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DevBlog: I want to be anarchy

The class struggle in the 19th century was a clash between capital and labor, between the money aristocracy seeking profit and the working people yearning for their individual rights and a sustainable way of living. To break the chains of the ruling class, many of them organized in unions and opened their minds to new ideas, preaching a more humane and progressive evolution of society. Naturally, some of those visions of what this new and better world could look like were more radical than others, stoked by agitators whose tongues were as sharp as any sword…

Dr. Hugo Mercier, the infamous Anarchist, will be the newest addition to Anno 1800’s diverse cast of characters. While ruthless robber barons like von Malching or visionary architects like Gasparov build their magnificent Metropolises on the back of the populace, the Anarchist is a true man of the people, breaking the chains of indentured servitude and freeing his citizens from capitalist oppression. At least that is what he will happily tell you, and anyone else willing to listen to his manifesto.

Us humble game developers, on the other hand, are happy to tell you how exactly he differs from other characters and what this means for you as the player, before we end with the cold hard numbers of content included with the Anarchist.

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought
Unlike other NPCs in Anno 1800, Hugo Mercier does not bend to the rules of capitalism, and many of his political beliefs are also reflected in his gameplay. While he will follow the general game rules that other NPCs (and human players) have to with regards of production of good etc., his islands will deviate from his competitors in some major ways.  One such drastic exception is that as a vowed opponent of capitalism, the Anarchist will not allow any investors to set foot onto his island, capping his progression at engineer level instead. He also has strong feelings about the monetary system and religion, so do not expect to find any banks or churches throughout his empire.

The same is true for tourism. While Mercier is happy to welcome any new believers to live on his island, he despises the notion of hordes of idling tourists dallying around his utopian cities. 

With all of those missing buildings, you may be wondering how Dr. Mercier keeps his citizens happy and following his party line? Those problems are nothing that a little bit of propaganda won’t fix. To this end, the Anarchist’s islands will have a unique look, as he will deck out his buildings with lots of banners, flags and posters to inspire his citizens’ love for the cause. To do so, he goes beyond just visuals- you will also see him constructing lots of speaker towers, which will play recordings of his teachings to his loyal subjects. You can of course listen in on them yourself to see whether you agree with his political leanings.

The Revolution devours its children

As it turns out, not all of his citizens do, which brings us to the defector feature. As Doctor Mercier’s grip on his islands tightens, many of his not-so-loyal-after-all subjects will be looking to leave his anarchistic experiment behind. To this end, they will offer you quests to accept them onto your islands. If you choose to do so, they will express their gratitude with rewards like new items or money.

At a certain point however, Mercier won’t accept you taking on all these defectors anymore, and may start to spread unrest among your own citizens with his agents. You will have to be very careful to manage this threat, lest anarchy and unrest can quickly engulf your own islands! To represent this in the game, we are introducing a new quest type related to his threat. For these, your citizens will make their demands known, leaving you with the choice whether you want to give in to their demand, or face the (sometimes dire) consequences, such as fires and riots in your city. Defectors will require players to constantly balance the benefits of receiving their rewards with the risks of anarchic mayhem spreading in your empire. Long-time Anno fans may recognize the conceptual similarities to the beggars in Anno 1404 (or Dawn of Discovery, as it was known in many regions).

Friend or Foe?

Of course, the defection mechanic is not the only way that players will be able to interact with the (fully voiced) Anarchist, who is a medium-difficulty opponent. Similarly to our other NPC opponents, he will also offer players a range of voluntary quests to undertake, during which they will learn more about the character and the beliefs driving him.

As part of that, he may occasionally ask you to print special propaganda articles in your newspaper on his behalf. These special marked texts will not cost you any influence to print and will provide you with powerful buys, though there will also be associate downsides for them.

Another aspect setting him apart from his peers is how trade-happy he is. Not only is he very easy to come to a trade agreement with, but he will also offer to sell you items, which is usually reserved for third-party characters like Madame Kahina. One of these items you will be able to acquire from him are the new sea mines, which speak to his defense-focused nature.

The Anarchist content and Game Update 3 (Release Notes on this coming next week) are planned to be released on June 5. He will be available to all owners of the Digital Deluxe and Pioneers Editions. Should you have bought the Standard Edition at launch, you can now upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition to not only gain access to The Anarchist once he is released, but also the digital art book, digital soundtrack and 4 unique company logos.

The Anarchist at a glance

New medium-difficult AI opponent: Dr Hugo Mercier, the Anarchist

New defection system to keep players on their toes

Over 50 new quests

Over 50 new items

Unlock his portrait and logo for your own profile

6 new Achievements to challenge players

2 new ornaments you can unlock via Ubisoft Club to build in your city

24 Comments

  1. Aguiadourada Aguiadourada

    I hope to see Portuguese subtitles in Anno 1800 some day!

  2. Serialouuu Serialouuu

    This update seems great ! I wonder if there will be the co-op incoming in this update… Since you said the co-op will be ad on a next huge update 🙂

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  3. MMateos19 MMateos19

    For the first time since I’ve played the game, I’m going to be critic about it. Anno 1800 brings back the essence of the Anno franchise, and for me it is a really good game. The cities have a huge amount of details and the new added mechanics such as the newspaper or the influence points or the expeditions, and the improved multisession system, or the massive amount of production chains are great, (here comes the big but) BUT, besides all of that, the game does not have much more to offer. The campaign is like a tutorial for new players, and the sandbox mode consists only on making new production chains for the new tiers that appear when you have fulfilled the need of the lower tier, but the game only consist on that, fulfilling the needs of the tiers until reaching the investors. NsN on his YouTube channel ( this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJivQZa6Xxg&t=1169s&frags=pl%2Cwn ) says what a lot of people think, included myself.

    It is still time of bringing back the wonderful mechanics of Anno 1404 and Anno 2070 that made Anno so special, like investigation, the deep sea in 2070, etc (all these missed characteristics are mentioned in the video). I will not buy the Season Pass yet, since I will first see what kind of content it has. I’m afraid that “The Passage” will be, like, new tiers and new production chains, without having to reach a specific goal besides having to fulfill all the needs of the citizens.

    After saying all this, I will say again what I said in the past. The game has so much to offer with the new mechanics that have been added, like its main awesome feature, the New World, but it is still far from being “perfect”. And I talk as if I knew something about the huge amount of work that the game has (I can’t even imagine, I find difficult making a game as Arkanoid in C++, so imagine my ignorance), I’m just sad that this will be all I will get from this game that I’ve been waiting for so long, and I’m afraid that I will have to wait for the next Anno to see the mechanics I miss from older Anno games.

    With all this being said, congratulations on the game. I hope to work on this level of videogame development in the future (the dream 😉 )

  4. MistressMayumi MistressMayumi

    Useless until they refuse to fix campaign

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  5. korbac700 korbac700

    instead of fixing bugs, polishing gameplay
    we are milking more money out of customers and making a new dlc

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  6. globus5000 globus5000

    is the season pass in multiplayer

  7. Zarezy Zarezy

    Time intervals between updates are increasing with each patch. Considering the amount of bugs and poor balancing, looks like we should probably wait for half a year to really enjoy the game.

    How can the game even be balanced if Top and Right players have start spawn disadvantage and need to cross the whole map to get to the new world?

    What about rivers that ruin the whole island for the player? The game becomes endless restart if you want to play competitive against your friends. No one wants to have rivers on their starting island because they give no advantages (resources) comparing to previous. And I can’t really blame them. Also sometimes there is no island with specific resource at all for all players except one. Is it also considered challenging and fair?

    No land generation? Are you serious? There are probably only a dozen large pregenerated islands that will repeat game after game. Adding horse shoe island was probably the worst idea because it makes pregeneration obvious even for most unsuspicious players.

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  9. BlueBreath BlueBreath

    Interesting take on the new AI, let’s hope you increase the AI number in games so we can enjoy even more interactions :P.

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  10. vigrond vigrond

    these features are nice but can you fix the broken multiplayer, the massive fps drops, and the crashes?

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  11. Chuckjones76 Chuckjones76

    Fantastic, love the new character!

  12. morganjah morganjah

    I’m looking forward to it!

    Two minor typos:

    “You will have to be very careful to manage this threat, lest anarchy and unrest can quickly engulf your own islands!”

    Edit out ‘can’.

    “Should you have bought the Standard Edition at launch, you can now upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition to now only gain access to The Anarchist once he is released, but also the digital art book, digital soundtrack and 4 unique company logos.”

    I believe the second ‘now’ should be ‘not’?

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  13. Katje-Katrien Katje-Katrien

    I really liked those beggars in Anno 1404. In one of the blog’s I even asked if they would return in the game. I can’t remember the name of the blog. I had a really good time with those beggars. 😀

    It looks promising and very challenging. So yes I am looking forward to this.
    I am also happy that it is a medium-difficult AI opponent. So far I have a lot of fun with the medium-difficult AI opponents. 🙂

    What a fantastic game.

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