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Category: Union Update

Union Update: Anno 1800 at EGX London

This week in the Anno Union, we have some exciting news about the upcoming EGX Rezzed convention in London and more live-streams on the horizon with the return of the Community Corner. We do not want to withhold you a teaser for this week’s DevBlog: this time, we will give the cast of our second party characters a spot in the limelight.

Anno 1800 will be at Rezzed London
We will bring Anno 1800 to this year’s EGX Rezzed 2019 in London on April 4th-6th. EGX Rezzed is London’s best-loved and biggest games event: a festival of independent gaming that celebrates one of the world’s greatest pastimes. Every year they bring thousands of gamers together in the unique setting of London’s historic Tobacco Dock to play a fascinating variety of games and meet their creators, from tiny student startups to the world’s biggest developers.

You will not only be able to play the game at the convention, but our Community Developer will also be there on Thursday to give you some exclusive insights into the game and answer your most burning questions during the Anno 1800 panel April 4th at 4pm!
And if you are not able to visit the EGX Rezzed in London, we will host the panel on our Ubisoft Blue Byte Twitch channel.

German Community Corner Special
And while we at the topic of streaming, we will have a German episode of our Community Corner stream this week Thursday at 6pm CET, with the German strategy gamer The Writing Bull as a special guest!
As you know, we want to bring the world of Anno to as many fans as possible and therefore, we will have another English episode of the Community Corner as well as of the AnnoAfternoon in the upcoming week.

We are really happy how many of you watching our streams and sharing your thoughts in the live chat. Keep in mind that we are always looking for feedback and ideas for our live-streams from our community. Let us know what you think of our streams and what you would love to see in the future in the comments below.

Community Creations – a stunning centerpiece for the dining room!
g00fy’s Anno 1800 table, created by his talented friend Martin, is a real eye catcher in any kitchen or dining room! With the 19th century setting, is there anything your will or would like to build, paint or just use to decorate your PC desk for the big release on April 16th?
The setting begs for creative community creations and we are curious if we will see more crazy creations in the future:
You can check out the original post here:
https://twitter.com/thkg00fy/status/1104459721795358720

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Union Update: Streaming and multiplayer Q&A

As the release date of Anno 1800 draws closer, we are in the final sprints to polish and balance the game. Creating the DevBlog takes a lot of time and much of the games content has been highlighted in some shape or form already, the game developer insights will take a short break this week. We brought you dozens of DevBlogs since launch of the Anno Union in 2017 and we still have some articles in our pocket leading up to the launch of the game.

But we won’t be lazy as we will ramp up the amount of Anno 1800 live-streams on our twitch channel with the AnnoAfternoon stream returning this week and the Community Corner coming back in the week ahead with a German episode including a special guest.

Livestream: AnnoAfternoon
It’s time once more for our Community team takes you on another Anno 1800 Twitch adventure! In the next episode of our AnnoAfternoon community stream, we will venture forth into the new world together, when we listen to your suggestions as to how we should build and name our cities.

When: March 8th, 4pm GMT
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Annoverse Roundtable recordings
Last week’s Annoverse roundtable was an absolute blast! Over the course of two hours, we made a challenge out of answering as many questions as possible and thanks to the Annoverse team and community member Domo, you can listen to the recorded German and English session here:
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable German
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable English

Last but not least, we have prepared some answers to your most burning multiplayer questions in today’s community Q&A.

FerudaFarstaria
When we add friends from our friends list. Does this include the Steam friend list and Uplay? Or do you have to find your friends in the game, and add them to your friends list? I’d really like to know if this does link to friends lists in Steam, and Uplay.
Answer: Anno lists steam friends as well as your Uplay friends. In case you invite someone from you friend list, Anno does automatically select the right backend (Steam or UPlay) for the invitation and also receive and handle the invitations from both systems.

Mattly
We did find that once we had expanded into the new world we had to give up due to constant desync’s. As we are all on fibre and all in the same country (New Zealand) could this have been caused by the need to communicate with the host server where ever that is located or was it a known issue that has been worked out in these final weeks?
Answer: We identified and fixed many reasons for de-synchs thanks to the great participation of Closed Beta. This also includes many de-syncs related to the South America session. It is not very likely, that your desynch problems as described where caused by network issues, as because Anno tries to keep the connections “as local” as possible. Only if the NATs of the participants are not compatible, we are forced to route the traffic over Ubisoft servers to enable the players to join. But this also can be resolved by players by adding Anno to the exception list of your router.

elmoh1one
I would be interested in a whole Devblog about the topic synchronization. Which kind of data is exactly synchronized? How is the system checking if there are disparities between the different computers and how does that coherent with the simulation of the game?
Answer:
Simply speaking, every single player action will get recorded and synchronized before the system shares all input data of for the simulation with every other participating player (every PC in the session calculates all steps of the simulation for every player in the match).

Drake-1503
Does that mean that saved multiplayer matched can be continued with different players? That would mean it would be possible to create a staged savegame with already established cities instead of an empty map.
Answer: You are able to continue mutliplayer savegames even if the original players are not available anymore. When new players join, they can “overtake” an empire and continue to progress and expand with that game state. While it is technically possible to create scenarios that way, you would need to have a dedicated player for every single party as you cannot take control over two or more empires.

The_Waith_Lord
I would love to see that you could also do a search for players based on language and region to make it easier to communicate with the other players.
Answer: When looking for a player, our matchmaking takes the region as well as language into account. Should the system be unable to find a player after a while, it will expand the search for players with the same language across the globe. If the system is still unable to match you with someone, it will also widen the search to global players with any language.

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Union Update: Conquer together

Welcome to another Union Update, with our latest news from our Anno communities as well as an outlook on this week’s content.

Upcoming DevBlog: Multiplayer
For some a neat extra while for others vital for the gameplay experience – playing with your friends in Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode can add countless hours of fun when competing over islands or going on a joint venture to end the regime of the tyrant Alonso Graves. The classic multiplayer experience celebrates a return to the series and we want to give you insights how the system works, what options and game modes we will provide while also give you a brief outlook on the future.

Community Roundtable AmA happens this Wednesday!
It is time for the next round of our Anno Union Community Roundtable. The Roundtable is a Community AmA where we, the Community Developer and Community Team, answer your most burning questions, hosted by our Annoverse Discord fan community. Everyone is welcome to join us and to ask questions about Anno 1800 and the Anno Union in chat.

To allow everyone to participate, we will have two sessions Wednesday evening, one in German and one in English. The German session will start at 18:30 GMT while the English panel begins at 19:30 GMT.

When:  Wednesday, 27th of February
German session: 18:30 GMT
English session: 19:30 GMT

Where: Annoverse Discord

We will take a short break from live streaming this week but do not worry, we will return as early as next week with more live streams from our Community team.

The Anno Union started as an idea and grew to a huge platform providing tons of Anno relevant information and details for players and fans out there. Is there anything you would like to see more in future or is there anything you miss on the Anno Union and specifically the Union Updates?

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback in the comments below!

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Union Update: Community Roundtable & Livestreams

A quick update this week, we’ll have a new Community Roundtable, the Anno Afternoon returns and a Community Spotlight.

Community Roundtable in the Annoverse
Next week on the 27th, we’ll have another Anno Union Community Roundtable, where the Community Team will answer your questions live. As with the last times, we’ll hold this in the Annoverse Discord. For a better overview, this time we’ll take questions from chat and answer them on voice.

This roundtable will be held on English at 19:30 GMT, but if you are able to understand and/or speak German, then you can start at 18:30 GMT already. Join us and ask your questions!

When: Wednesday, 27th of February
Where: Annoverse Discord.

AnnoAfternoon – Full Steam Ahead
This week we’ll have another AnnoAfternoon, this time with Guddy and John, who will continue our existing Anno 1800 savegame. This week, we’ll reckon they reach the Artisans and maybe even the New World?

When: Friday, 22nd of February, 16:00 GMT
Where: https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Community Spotlight – Norkhey
On reddit we recently found this cool megacity build in Anno 2070. User Norkhey expanded the island a bit with a mod and the result looks astonishing. Do you have screenshots of your most gorgeous cities from older Anno games?

That’s it for this week! We’ll be back next week with a new Blog!

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Union Talk: Looking back to the Beta

In October we had our first Union Talk, a video where we talked a bit about the development of Anno 1800. Today, we’ll have a new one ready for you, where Dirk Riegert, Marcel Hatam and Bastian Thun discuss their Closed Beta impressions. Additionally, we’ll give you a look at the things to come this week.

Union Talk – Closed Beta

As usual: Let us know what you think of the Union Talk format and which topics you want to see covered.

Anno 1800 Vinyl Soundtrack
Ubisoft Blue Byte and Black Screen Records are excited to announce the official Soundtrack to Anno 1800™ on audiophile 180g double vinyl in April.
The symphonic soundtrack was composed by an experienced team around Tilman Sillescu (Dynamedion), recorded by a 70-member-ensemble of the Brandenburg State Orchestra and will come in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with original artwork by Karakter Design Studio.

Get a first taste of the soundtrack here.
And if we got your attention, audiophile Anno 1800 fans can pre-order the soundtrack here: https://smarturl.it/anno1800vinyl

Fire and Sickness – City Incidents
The promised City Incidents Blog will come this week. You’ll get to see, what can happen in your city, when you don’t pay attention. And more importantly: What to do when the fire breaks out and how to prepare for some of them.

Community Corner with Bastian
On Thursday, we invite you to our first Community Corner, a livestream with Community Developer Bastian Thun, where you can ask questions regarding the development of Anno 1800, while he tries to build a city in Anno 1800.

When: Thursday, 14. February, 3:00PM GMT
Where: https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte/

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Union Update: Closed Beta and a special Announcement

In today’s Union Update, we reflect on the Closed Beta. Plus, make sure to read all the way to the end for a special announcement!

Thank for making our Closed Beta a full success
Wow, what a week it has been for all of us on the Anno Dev Team! So, where to start? First by saying “Thank you” to every single one of you who has participated in our Closed Beta- you managed to not only help us reach, but actually crush our expectations for this test. From the number of players, to how often you came back and how long you played during these few days, we were truly humbled by your dedication to helping us test Anno 1800.

We also want to thank everyone who created content for the game, be it live streaming, videos, screenshots or even creating the first cheat sheets and tools to calculate the most efficient production chains. Many of us on the team were glued to our various screens to watch streams and videos throughout the test, and we have to be honest with you: seeing “our baby” reach the #5 spot for most viewed games on Twitch on Friday night was more than just a little bit surreal. Fair to say that you all made our day(s), and that seeing all this excitement will be a great morale boost for the team as we tackle the feedback reports in the weeks to come.

But of course, it is not just about making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Watching so many different players of all experience and skill levels was also very helpful for our game and UX designers as they were able to check many of our assumptions and guesses how players would behave as they get familiar with Anno 1800 against real player behavior.

Your Feedback, and how we will act on it
Which brings us to your feedback. Not surprisingly, we have received plenty of feedback from you, ranging from crash reports to bugs, wishes for improvements and praise for new gameplay elements you love (like the blueprint mode).

While we will not be able to comment on all of them, there are a few hot topics for Closed Beta testers:

  • Game Balance: As you know, we recently made the difficult decision to delay Anno 1800 to April 16. Between these additional weeks of development and all the feedback from our testers, you can safely assume that nothing you have seen balance-wise should be considered final. This is also true for the influence system (more on that in a second).
  • Desyncs: First, a big thank you to everyone who helped test the multiplayer mode. A test at the scale of this Closed Beta is immensely helpful for us when it comes to testing multiplayer functionality, as having so many players (on many different ISPs, routers etc.) out in the wild helps to find lots of issues we would never come across in our internal testing. Thanks to your help, we have received a lot of valuable data to improve the multiplayer experience at launch. One thing to keep in mind here is that a lot of different behind the scenes issues can result in a desync error for the player (for example, you could still experience desyncs after our Closed Beta Update 1 fixed several different issues causing them, though we managed to dramatically decrease their frequency).
  • Performance: Another topic that we saw many questions around was in-game performance. This is another aspect of the game where we are hard at work optimizing and improving to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy playing Anno 1800. This large-scale test helped us to get much more insight into the plethora of system configurations in our community.
  • Influence: We addressed this topic in our notes for the Update from Friday, but want to reiterate our points here. We know that your experience with the influence system during the Closed Beta was not optimal, for a variety of reasons. Three of them are especially noteworthy.
    • As you know, the game is still in development, and this is especially true of the influence system. The current balance you have seen in the Closed Beta is not final, and we will keep iterating on it, as we get closer to launch. You have already seen some live changes to that during the test.
    • One important aspect to keep in mind when evaluating the influence system in the Closed Beta is that due to the content being limited to tiers 1-3 and lacking the endgame, the player behavior was artificially changed from normal play patterns. Watching players engage with the full content, they are more likely to try to make vertical progress by reaching tier 4, rather than spending many hours creating their own endgame on tier 3. To give you an idea about the influence balancing in the full game: The fifths residential tier, the Investors, will provide a huge boost to your influence pool which will allow players to customize their experience way more freely in the late game of Anno 1800.
    • We absolutely agree with your feedback that the game needs to do a better job giving players the right information and context to make educated decisions on how to invest their influence points. Internally, we have already made some improvements here with better tooltips, though they sadly did not make it into the CB build in time.

Announcing the Anno 1800 Open Beta
With all that said, we want to leave you all with a special treat to show our appreciation- the Anno 1800 Open Beta, coming April 12th-14th. So what does Open Beta mean? Just what it says on the cover- it will be open to anyone interested in testing the game prior to launch! No need to sign up, no need to cross your fingers to receive a key- just download the Open Beta client, and start playing once it goes live on the 12th.

AnnoAfternoon – The Age of Steam – February 8th 4PM GMT
Save the date once more, as our Community Team takes to Twitch again to play Anno 1800 with you. We’re going through the Closed Beta Build and will be happy to follow suggestions from the community as to how we should build.

When: February 8th, 4PM GMT
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

And that’s it for this week’s Union Update. Thank you, and se… oh, you want one last final teaser? Okay then: the Open Beta will give you access to some new content that was not playable in either the Technical Test or Closed Beta.

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Union Update – Streaming Week

Welcome back to the newest Union Update, this time a bit shorter than usual to leave us enough time to prepare the upcoming Closed Beta.

DevBlog: City Incidents – Moved
This week we planned to publish a blog taking a closer look at the City Incidents that you’ll have to deal with when creating your cities. We are still going to publish this blog, however, due to some workload caused by the  preparation of the upcoming Beta of Anno 1800, we decided to move the blog to February. That way, we have time to prepare the Closed Beta starting January 31st and bring you the hot insights about the incidents right after the test has concluded.

We teased to reveal another new feature for Anno 1800 last week and even though we had to move the City Incidents blog, rest assured that we will still raise the curtain on the new content before the Closed Beta starts!

AnnoCast moved to Thursday 24th & AnnoAfternoon this Friday 25th
A reminder that this week we’ll hold another AnnoCast and AnnoAfternoon that you can watch live on http://twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte.
As a headsup from last weeks announcement, we had to move the date of the next episode of our AnnoCast gamedev stream to this Thursday instead of Wednesday and we hope that despite the change in times, you’re going to watch because we have some interesting infos prepared and lot’s to show you!

AnnoCast: Quests and Expeditions – January 24th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST

Follow our channel if you haven’t done so and use the links to the Events to receive a reminder when the Streams are about to begin.

That’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll have a huge chunk of information regarding the coming Beta and a DevBlog, so make sure you bookmark the Union and follow us on Social Media so you’re not missing out.

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Union Update: Winter QnA

While some of us enjoy the snowy surprise and the resulting winter themed skin applied in many parts of Germany, we bring you another round of our Community questions and answers and streams for the cozy winter days.

With this week’s DevBlog: Ornaments, our blog series revolving the development of Anno 1800 returns from its winter hiatus. Next week, we will conquer the winter season with some heat: we hope that you look forward to city incidents such as firestorms, strikes and the season appropriate illness before we raise the curtain for the big feature reveal before our Closed Beta at the end of the month.

The next episode of our AnnoCast and Anno Afternoon
Save the date as our Twitch devstream will return next week Wednesday January 23rd. This time with Narrative Designer Marie who will demonstrate us how we applied some fresh paint to the quest system in Anno 1800. Nevertheless, that is not all as next week Friday, January 25th, Chris and John will be back with their aspiring Anno 2070 utopia.

Annocast: Quests and Expeditions – January 23th at 5pm MEZ
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm MEZ

Watch it live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyteand follow our channel if you never want to miss a show!

iyamaShiro
Will it be possible to change specific sound slider, such as voice, music and effects? I love to tune up the effects and dial down the rest of the game audio.
Answer: You will be able to change the following audio levels individually: Master Volume, Menu Sounds, Voice Volume, Music Volume and SFX Volume. Enjoy!

Ceib0
Will we only be able to exhibit artefacts in the museum or also art pieces such as statues or paintings?
Answer:Exhibits will mainly include cultural artefacts and sets will include statues. Bigger exhibits are displayed in open-air modules and come with their own unique asset while smaller artifacts will be showcased in museum wing modules. By the way: You will be able to place ornaments between your zoo and museum modules freely, which will allow you to create beautiful vistas with statues, fountains or other ornamental structures.

adriankowaty
Will there be a statistic overview like in 2205 which allows us to see how many units of a certain good we produce at a time?
Answer: We won’t have a statistic feature such as the one in Anno 2070 at launch of the game. But we are aware that many of you wish to see a comprehensive overview and statistics of your production, especially when reaching the end-game. We will keep continue to keep an eye on such feedback after the launch of the game.
The tooltip of each production building allows you to see how long it takes to finish one good and you will be further able to change the production speed with things like the working condition slider. If you compare the time it takes to create a good compared to the production time of the production of the needed resources, you can easily calculated the most effective rate of production and resource buildings.
Furthermore, you can check the overall amount of goods and if their stock is currently rising or declining in the kontor and warehouses.

g4mer901
Will it be possible to build sole production islands or will I need to create a new settlement with each island expansion?
Answer:
Reaching the fourth residential tier unlocks a new building: the commuter harbor. This new building allows you to connect different islands, which also have a commuter harbor and once linked; islands will share their workforce as one global pool. This means that you will not need to create settlements to support your production islands. But beware: an economy which mainly relies on a commuter network is an easy target during war, as one well-directed blow to your commuter harbors can cripple your whole production pipeline.

prgbrowne
I have read reviews on Anno 1800 where one of the downsides is the small size of land masses to build your empire. Is that a valid concern? It probably would be nice to have the choice of the size of the land mass you get to colonise, much like Civilization I guess. I don’t really want to see small islands close together. Varied terrain type options would also be good.
Answer: Anno 1800 will not only have the biggest maps in the history of the series, but also islands with vastest construction space. In the custom game options, you will be able to change the type of island world (which affects the arrangement of islands, such as atolls and archipelagos) and how frequents large islands are on your map. As naval exploration was always an essential game pillar of the Anno series, we further expanded on the ocean space to give you more room for trading networks or open water battlefields for tense ship fights on the high sea.

denNes_
Is a return of the research planned for the game? I loved it in 2070 and 1701 and would like if it celebrates a comeback to the series.
Answer:
We currently have no planes for a self-contained research feature in Anno 1800. We followed many community discussions revolving research closely and want to provide a few insides how Anno 1800 will cover that topic. In previous Anno titles, research served as an item generator and further allowed you to customize your playstyle with various perks and special abilities. Anno 1800 covers said options with several new features and as player freedom is important for us, we decided against a classic and often restricting “RTS” style research tree.
There are many different ways how to acquire items. In addition to quests or trading, you will be able to generate items with the new city attractiveness, the variety of expeditions or the world fair monument.
When on a zoological expedition, you will not only be able to acquire animals for your zoo, you can also get your hands on some cultural items or even hire specialists during events, which come with abilities which might not be related to the zoo at all. As an example, a specialist might join you who is able to boost one of your battleships with a special ability. If you want to focus on your fleet of warships, you can run naval themed exhibitions in your world fair or do bounty-hunt expeditions, which will reward you with naval related items such as weaponry or combat savvy specialists.
If you prefer to use the power of science to benefit your society, get marvelous new machines from the world fair, which you can slot in your guild houses to boost your factories with various effects.
Furthermore, you can make use of the influence system to get bonuses which suit your custom playstyle which are, in contrast to a research tree, are reversible at any time.
Add more elements such as electricity; Anno 1800 adds various layers, which allow you to optimize or to get experimental with your own unique playstyle.

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Union Update: 2019 – Road to Launch

We are back from our short holiday break and ready to tackle the last 7 weeks before Anno 1800’s launch on February 26th. With this first blog in the year 2019, we want to give you a brief outlook on the content to come until launch.

Road to launch
Last year’s Technical Test provided us with lots of valuable data, from player behavior up to bug and feedback reports. Fixing, fine-tuning and polishing is now our top priority for Anno 1800’s Beta period. After the TT, we followed up with another focus test session to get feedback on recent changes but also allowing us to get in-depth detail on other aspects such as balancing and overall gameplay experience, including progression through all residential tiers.
With the upcoming Closed Beta on January 31st, you will be able to see the changes and improvements for yourself as once more, we will invite a large number of players from the Anno Union to test the game.

However, it’s not all bug smashing and polishing- we are also putting the final puzzle pieces together, including one all-new feature we haven’t even announced yet! Between that feature, as well as upcoming DevBlogs about City Incidents, Ornaments and of course Anno 1800’s story-driven campaign, there is still a lot to talk about on the Union.

You can look forward to the first of these DevBlogs to come next week, alongside more information about our Closed Beta. And if you haven’t done so already, keep in mind that you can still register for our Closed Beta by signing up here on the Anno Union.

And if you want to get reminded if a new blog comes fresh from the press or stay in the loop about anything #Anno, you can just follow our official Anno Twitter and Facebook channels.

Winner of the Expedition Event Contest: The Lost Civilization
It was a neck-and-neck race between Hexagon19’s “Isla De Los Muertos” Event and Hojny87’s “The Lost Civilization”, with Argurino’s “Voyage Of The Beagle” also mobilizing many fans rooting for a throwback to Darwin’s journeys.

In the end, “The Lost Civilization” secured the 1st place and we congratulate Hojny87 for making the cut with his exciting expedition event.
This community-chosen event will now get the same treatment from our design team and together with the Union island and the ship variant, will find its way into the game itself.

While we want to continue to funnel the creative power of our communities in future contests after the launch of the game, we want to utilize the voting feature more in the future to allow you to voice your opinion on various topics like favorite game element or balancing.

Streaming schedule update
With more information out in the open and the big launch at our doorstep, we will start a new series of community streams, with the first show starting shortly after the Closed Beta has concluded.
Different from the AnnoCast, the show will be mostly run by our Community Developer and focus on answering your questions while playing the game rather than highlighting a specific feature in detail.
And to give as many Anno fans as possible a chance to direct their questions at us, we will host not only English but also a German episode.

But there is also the next episode of our AnnoCast game dev stream on the horizon: at the end of this month, we will have Narrative Designer Marie on board to demonstrate how we breathe life into the 19th century world of Anno with a great variety of quests and expedition events.

Speaking of streams- we know that many of you liked our ship preview during our naval stream. Hoist the flag and all hands on deck, as the video is now available on our Twitch channel. What is your favorite ship and will you rely on a bulwark of huge battlecruisers or a versatile wolf pack of fast gunboats?

That’s it for this week’s peek at the upcoming content. See you next week, as the final march to release begins in earnest!

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Union Update: Karrenschiebers Christmas Story

The year is ending and this will be our last blog of 2018. To send you off into the New Year appropriately – and bring you a bit closer to the launch of Anno 1800 – we prepared something special for you.


Video is available in german with english subtitles.

The Anno Team wishes you Happy Holidays and a fantastic 2019!

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