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Category: DevBlog

DevBlog: Naval Combat

We hope that you like our brief look into the new naval combat feature in Anno 1800. Please be aware that the content shown is from the latest development version of the game and as we are still in Alpha state, it does not represent the quality of the final product.
The feature, as demonstrated in the video, was not part of the Technical Test version and was fully captured in-game. We are still working with full force to bring you a great Anno 1800 experience at launch and therefore, there will be more updates and Devblogs to look forward to until February 26th.

To give you a direct follow up on that matter, we will provide further insides on Anno 1800’s naval combat and answers to some of your questions in the next episode of our AnnoCast livestream, going live next week Thursday, December 13th at 4.30pm CET on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

We are looking forward to your feedback and questions in the comment section below.

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DevBlog: Back-Room Politics

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I’m the Game Designer for Anno 1800’s Diplomacy feature. I’m pretty new to the Anno team, as I only joined in January of this year. Since I grew up with Anno, starting with Anno 1602 when it came out, I am still super thrilled to now work on this series myself! How cool is that?

I love city builders and management games, and adventures in the broadest sense. Recently I played They Are Billions, Project Highrise, The Red Strings Club and Deltarune.

The 19th century – a century of back-room politics
Creating a metropolis from rags to riches is one thing, doing that while competing with other characters over territories is where the Anno series stands out. During your journey through the world of Anno’s depiction of a 19th century, you will meet many different ambitious or even ambiguous personalities. It is up to you if you approach them as an opportunist seeking a profitable trading alliance or as a ruthless warmonger trying to dominate the other factions.
To breathe life into the world of Anno 1800, every single character not only has a standing with the player character, but also with each other, ranging from love triangles to hate relationships.
Every non-player character populating your island world has its own unique personality traits, and our diplomacy system allows you to interact with them in various ways: from forging alliances to raging relentless war campaigns.

How will the world remember you? – Anno 1800’s reputation system  
The motor of our system is fueled by reputation, which represents your standing among the various second party characters as well as Anno’s ruthless pirates. Neutral factions are an exception as they are not in an active competition with the player and therefore are not part of the diplomacy system.
But more than just a rating for the players standing, reputation also takes the relationship between the non-player characters into account. The rating itself is in constant flux, as war driven actions of one character will constantly affect the opinion and therefore the reputation with another second party who dreams of a peaceful economic utopia. The longer the game goes, the more likely it is both characters will break their treaties, and even start their own personal war against each other.

Reputation is also the deciding factor for any diplomatic action in the game, which allow you to negotiate different treaties with the second party characters or pirates.
Here a quick look on our Anno 1800 diplomacy window. 

Raging war or forming alliances – Treaties
There are four different treaties in Anno 1800. The success of signing a treaty depends on the reputation between characters as well as on their personality. A leery character might be way more open in engaging in a trading agreement than a selfish baron. Let’s have a look:

“Alliance” – Allies will protect your ships and harbors when under attack. When you declare war on somebody, your allies will follow you into war. Forging an alliance usually requires a high reputation between the involved parties.

“Trade Rights” – Easier to achieve as an alliance, this treaty allows you to trade goods with the involved party.

“Peace” – A peace treaty ensures that both parties are not engaging in any combat actions against each other. The treaty is effective until one of the two factions breaks the peace condition, namely by declaring war.

“War” – When declaring war on a party, your ships can attack all vessels of the other party. Any trading relationships cease with immediate actions, and other parties who might be in an alliance with your now declared enemy might also support the war effort of their ally. So you better check twice who might be your enemies!

In addition, there are pacts in the game which are agreed on only for a limited amount of time. While such a temporary pact is effective, both parties are unable to declare war on each other. This pact cannot be broken by either of the parties before time runs out. This is very helpful when you know that for the next minutes a surprise war declaration of that double-minded brute Alonso would ruin your day.

Family ties and popularity contests – Diplomatic negotiations
The likeliness of negotiations being successful is determined by the reputation rating. Naturally, it is in the interest of the player to change the standing with a character to have a higher chance for negotiations to result in the desired trade agreement or even an alliance.

The other party might just agree, or just say no. As a third option, the other party might request money in addition to the new treaty. This depends on the other character’s traits and his or her own “point of accepting” this treaty.

Depending on the character themselves, they might also ask *you* for a treaty instead. This will of course only happen with friendly characters that want to make progress through this treaty – or who only want to protect themselves via a Non-Aggression Pact for example.

For all decisions, depending on it being a military or an economic issue, the diplomacy parties will consider how much stronger or weaker they are than you. Friendly and easy characters will not deeply care how much wealthier they are than you when thinking about accepting trade rights. Strong and stern characters on the other hand will carefully think about a request for peace, and only accept it if they are way inferior to you.

Changing your reputation – Diplomatic actions

So how do you influence the other parties’ reputation towards you? There are four direct ways:

  1. Flatter – A compliment here, a compliment there… Just don’t overuse it so that the other party gets tired and will even dislike you more.
  2. Insult – A good way to ruin your reputation. But hey, maybe you want them to declare the war on you, so it might save your standing with other characters who won’t blame you!
  3. Offer a gift – Who doesn’t like money offered for free? Well, some characters in Anno 1800 actually don’t like to be bribed, so you won’t get far with them by using money.
  4. Complete a quest – For some, actions speak louder than words. Finish a quest for them to win their favor. But don’t abandon or fail it! That certainly wouldn’t be please your would-be friend.

Apart from these direct actions, there are also some several passive, let’s say “hidden” actions. That’s also why we are not going to spoil too many examples here…

Artur Gasparov, the visionary architect, will love the effort you put into an impressive museum. On the other hand, his standing to you will sink if you build a lot of factories – pollution is a gross and detestable thing for Artur.

As a visionary architect, Gasparov is not really a fan of your unsightly factories!

Alonso, the war-hungry maniac, will grow to like you more when you start a war with another party. And Beryl O’Mara, the lady of organized crime, will not like it if you declare war on her underling Willie Wibblesock.

“You want to declare war on my dear Willie? NOT WITH ME!” In Anno 1800, different characters have various relationships or even feuds linked to their backstory. 

What kind of diplomat are you in the Anno games? Do you want to be friends and allies with everybody, or with just the ones you like the most? Or are you excited for the challenge of war and want to fight everyone? Tell us in the comments!

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DevBlog: Hoist the colors high

For centuries, pirates acted as privateers for aristocratic powers; henchmen that were often handsomely rewarded in blood money for their merciless deeds. But in the wake of the industrial revolution, the influence of the noble families was slowly dwindling and all of a sudden, stability was a much healthier and more sustainable motor for the modern economy than the disruption caused by constant fighting over trading routes.
The once-predators of the high sea became the hunted, and over the course of a few decades their centuries long legacy became mostly relegated to bedtime stories in romanticized novels.
The age of piracy was over, but the pirates of Anno 1800 won’t fade without a fight.

Overrun, but never outdone
Pirates have always been an important part of the Anno experience and even though the 19th century was the dawn of a new age, buccaneers will still populate your sessions to pester your and the other AI character’s trading ambitions. But more than just a serious threat for your fleets, Anno 1800’s pirates are real characters with their own flair, background and even their own ambitions.
As they are a part of our diplomacy system, they offer more game interaction than just simple combat. Even pirates have their own code of honor, but forming a fragile alliance with the outlaws won’t be easy to achieve. If you are willing to pay the price, they might allow you safe voyage through their territory, but keep in mind that they will remember how you treated them in previous encounters.

At the same time, they are cunning business people, and always have to find a new buyer for their illicit goods. If you visit their islands on good terms, they will not only offer their goods and items but are also happy to sell you some of their previously captured ships – including some real rarities you won’t be able to build in your shipyards.

Anne Harlow – The Banshee of the Old World
Young Anne’s future was paved in gold as her noble lineage guaranteed her a place among the powerful families of the Old World. But fate can be as cruel as it can be generous, even to those living in the ivory tower. Overnight Anne’s once prosperous future fell into ruin as a mad aristocrat convicted her father of treason.
And so, Anne Harlow became a fallen angel roaming the seas to seek vengeance for her family.
With the determination of an avenging banshee, she gathered a following of seasoned buccaneers, willing to follow her to the end of the world.

Anne and her fleet still haunts the waters of the old world, and while her fierce nature won’t make it easy to forge a peace agreement with her, it also makes her somewhat predictable. Once thing, however, is certain: she won’t quietly fade in history before taking bloody revenge on the nobles who ruined her family’s honor.

Jean La Fortune – The Wolf of the New World
It is one thing to fight for yourself, but another to you put your life on the line for someone else. Jean’s story is not so much a personal tragedy as a passionate dream of independence and freedom. And for that, he is willing to take on anyone and everyone to fulfill this dream. But it is not easy to life the life of an outlaw, especially if your dream puts the life of your family on the line.
When sailing under the black flag, his mind is always with his beloved wife and kids at home, well knowing that every battle could be the end for him as he takes the fight time and time again to a crumbling oppressive empire. As a man with strong convictions and principles, Jean is less aggressive than the vengeful Anne, though you may find him much harder to predict.

Where we will, we’ll roam
Are you looking forward to some good ol’ swashbuckling with pesky pirate fleets? Who were your favorite pirate antagonist in previous Anno games? We are looking forward to your Anno pirate stories and of course, your feedback on Anne and Jean who raise the black flag in a time where the old legends were slowly fading.

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Igne Natura Renovatur

Who have we here? You are in dangerous waters. You know not with whom you meddle. Leave if you value your life. Else all shall burn.

We are the fire bringers. The sixth age of man approaches. All must bow to the flames. You will be our fuel.

The fire will burn forever.

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DevBlog: Have it your way

Anno 1800 will offer builders a wide range of features, from time-honored proven favorites to all new additions to the series. One thing that is unchanged, however, is the ability to sink hundreds of hours into the game, and a big part of that is the ability for the players to set up their very own customized sessions, which has always been a cornerstone of the experience. We know that Anno fans love to be able to tailor the game’s challenges to their own (or their friend’s, of course) specifications and needs. So today, we want to give those veterans and newcomers like the first look at some of the customization options you will get to enjoy in Anno 1800.

Create your own island paradise, or meet a brutal challenge!
We have three basic difficulty levels in Anno 1800, ranging from Normal to Expert; they do not only affect the difficulty of your AI opponents but also include a set of predetermined rules regulating everything from the income you generate to the cost of relocating buildings. While we hope that the Expert setting should pose a challenge for even the most experienced players, we also allow you to tailor your own rule set and to select which (if any) AI characters you want to share your virtual world with. So if you want to create an unrelentingly brutal map with aggressive enemies and sparse resources- be our guest 😉

Similar to some previous Anno games, a dynamic difficulty bar that will give you a better feeling for how big of an impact your rule adjustments will have on the overall challenge.

Let’s start with the settings that will directly affect your game world:

Start World Size – A small archipelago for a quick match or a huge sandbox to play around in? This setting determines the actual size of your session.
Island Difficulty – A pancake will not provide a proper challenge for a true Anno veteran! Harder islands will challenge your city planning with a higher density of mountains, smaller beaches, and rivers.
Island Size – Some players might prefer many small islands for outposts or large-scale landmasses to give their cities enough space to grow.
Raw Materials – You said there isn’t enough copper on your island? A high amount of raw materials will not force you to expand as quickly and will, therefore, make the game easier.
Fertilities – Dictates how much of a factor the various fertilities your island can (not) have.

Next up are the various starting conditions, which can have a big impact on the speed and overall challenge of your game:

Starting ships – Is your flagship enough or would you prefer a small fleet of trading vessels? Or how about a fleet of warships? After all, there is nothing wrong with a good naval rush among friends!
Starting Capital – Money makes the world go round. The more money you have at the start of a game, the easier it is to establish your economy before getting into financial trouble.
Starting Harbor -> Do you want to start with an already settled island (maybe even fully stocked with some starting construction materials), or do you prefer to establish your first Imperial Harbor on an island of your choice?
Revealed Map – Being able to follow the moves of your enemies or friends in multiplayer can speed up things quite a bit.

After setting world and starting conditions, you also have some options to change the game’s rules:

Income – Defines the ratio of how much money your residents generate.
Refund of Construction Costs – If you destroy buildings to make space for your new leisure park area, do you want to get some previously used materials?
Building relocation – Decide whether you want to be allowed to freely move buildings around, or if there should be an attached cost.  
Trading Post Restocking
– Influences how quickly third-party characters will restock their trade goods on offer.
City Incidents – Some people want to see the world burn while others prefer a peaceful building experience without disturbing fires or riots.
Inactive Upkeep – Turning off building upkeep costs will make the game significantly easier.
Quest Frequency – If quests tickle your fancy, you can boost the rate of quests generated by AI opponents or neutral factions for you to undertake.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Anno game without a distinctive cast of characters and the freedom to decide if you would rather compete with the visionary (albeit slightly megalomaniac) architect Gasparov or would prefer for some easier going fellas to join your beauty building extravaganza match. As always, you will be able to choose up to three second-party AI characters as well as neutral factions such as traders or even those pesky pirates. Keep in mind that each character comes with their own personality, which also gives them their own difficulty rating.

And if you really like the world you find yourself in and want to share it with your friends, make sure that you note down the unique match seed code to recreate your experience at any time. You will of course also be able to have the game generate a random seed for you to get the proper feeling of venturing out into the unknown.

With custom game rules being a time-honored tradition of the Anno series, we’d love to hear from you. Do you have a set of standard rules you always go for or do you change the setup based on your current mood? And do you have any great war stories or tips for newcomers to share with the class? Take to the comments to let us know!

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DevBlog: This belongs in a museum!

Today, we will wrap up our deep dive debrief of the new features unveiled at gamescom 2018 with a trip to the museum, and a look at the new blueprint mode.

The Museum – Curiosity in an age of adventure and science
Franklin, Livingstone, von Humboldt… the 19th century was an age of intrepid explorers setting out to discover unknown frontiers and to uncover the mysteries of the world’s most remote locations. For the vast majority of people however, such travel was impossible, leaving them to satisfy their curiosity with travel reports or newspaper articles. Soon however, all this talk of travel and far-away lands lead to a hunger for “the real thing”, with people flocking to zoos, museums and botanical gardens to catch a first-hand glimpse of all the wonders they had read about. In keeping in this spirit of curiosity, you will be able to build your very own extensive museum in Anno 1800, offering you a second major tourist attraction to build alongside your zoo.
At first glance, the museum works quite similarly to the zoo. Unlocked at residential tier 3 (the Artisans), you start your project by constructing the main entrance/ building of the museum, after which you can start placing modules to slot your various exhibits into. Modules only need to be connected by a single tile, which gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to finding your perfect layout for the museum. During this time, it was not uncommon to display priceless antique statues in playful pleasure gardens. We try to embrace this mindset, so all the larger artifacts you can acquire will be displayed as actual 3d models in the open air, allowing you the best possible view of your collected treasures.

While the eye-catching elements of the zoo make heavy use of animated animals, the museum will have a large set of structures, such as temple ruins, antique mosaics or even dinosaur skeletons. Lower tier items such as amulets, old swords or other smaller artifacts will be displayed in special houses, which vary thematically, while still having their own unique 2d artwork. At launch, we hope to have around 80 possible artifacts to display in your museum, which will be organized into thematic sets like “dinosaur skeletons” or “proto-historical”.

Anno 1800 archaeologists and history enthusiasts can look forward to nine different sets in total, a perfect opportunity for us to hide some Easter Eggs and Anno throwbacks.
There is a lot to collect on our archaeological expeditions but we do not want spoil all the different themes and sets quite yet.

Blueprint Mode – Plan your architectural masterpiece
Working on a layout for a new industrial district or a nice artisan quarter is one thing, but if you start large scale projects such as the zoo or want to create a stunning avenue around your world fair, things can get complicated. The new blueprint mode is the perfect tool for aspiring architects, as it allows you to plan street layouts, districts or even whole cities in advance before laying down the first stones.

The blueprint mode is a rather simple but nevertheless extremely powerful tool. Once activated via your toolbar, all buildings placed will only show as ghostly silhouettes, indicating the spot for your future residence or factory. You can now take your time to work on a small layout for a few new production buildings or continue to work on your large park around the city center you always dreamed of. As soon as you are happy with your layout, or if you managed to gather the previously missing material, you can just go ahead and start constructing.

But you don’t have to click on each silhouette manually; the new upgrade tool comes in handy as it allows you to construct every single blueprint building with one click or even via drag and drop. Especially in the early game or in resource-constrained times, it can happen that you want to place a building but realize that you do not have the needed materials. In that case, the blueprint mode will automatically place a silhouette indicating that you are currently short on resources.

Placing buildings in blueprint mode will not cost you any resources or money and they will not start operating before you complete their actual construction.

The mind game when planning an efficient city layout is an integral element of the Anno experience, as construction space is as much of a resource as materials. Keep in mind that you will only be able to place buildings which have been unlocked by natural progression but that won’t prevent you from reworking your city later on of course. Of course, should you not be a fan of this feature, you will be able to disable it altogether.

What do you think about the large-scale projects like the museum and the zoo as well as new city building tools such as the blueprint mode? Are you someone who can sink hundreds of hours to create the most stunning city or is efficiency key when establishing a real power economy?

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DevBlog: The Residents of the New World

A continent carved by rivers, dominated by lush jungle forests and dotted with ancient mountains. Your Kontor just established on a white sand beach, the first residents settle in your newly founded city and you take a moment to watch the Tobacco leaves grow in the ardent sun.
The New World will leave a strong and vibrant impression and it was important for us that the new residents and their buildings invite the player to sink deep into the atmosphere of that beautiful continent.

Inspired by 19th century Latin America, Anno 1800’s New World residents are bound to their country but other than the dawn of the industrial age in the old world, their story is a tale of building a strong prospering society fueled by the dream of independence.
Beside a set of strong third party characters populating the second session, your settlements will have visual feedback representing residents local to the continent, including models, portraits for residential tiers and new production chains.

Residential Tier I – Jornaleros
Jornaleros are the farmers of the New World, devout and hardworking people who are driven by the dream of independence at a dawn of a new era.
Similar to your first session, the first residential tier in the New World will represent the ways of old, farmers cultivating cotton and cocoa but also participating in traditional crafts such as pearl diving. However, it is also important for us to show respect to their roots and heritage as the Jornaleros are not to color them with the same brush as the Farmers. Working on the fields is hard labor, but by the middle of the 19th century for the first time, they could call the soil they cultivate their own. When the sun sets after a long day, Jornaleros find community and harmony in cultural buildings such as the chapel.The Jornaleros are the hard working and devout farmers of the New World

Their farm houses are rather simple but also a pragmatic fit for the hot and stifling climate of their continent. We wanted that their residential buildings convey that they are slowly adapting to a new life and are not built as a long-standing family heirloom. However, not many of them can call a farm their own and it is not easy to build a lasting foundation for a small home on the jungle soil outside of paved cities or large haciendas.This concept art gives you a good idea about the flair of the Jornaleros homes.

Cocoa, Bananas or Pearls, which seem almost ordinary to the Jornaleros, fetch a high price to fulfill the craving for anything new and rare in the high society of the Old World. But while they call even common plants like sugar-cane “exotic”, the life of the New World residents also changed when goods from across the ocean became an integral part of their life. Centuries of influence brought new goods to their continent, some of them now cultivated on their own land while others are in high demand as imported luxury goods.Rum export is big business in the 19th century, as there is a high demand for the drink in the Old world.

Residential Tier II – Obreros
When the power monopoly of the Old Worlds monarchy crumbled, the Orebros managed to take advantage of the new trading deals and connections to the rising class of financial entrepreneurs. Their new prosperity allows them to import expensive crafted goods such as sewing machines and they value a distinctive lifestyle based on old traditions, which grows confidently into a promising future.
Their settled city lifestyle also offers amenities for their society, from healthcare provided by the local hospital to entertainment during a visit at the boxing ring.The Obreros are the residents of the new worlds who found their way from the farmlands into the cities, where they found wealth as tradespeople.

Some of their residential buildings have a long history but over time, the Obreros gave them their own character. As many of the Obreros grow accustom to the city lifestyle, their houses were built with lasting stone and they are more likely to spend their new wealth on their homes for the generations to come.The residential buildings of the Obreros depict an urban lifestyle still fitted to the climate.

The lounging investors and engineers in your metropolis cannot get enough of their imported cigars and chocolate but the real driver for the economy lies in precious gold and oil. Almost all goods you export into the Old World serve luxury needs and making your money aristocracy happy will challenge your smart management skills and require an elaborate trade network.Goods produced in the New World will serve as luxury goods in the Old World and vice versa.

Gold is hard to get by, which results in a heavy demand in workforce for prospecting the luxurious metal in several mines in order to ensure a profitable output.
But oil was the real game changer to bring progress and a thriving economy to the New World.  While some few oil fields will be available in the old world to cover the need for basic electrical supply, you will need to tap into the rich oil resources of the New World if you want to support your power economy and make your investors happy. The oil towers surrounded by jungle provide quite a vista, but the fossil fuel not only wants to be pumped out of the ground but also conveyed to the oil harbor and then distributed in large tanks to your Old World’s metropolis.

A lush continent with a vibrant society
The New World will carry you away with its details, offer new and challenging production chains and invite you to meet a rich set of new third party characters and to explore it’s story in the campaign. But Anno 1800’s campaign is a story for another day and with that brief look over the two production chains, we bet you have many questions about the New World session.

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DevBlog: Let’s go on an adventure

By the dawn of the 19th century, the majority of the globe had been accessed by various trade conglomerates and empires, but there were still curious adventurers willing to conquer our world’s final frontiers and history’s last big secrets. From the journeys of Charles Darwin and Alexander Humboldt to various novellas and tales about curiosity, bravery, and hardship – we had plenty of material to inspire Anno 1800’s new Expedition feature.

Expeditions allow us to experience the world of Anno from a completely different perspective from our usual view through the lens of an architect. From dangerous scientific expeditions to the arctic regions, exploring the heritage of old civilizations hidden in dense jungles or the hunt for infamous freebooters, playing through these exciting stories will reward you with precious and rare items. These can be anything ranging from exotic animals for your zoo or artifacts to be displayed in your newly opened museum to specialists who can boost your productivity, accompany you on future expeditions or even lead your flagships as seasoned naval veterans.

However, these undertakings were never without risk, and many scientists and explorers paid the ultimate price to follow their dreams; similarly, some of these dangerous ventures may pose a grave threat to your ship and crew.

Let me take you on an adventure
The new Expedition feature adds “choose your own adventure” style quests to Anno 1800, where you send a ship and it’s crew on a journey with an uncertain outcome. During that adventure, your crew will encounter scenarios based on the type of expedition, and you have to choose wisely how to tackle these events to guarantee a safe and rewarding outcome. There will be a variety of expedition types, such as archeological, zoological, rescue missions or even bounty hunting pirates.

Available at the third residential tier, these adventures will become available in your expedition menu and as a marker on your world map. Here, you can also see the title, type and difficulty indicator for each expedition. Naturally, lengthier and more dangerous expeditions will offer higher rewards for the risks you have to undertake. There will be many different stories with a variety of events to play through and you will be able to run several expeditions at the same time. Once you have decided which journey you want to undergo, you first have to prepare your ship.

The moral bar of your expedition serves as a health bar during the long journey into uncharted waters. The moral bar is a combination of the ship’s basic morale rating as well as the various items on your ship, including rations, goods that provide special abilities and any specialists who join your crew. The general rule: the higher the morale, the more likely it is that your expedition will be successful.

Your seasoned naval advisor provides you with information about an expedition, such as potential rewards and the types of encounters you may face. And there will be plenty of those- from foreign cultures which require diplomatic tactfulness, to diseases which can befall your crew to superstitious rumors about stranger things which befell the last unlucky souls who sailed through that mysterious passage, our expeditions can get pretty eventful. If items are a good fit for the challenges you can expect on an expedition, they will provide a significant boost to your morale bar.
Specialists with diplomatic experience might help you out with foreign encounters, canons or an experienced cannoneer will help against hostile ships and extra rations will help to endure the month long trips on the high seas.

As soon as you loaded up your ship with specialists and other items based on the Captains recommendation, you are ready to send the brave crew on to their journey and your ship will leave your session in real-time until entering the world map. There, it will travel to the expedition’s destination, indicated by a marker and a line showing the ship’s course.

Events – Captain, there is land on the horizon!
During their journey, which will take time based on the distance to the destination, events will happen, which are more frequently and challenging based on the expedition’s difficulty rating. These events will each have their own story and different stages, based on the decisions you make and their outcome. The key here is that almost every encounter has multiple possible outcomes, both joyful and negative. The decisions you make and even the items you brought with you can have an impact on the said outcome. The chance of success is affected by the quality of your items, as your specialists, the ship itself and other items and goods have their own skills and modifiers.

Let’s look at the example. Your ship took serious damage during a gruesome storm, but a carpenter might be able to repair it with his skills and some wooden planks. You have neither the needed material nor the craftsman to fix the damage? It might be worth taking the risk to ask for help on the mysterious island on the horizon. You may even boldly decide to ignore the damage altogether and just venture forth, even if your crew’s morale will take a heavy hit from travelling on a damaged ship.

As mentioned, Characters can have special traits, such as an anthropologist who can help you when encountering foreign cultures, which might lead to unique decision options based on the traits of said specialist.

Example: We have an event in which your crew makes landfall on an island in search of potable water and while doing so, meets a native tribe who currently performs a sacred ritual. A tricky situation as you don’t want to antagonize the inhabitants of the islands. Luckily, as your Anthropologist spent years studying foreign customs, he can show respect for the tribe by joining their ritual, which will reward you with a special item if successful.

Sometimes, you might have the perfect item to solve a tricky situation, which will enable a special decision with a guaranteed chance of success. But even some basic goods can help you through certain scenarios; for example, soap gives a bonus to medicine, wooden planks help if you need to repair your ship during an event and the trusty parrot gives you a bonus on faith when “pining for the fjords”.

Risks? There are always risks
In the spirit of the great scientific journeys of the 19th century, there is always something at stake but a higher skill rating can weight the odds dds when making decisions. Failing events or ignoring them when you are missing needed materials and skills will cause a hit to the morale of your expedition.
On our “Love Island” expedition shown at gamescom, an encounter with a tribe’s chieftain could lead to various outcomes: if you are lucky (or well prepared), one of the tribesmen might join your crew as a specialist but if Lady Luck is not smiling upon you that day, an ill-timed “knock knock joke” could even cost your comedian her life. Space is also precious on your ship, as you might need to leave someone behind or throw goods overboard in order to make space for that rare reward which you managed to catch during an event.

Going through events during an expedition costs morale (even during events with positive outcomes). All food and drink related goods you have on your ship count as rations, and after every event, you will be able to spend extra rations to lose less morale. The morale will sink over time or even suffer greatly when facing grim circumstances. If the morale bar falls to zero before you finish your adventure, the expedition is lost – including your ship, your crew, the precious schnapps, and even any trusty parrots you had with you.
But you are at the helm of your ship and if you feel that the risk is too high or that an expedition may take an unfortunate turn, you can always recall your ship from an active expedition.

Fortune favors the bold- and so do the rewards
When finishing an expedition, you will be rewarded with several rare or even legendary items. Every expedition has its own loot table based on the difficulty and the type of the venture, such as archaeological expeditions giving you a guaranteed cultural artifact if you succeed. Furthermore, individual encounters can also have their own loot tables or grant fixed items for specific outcomes, which are separate from the rewards for finishing the overall expedition. The rewards for finishing an expedition can be rich and plentiful, and we are looking forward to reports on your adventures and players comparing their rare items.

Besides items you can get from the event encounters themselves, expedition loot will not take up any space on your ship to make sure that you receive the deserved loot for the efforts you went through. After finishing the expedition, your ship will return to your main island and dutifully unload your spoils into your imperial harbor.

And so our story ends… for now

Expeditions are an exciting new feature that allows you to enhance your city-building experience with opportunities to get deeper immersed in the world of Anno 1800, while being able to snag some helpful items and specialists along the way. As a team, we can’t wait to hear your thoughts, and to read the first tall tales of players relay their expedition (mis)fortunes and what spoils they managed to bring back home to their islands!
What do you think of the expeditions? What stories and adventures do you want to see? And what kind of rations are the best for long expeditions? Let us know in the comments what you think.

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DevBlog: Welcome to the Jungle

Welcome to the New World
The idea of splitting the game world into the orient and occident quickly became a fan-favorite feature in Anno 1404. With Anno 2205, we expanded on the idea of different biomes and created the multi session system, which allowed us to ramp up the scale of Anno’s world with separate and vastly different new habitats to colonize. With Anno 1800, we will combine the best of these two worlds: a new biome and culture brimming with details on a large separate map on which your empire and your opponents can compete over new islands and resources. Welcome to the New World!

This new fascinating archipelago will both challenge your skills as a city planner and allow you to exciting new characters; who knows, you may even be able to help them in their struggle for independence as part of Anno 1800’s campaign! But keep in mind that characters from the Old World will also follow your new trade routes and bring your existing feuds or alliances into this lush new world.

This is the first DevBlog in a two-piece series, covering the “New World” session in Anno 1800. Today, we show you the scale of the second session including the setting and gameplay elements. In a future second blog, we will focus on the new production chains as well as the new residential tiers you will find on this new continent.

Enter the jungle – armed with square and compass
At the dawn of a new industrial era, which would eventually pave the way for our modern globalized world, people craved for anything new and rare from continents they’ve only heard of in their local newspapers. The rise of the working class and private entrepreneurs fueled not only a craving for luxurious goods but was also fertile soil for the curiosity first sowed during the Age of Enlightenment.

But getting your hands on goods like cotton, tobacco or precious gold is a bold venture, as your competitors never sleep, and the islands at the coasts of the new continent are covered in dense jungles interlaced with rivers and rocky ridges.

However, the New World will not only present a welcome visual change to the familiar European style environment of the Old World, as the second session will also spice up the gameplay with often challenging islands layouts. If you manage to establish your empire in an area, which seems inaccessible at first glance, you will be rewarded with a gorgeously scenic settlement surrounded by lush forests and colorful animals.

To immerse you in that completely different hemisphere, we created two new residential tiers (both of which come with unique production chains!), new characters to interact and new sets of flora and fauna, which will populate the densely covered islands.

The two residential tiers are inspired by 19th century South America, including unique portraits, visual feedback as well as new third party characters like Isabella Sarmento, who are coming with their own islands, storylines, and quests for players to undertake. And while we can’t go into this topic too much yet, we can tell that Isabella’s fight for independence will play a focal role in Anno 1800’s campaign.

Seamless multisession and world map
But how will it exactly work? As previously mentioned, the new session is the best of two worlds: the Anno 2205 multisession system and the visual and gameplay variety from Anno 1404’s orient and occident.

As soon as you reach tier 3 (Artisans) in the old world, a discovery mission for a new route to the New World will become available. After your brave crew manages to open the new trading route across the great ocean, you will be given free access the new session as you please – seamlessly and without lengthy loading times, which is something we had received a lot of feedback on.

From there on, you can jump back and forth, managing your empire in the Old World while changing to the New World in the blink of an eye to check on your newly established settlements.
When sending ships between both sessions, they will leave the map in real time before entering the world map, which allows you to keep track of your trading ships traveling between sessions or your expedition vessels on their way into unknown waters. When establishing trade routes between sessions, you also have to take into account that your ship will take some time to cross the ocean.

While the New World will offer exciting new production chains, you can decide for yourself when and with how much dedication you want to tackle this new adventure. AI opponents of the Old World will follow your new trade route but will not discover it by themselves. That means that you can decide when it is time to branch out without being afraid that you are too late to the party. Then it is up to you if you want to spread your empire extensively into the new territory or if you just want to establish a small romantic settlement to stay in contact with local characters.
Many new Third Party characters are eager to trade their new goods with you, naturally, and for a price reflecting their considerable expenditures. But word is that Madame Kahina in the Old World has extensive contacts to the new continent and might strike a deal with you if you need some of the goods from these far away lads.

Especially your higher tier residents in the Old World love to get their hands on luxurious goods from the second session while your residents in the new lands in turn favor imported goods from your first session. Furthermore, the New World will be the main source for oil, and a steady supply of the fossil fuel from the second session comes in handy when you want to run a big electricity business. But more about production chains and goods in the second part of the New World blog.
How your feedback influenced the New World
Now that we have revealed the New World, we can also tell you how player feedback was crucial into turning it into the version you will see at launch. Our initial concept for South America was very different and definitely smaller in scale, but the strong, constructive feedback from our Ann o union testers in our previous playtests convinced us to expand our plans for the New World significantly: a lush new world of challenging islands with two separate citizen tiers with all-new production chains. This has been a truly collaborative effort between our team and our playtesters, and we are grateful both to them, as well as to all the other Union members who shared their wishes and suggestions for the second session and its gameplay with us online.
And while we are on the topic of your feedback- we are happy to announce that after we put some additional work in, you will be able to access both sessions in your multiplayer matches, giving you and your competitors access to the full breadth of Anno 1800’s world when facing off.

In the next episode of our New World blog, we will show you the two residential tiers and their production chains in action. A lot of feedback and a great amount of work went into that feature and we hope that it will provide you with many hours of exciting new content. So what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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Devblog: New features at gc2018

Today, we want to give you a brief look over four new features shown at gamescom 2018. While only a glimpse at the content we present in Cologne, the new features will get their own dedicated and detailed blogs in the weeks ahead.


Travel the world for fame on a fortune with expeditions
Expeditions are an exciting new addition to the series that will bring your Anno world to life like never before. Send ships crewed with specialist characters out on a variety of adventures as they seek fame and fortune, with gameplay that is a throwback to classic “choose your own adventure” books. Will your zoological expedition return with an exciting new addition to your zoo’s menagerie, or will your crew succumb to one of the many perils they will face on their journey?


Welcome to a new world
Once your European industrial revolution is in full swing, you will soon be able to expand your growing empire to the lush jungles of South America, where all new challenges await. Discover separate resident tiers, master new production chains and race your opponents as you seek to secure the gold and oil reserves needed to power your industrial arms race.


Welcome to the era of archeology!
Listen up beauty builder and explorer; a museum opened its doors in town. With the second big cultural project, the museum will allow you to display the wonders of the world, from fossil findings to artifacts from times long gone. As with the zoo, the museum allows you to place various modules to display your rare items, which your adventures acquired from expeditions to lands far away or from trading deals with other characters.


Blueprints – plan your utopia
With the blueprint mode, you will be able to plan your city layout ahead to create your truly visionary metropolis. With the toggle of a button, you can place buildings before actual construction, which makes it easier to map out your city center or industrial districts before investing your construction material.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the new features and what is your favorite of all four?

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