing this buff in line with others in the game, both in the way the calculations work and the potential power level.

Going forward, the productivity buff provided by the newspaper will no longer multiply the buffs provided by other effects and will instead be added to them. This unification of the way buffs are calculated also means that info tips listing all the applied productivity buffs will be easier to understand.

Here is an example to make things clearer

Game Update 7.3

(100% + electricity boost + item boost + other boosts) * newspaper boost

From Game Update 8 onwards

100% + electricity boost + item boost + other boosts + newspaper boost

Keep an eye right here on the Anno Union for more news about Bright Harvest and the improvements coming with Game Update 8 (did someone say item overview?).

Stay safe!

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Game Update 7.3

Release: May 8, 12pm CEST/ 6am EST/ 3am PST

Download: 1GB

Release Notes

Fixed several potential game crashes.

Fixed several issues that could cause Desync errors in multiplayer.

Fixed an issue that could result in the game not starting (or crashing immediately after starting) if started in offline mode, or without an internet connection present.

Fixed some UI issues that could appear in DirectX 12 mode.

Fixed an issue with carts deleting their loaded goods if they were unable to unload them at their destination building.

Solved an issue where hovering the mouse over tiles such as ornaments or farm fields could cause its position to appear offset, making it harder to use.

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