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DevBlog: Eli Bleakworth

Hope is the most coveted, yet rarest of goods on the dreary rock called Wormways Prison, home for the worst of the worst. And of course for those unfortunate souls who dared to question or defy the absolutely authority of its warden, Eli Bleakworth. He is equal parts cruel taskmaster and calculating bookkeeper, mercilessly ruling his godforsaken rock under the dutiful guise of a faithful servant of the empire.

Eli Bleakworth, the Governor of Wormway Prison is just one part of our diverse cast of supporting third party characters in Anno 1800. He might style himself a dutiful servant, but the truth is that his honor and compassion have long since withered away, alongside his youth. Beneath his lawful façade, he secretly enjoys his power over his prisoners. After all, they would not be on his island if they were not scum that defied the empire’s laws, would they.

Introduced with Anno 1701, third parties quickly became an integral part of the Anno series. The feature has come a long way since then; what started as a collection of free traders has turned into a varied cast of important characters that breathe color and life into the world of Anno 1800. While they are neither direct allies nor competitors, they are an important part of the look and feel of the game world, and offer a variety of gameplay options and challenges.

The role of Wormway Prison in Anno 1800 – Atmosphere / Gameplay
His prison is not only an atmospheric snapshot of the more unruly and hapless elements of 19th century society; the island also offers different gameplay opportunities to the player. For starters, it is not just a prison, but also a business made profitable by its barely existent employment cost. Every day, under a merciless ocean sun, the prisoners toil in the island’s coalmines. Coal is in high demand during the industrial revolution and Eli offers a quick solution for the hungry blast furnaces of your factories.

But there is not only profit, there are also dependencies. Labor might be cheap on Wormway Island, but it’s Governor still need to provide basic good such as food and soap for his involuntary workers. Players should always look out if specific goods are in high demand by AI characters, as trade for sought-after goods might be the better bargain than paying in cold hard cash to bunker coal.

You could also overhear the prison guards mumbling about some their employer’s special interests, which might come in handy if you want to strike a good deal with the Governor.

The island is not only a great location to fill your trading ships’ holds with coal; Eli is also always on the lookout for business partners who are willing to lend the empire a hand in matters of the highest importance. If you decide to help him with his chores, he will provide you with a variety of rewarding bounty quests. There is always demand for work as the gatekeeper, but during challenging times like these, even hell itself can get overcrowded. It is worthwhile to visit his island occasionally to see whether Eli might be willing to restore the freedom of one of his special guests- always contingent, of course, on your willingness to pay their bond, as well as a paltry fee for his corrective services. Gameplay freedom is a core pillar of Anno 1800, so third-party characters present one opportunity where players that are less interested in luring tourists into their attractive cities can get their hands on some specialist characters. Who knows what kind of special talents one could acquire from the more or less guilty souls trapped in Wormways prison.

Transition into the end of the blog: Third party in Anno 1800
Eli will not be the only third party character to offer his stock of resources to the willing buyer. The cast of third party characters in Anno 1800 will not only represent a colorful variety (including some… less law-abiding citizens), but every one of them will allow for different player interactions based on their background and personality. From pirates and traders to curiosities, what kind of third party character would you like to encounter in Anno 1800?

9 Comments

  1. nitrateblooms nitrateblooms

    I’d like to see a possiblity for overthrowing Eli by supporting the prisoners. What if escaped prisoners came to players for assistance in an effort to overthrow Eli? Maybe Eli could also beg for assistance from players if the struggle is a 5 minute event or something. Maybe players are confronted by the prisoners for supplies multiple times as though this were a long build up and the odds of a successful overthrow depended on how well-supplied the prisoners are.

    In a successful overthrow, there could be a newly elected leader from amongst the prisoners and this becomes an NPC much like any other. Also, there could be consequences for players who supported one side or the other, with exceptions for abstentions.

  2. alleria.sb alleria.sb

    Also, perhaps a debtors’ prison could be one of the buildings you can build for one of the tiers on your island. That could possibly also produce the occasional scientist or special person that the empire could put to good use in exchange for erasing their debt?

  3. alleria.sb alleria.sb

    Very interesting character and nicely woven into the scenery of that time!

    I’m also inclined to think an inventor of sorts would be a good third party character for supplying interesting invention-like goods. You could carry out missions for the inventor to help them find materials or people for their inventions and the inventions could either succeed or fail. In addition, items received from the inventor could either be successful for their purpose, or fail, or worse yet, cause a small disaster on your island (kettle exploding used to be a pretty common side-effect of steam).

  4. HannesDS HannesDS

    I’d like to see a tribal chief who helps you with finding animals.

    Or maybe some kind of architect, who offers special decoration building plans, with a high attractiveness level.

    Or a labor union leader who sends specialist workers who increase productivity.

    Maybe a tourist guide with a travel agency. He/ she can get involved with tourists in some way.

    Or some kind of flower girl who sells special plants that increase nature attractiveness.

    A shipbuilder with a lot of special ship items.

    Loads of ideas, thx if you red it.

  5. BlueBreath BlueBreath

    Silas Grendel the mobster – If he didn’t make it on the competitive AI list, you could add him to the third party roster. He has some potential. And you have some artwork in place for him and his general personality figured out already.

  6. Swimming-Paul Swimming-Paul

    OMG he´s so handsome and irresistibly “dangereux”… I´m afraid my heart is the newest inmate of Eli´s prison… and I don´t want out!

  7. Nox_29 Nox_29

    I’m definitely hoping for another Jorgensen, and a Pirate.

    I’m also thinking about an inventor, genius or revolutionist. Someone who doesn’t play by the rules to achieve something that he/she thinks is a better world. You could have some interesting missions with that character. And perhaps it would be a good place to find some rare items, things that he/she invented.

    Another character could be an elitist. Someone from a Royal family perhaps. That character would trade more in late tier goods and cares less about low tier citizens. The character would probably praise you if you let your working class work hard and if you treat your high tier citizens well. The character would also dislike you when you do the exact opposite of that.

  8. iruet iruet

    I really like this one cozz of the cheap labour costs 😀

    What I was wondering though, will the island be the same in every map? Or are the varieties of this island?

    I also would like someone who has a high actriveness level, so you can make some sort of game to see who is better. I also think it would be fun to have someone which has loads of factories and such, which makes that person strong at first, but in the end kill his empire 🙂

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