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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!

13 Comments

  1. Lassalle001 Lassalle001

    1) Take different sectors of cultures/specific goods/products.. (like 2205)
    (America/Afrika/Asia) every place offers special possibilities.
    2) dont do it so easy as in 2205. Let me see my ship/ships crossing the sea, being attacked by pirates. Lead me with music to exotic places and give me (like 2205) some duties to do, to increase my ships/goods or bonus me with things i cant let grow or produce.
    And beyond the normal traderoutes there are some surprises to win by entering secret areas…

  2. banan1996.1996 banan1996.1996

    I am wondering about features such as city attractiveness or items buildings (city hall or guild house) – will they be in the America as well?

    Will it be possible to have different settings for European world and American world? Would it be possible to have a big world with big islands in Europe with lots of resources but a small world with medium islands and scarce resources in America?

    I hoped for at least three population tiers but seeing that you already expanded your plans concerning America I guess you won’t make such a big change now. But if islands are supposed to have more complicated layouts it might not be a bad thing to have only two tiers. It also depends on how important South America is gameplay-wise. Is it like Arctic or Lunar regions in 2205 where a player was supposed to produce goods required in the temperate zone but it wasn’t possible to make profit? Or is it like in 1404 where Orient was a great source of income while also providing necessary goods?
    Btw. one thing that could be better in 1404 – goods from envoys level weren’t needed in the occident. I hope that at least this will be different in 1800 and that goods from the second tier will be more important in Europe.

    “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.” – I think you once said that more challenging and quickly expanding AI opponents could settle the other session before the player (it was way back at the beginning of Anno Union). I guess it’s changed now, I am not sure if it’s a good change though. I think it should still be possible for the hardest AIs to discover South America earlier (as soon as they reach the artisan level of course).

    One thing that worries me the most is the optimisation and overall performance. I know that having no loading screens between sessions is a good thing but I am worried that it might have an impact on worse computers. Personally I don’t mind any loading screens as long as they aren’t too long and the game works smoothly. Please remember about it when optimising the game. Since America will now be available in multiplayer no loading screens can be allowed there but they still can be in single player right?

    I would love to get some answers to my questions and I can’t wait for the second devblog, I hope it will be soon.

  3. Katje-Katrien Katje-Katrien

    I had a wow experience when playing Anno 1404 and i still have.
    I could never imagine, at that time, that it would be possible to beaten that feeling.
    But it seems that this time it will be a wow with a wow factor.

    I like the idea of the world map between the two sessions where we can follow the expedition ship. I also like those bridges that I saw in the stream.

    A few questions:

    In the New World I saw a bridge pending over a river. Can we build such bridges?

    Is it possible to have a background story about Madame Kahina and so like we had with Eli Bleakworth? For me it enriches a bit the story line.

    Is it possible when encountering new characters that we can click on an icon to read the background story?

    What about postcards? It has been a while.

    And a few wishes. I really liked those beggar’s in Anno 1404. The voices and artwork where really well done. So I hope there will be beggars or something else in the game. Please.

  4. Velikan888 Velikan888

    There will be 2 sessions on the launch :”Europe” and “South America”, or players will be able to have few of both these types, like in 2205? Or it will be like in Tundra DLC, single session but at the same time also seamless and randomly generated?
    And the picture of earlier devblog was showing few directions, including even North America. Are you planning to add at least Asia(India primarily), or maybe even Africa and other regions with unique tiers/production chains in future, after release? Or they will be only represented as a target of expeditions and maybe trade routes with third parties? Because it is difficult to imagine a Victorian setting without India or French/German empire without Africa.

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  5. Nox_29 Nox_29

    Can you also show us how the switching between sessions will work in a next devblog? It’s of great importance to many people I know and how we will receive this session stuff.

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  6. BlueBreath BlueBreath

    Well my theory regarding Anno is that more can’t be a bad thing, glad that you decided to expand the initial take on Americas.

  7. Nox_29 Nox_29

    Will the maps of both sessions show up in the UI at the same time? I feel like having to click a button every time you want to see the other map would become very annoying. It would also be easier to keep an overview on all your islands at the same time.

    Being able to quickly check the map is really important to see what your ships are doing, what your opponents are doing. Especially when you’re at war.

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