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Category: General

Union Update: Looking at our next game update

In today’s Union Update, we will be looking at the release notes of our second Game Update for Anno 1800, scheduled for next week; this essentially means you are getting two updates for the (nonexistent) price of one. Just what would Leonard von Malching think about our deal making skills?

Release Notes for Game Update 02 ( planned for May 15, 2019)

Update 02 will include several bug fixes, improvements to the game’s stability as well as balancing updates for Influence and some of our ships. We will continue to improve the game based on community feedback with future updates, including further balancing and quality-of-life improvements.

One focal point for this update was the Influence system and the rate at which players can gain influence points to spend. We have also received a lot of feedback on Royal Taxes, but rather than simply rebalancing some numbers we are looking at a rework of the system in a future update.  

Finally, we are happy to say that Madame Kahina seems to have found a new, more reliable supplier for European fertility items, so make sure to check out her Emporium’s stock.

Balancing Changes

Influence
With the newest changes, players will have an easier time acquiring influence from population as well as from investors. Our goal is that player are able to embrace their own playstyle more freely, which could be hard for players who were heavily engaged in war or complex trade route networks in the earlier stages of the end game of Anno 1800. We also changed the Influence gain population soft-cap from 14.000 to 16.000 citizens. 

Finally, we tackled some influence perks that players felt were not rewarding enough considering the influence investment required. As it is our goal to reward the commitment to a certain playstyle, we buffed the overall benefit gains from influence specializations.

Influence Rebalancing:

 – Influence gained from population increased from +10 to +15 per increase

 – Influence gained from investors increased from +1 to +2 per house

 – Exponential scaling for influence from population kicks in later, at 16.000 Global Population instead of 14.000

Influence Bonus Improvements:

 – Propaganda category: Newspaper Effectiveness boosted from 5%/10%/15% to 7%/15%/25%

 – Trade category: Movement Speed boosted from 5%/10%/15% to 7%/15%/25%

 – Military category: Attack Speed boosted from 5%/10%/15% to 7%/15%/25%

 – Optimization category: Maintenance Cost boosted from 1%/2%/3% to 3%/6%/10%

 – Culture category: Attractiveness boosted from 5%/10%/15% to 10%/20%/35%

Changes to naval combat and ship diseases
We are happy to see that many players are engaging with the naval combat of Anno 1800 and will continue to improve the system based on community feedback. With Update 02, we wanted to focus on the passive defensive stance, which was not working as intended as well as an overall balancing pass on our ships. Our goal has always been to strive for a balance where both sail and steam-powered ships have their place and uses in the game, but we may have fallen a bit short when it comes to making steam ships a viable and attractive option in the late game. With these changes, we hope that we are putting more of the “dreading nought” into our battlecruisers.

We also re-balanced the illness on ships, so pandemics spreading through a network of trade routes should be less likely now, as the overall timer for the spread chance to trigger was raised significantly. 

Rework of the “Passive Defense” ship stance

 – Renamed to “Hold Position”

 – Ships using this stance do not move to attack a target

Steamship balance

– Battle Cruiser hit points increased from 5000 to 6000

– Battle Cruiser Damage per shot increased from 245 to 275

– Battle Cruiser Upkeep Cost lowered from 1000 to 850

– Monitor hit points increased from 2500 to 3000

– Monitor Upkeep Cost lowered from 600 to 300

– Collier hit points from increased from 3500 to 4000

Illness on ships

– Ship disease spread chance was 1% every 10 seconds; spread chance now is 1% every 30 seconds

– Ship disease duration was 15 minutes, and has now been lowered to 10 minutes

Changes to Madame Kahina’s item pool

Now, 20% of items offered at Madame Kahina’s harbor consist of  European fertilities, with rarities (uncommon, rare and epic) depending on player progress.

Improvements to game stability
With Update 02, we improved the overall stability of the Anno 1800 game client as well as fixed specific issues, which could cause the game to crash.

– Fixed an instance where toggling the Victory Conditions could crash the game when starting a new game

– Fixed issues which could lead to crashes If the game was running under DirectX 12

– Fixed an instance which could lead to crashes during campaign gameplay

– Fixed an instance which could lead to a crash while upgrading residential buildings

– Fixed several rare instances that caused general client instability

Fixed an issue which could prevent players from receiving  further quests or character notifications
We have fixed an issue that could prevent players from accepting any new quests or interacting with other characters in the game world, which blocked them from progressing in the campaign or with their sandbox quests.


Fixed some issues causing the railway system to stop working properly. 
The issue could cause trains to ignore the Oil refinery when the internal storage of the Oil Harbor was at max capacity, which could happen when players had a more complex network of different refineries connected to the harbor. 

Fixed an issue where happiness count would instantly drop 
when building a commuter harbor.
This issue could create a significant drop in residential happiness as soon as the commuter harbor was constructed.


Various gameplay fixes

– Fixed an issue that prevented the achievement “What’s that smell?” from unlocking

– Fixed a rare issue where the player could get locked out of expedition events

– Fixed an issue where losing an island with Trade Unions would not refund the influence spent on those unions

Fixed graphical issue in top-secret, nonexistent first-person mode

Various fixes and visual improvements to the First-Person Mode Easter Egg. Which totally does not exist. Enjoy the view!

Fixed a variety of UI issues.

– Fixed the button positioning on “Desync Detected” screen

– Fixed an issue where the button of “Father’s Diary” would shift positions at some screen resolutions

– Fixed an issue where “Unmute All” text shifted position on the multiplayer chat settings window

– Fixed an issue where City Incidents buildings would interchange their object menus

– Improved the info tips for fertility items, as they were unclear on what they could be used on

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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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Vote: Community Expedition Event

After reading through dozens of creative, smart, surprising and sometimes funny expedition events, we are ready to open the next Anno Union vote!

However, before we present our final entries, a few words about the amazing work of everyone who participated.  Once again, we had a tough time making the final decision which events should make it into the voting. Some stories amazed us with their incredible love for detail while others impressed us with their visual design and representation.
At the end, we had many favorites, so our narrative and design team had to come together to make a tough call: deciding for the finalists for the community vote. Decisions were made based on the general idea, flair and design of the event, while we also had to take into account if the entry would fit into the game and whether they would make a great addition to the existing roster of expedition events.

Therefore, without further ado, here are the final entries:
Argurino: “Darwin Expedition” or “The Voyage of the Beagle”
Follow the footstep of great scientific adventurers like Charles Darwin, on a curious hunt for mother earth’s last great secrets. In a seemingly unknown and wild archipelago, will your discoveries cause furor among fellow scientists back home or will your curiosity take its toll among your comrades? If you want to change the world, you have to be willing to take all risks necessary.
Editor’s note: As Anno is merely inspired by history, but does not use actual personalities, we renamed the event to “The voyage of the Beagle” to keep the reference to Charles Darwin.
Our team thinks:
“Interesting to have the crew face the different dangers related to the exploration of a tropical island in a single event. Moreover, it is related to a real life discovery.”  Marie Rouzié, Narrative Designer
Hexagon19: “Isla de los Muertos”
A tale of old legends and auspicious treasures. This event leads your crew to a mysterious island, haunted by the ghostly remains of the last unlucky soldiers of fortune who tried to unravel the island’s mystery.  Are you brave enough to press forward into the depths of an old pirate cave and will you be able to reap the riches and to uncover the truth about the “Isla de los Muertos”?
Our team thinks:
“This one convinced me as Hexagon19 clearly understood the Expedition system and how it works which evidently shown in the structure. It’s a “classical” pirate story and reminds me of Treasure Island.” – Sebastian Knietzsch, Senior Game Designer
Hojny87: “The forgotten civilization.”
With great power comes great responsibility. In an age of exploration, where the old world taps into the last unknown corners of the world, you brought something with you that might decide the fate of a once untouched paradise. A dramatic event with high stakes where your actions will decide the destiny of an old civilization.
Our team thinks:
“Great idea to have the event starting with a disease carried by the local population, probably caused by the crew spending time with them. This feels really different from other events we have already created and provides an interesting look at a very real problem: discovering new cultures at the risk of endangering them.” – Marie Rouzié, Narrative Designer

The voting will be open until January 2nd, giving you ample opportunity to cast your vote in favor of your preferred expedition proposal.

We say thank you to all members of the Anno Union who participated in the contest. While we had to decide on three final entries based on a variety of factors, including how they would fit into the existing game, we are proud that there is so much creative power in our Anno community.

And before we go, a small reminder for all Admirals out there: save the date for the upcoming AnnoCast this Thursday at 4.30pm CET, if you want more details and answers to your questions on our Naval combat system – twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

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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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Union Talk: Player Feedback

Today, we want to present you our first Union Talk, where we sit together to talk about Anno Union relevant community topics.
With our big reveal in 2017, we invited Anno fans around the world to share feedback to help us developing Anno 1800. Thousands of comments and 120 blogs later, how has the community actually changed the game for the better?
Our Creative Director Dirk “Karrenschieber” Riegert will give you some insights how your comments and participation helped to shape the New World and other important game content.

Let us know if you liked the idea of our Union Talk, is that something you would love to see more in future and topics you would like to see tackled in the next episode?

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Union Update: Time to recuperate

Another week has passed, and gamescom 2018 is in the books- and what a gamescom it has been! After countless presentations, interviews and stage shows – not to mention an award (Best PC Game of gc 2018) that we are as you can see very proud of – the Ubisoft Blue Byte team has mostly unscathed returned to the studio to tackle the final 6 months of development before Anno 1800 ships globally on February 26th, 2019.

However, we do need a little bit more time to rest our vocal chords and to read your hundreds of comments on the Union, our forums and social media, so there won’t be any new Union content this week. Starting next week, we will return to our regularly scheduled programming as we start to review gamescom with you, and take a closer look at some of our newly announced features like South America and the expeditions. In the meantime, feel free to share some of the questions you would like us to tackle over the next few weeks in the comments!

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Union Update: PC Gaming Show, Community Roundtable and more

Welcome back to our regular Union Update, as the last week has been quite busy bringing Anno 1800 to the PC Gaming Show in Los Angeles. However, before we dive into the news, let us talk about upcoming Union content.

This week, we will reveal the last residential tier of Anno 1800. The 19th century was not only a time of progress; it was also the time of big business, from old aristocrats to soldier of fortune trying to build the next big company. New production chains will be challenging and exciting alike and as mentioned in our last Q&A, the last tier will unlock interesting end-game content. After that, it is time for the anniversary of one of the most influential Anno games of all times: Anno 1404. After the anniversary content, you can look forward to blogs that will tackle the technological marvels of the 19th century. On that note, we are still looking for any 1404 anecdotes from our community. If you have a special, funny or just awesome 1404 moment to share, let us know in the comments below!

Anno 1800 at PC Gaming Show 2018
Last week, Anno 1800’s Executive Producer Burkhard and Community Developer Bastian traveled to Los Angeles to present our game during the PC Gaming Show. To show the game to PC players and strategy fans out there, we revealed our new trailer, kicked off a new Anno Union vote as well as talked about the game, setting and why community feedback matters. However, the PC Gaming Show was only the beginning, as we are looking forward to see Anno Union members and Anno fans at this year’s gamescom 2018.

Save the date: Community Roundtable
The next community roundtable is happening! Meet our community developer and members of our community team to chat about anything Anno 1800 and Anno Union related. Our Annoverse Fan-Discord will host the roundtable session, in which you can join, ask us questions, discuss or just listen to the ongoing conversation.

This time, we will run the two roundtables (one in German and one in English) on two different dates:
Second Anno Union community roundtable German: Monday, June 25th, at 7PM CEST
Second Anno Union community roundtable English: Monday July 2nd, at 7pm CEST

We use Voice Chat to communicate during the roundtable, but you can also ask questions in the chat if you don’t have or want to use a microphone. We will share some further details with the next Union Update.

You are hungry for more Anno or want to get in touch with other Union members and Anno fans out there? Check out our growing Anno fan Discord community: https://discord.gg/V4xhZ8Z

Current vote and availability of the AI ships
Many of you mentioned that they would love to get their hands on every ship and we heard you. We will make sure that you can get the hands of most, if not all, of the special ships via gameplay. While you will not be able to build them in your shipyard, there will be different ways to acquire the ships when playing, if it will be from third party NPC’s or via other features. Do not worry about the variety of ships you can construct, they will cover a lot from sail to steamships and we will share some details when we highlight the while Naval system in a future Union blog.

With the current vote, we want not only to get insights which ship is your favorite (and especially why from gathering your comments), it will decide for which ship we will create a second variant designed by the Anno Union itself. Do not worry about the missing details; we will share some examples and details when the contest starts.

Next focus test has already started!
The next round of our Anno Union focus tests is currently live. We invited a new group with over a dozen Anno Union members to test Anno 1800 inside out while providing daily reports to the development team. If you did not make it into this round, do not worry, we will continue the focus test program throughout the year and will invite bigger groups of players later on.

We heard your feedback that you want more details on what and how focus tests affected the development of Anno 1800. When the current focus test round concludes, we will provide you with a more detailed update about our insights and findings from this session. As always, our “player stories” are a combination between Anno Union blog feedback, discussions in our forum and fan groups as well as detailed feedback from our focus groups.

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