To be honest: the vast amount of detailed feedback with the start of the Anno Union blew us away. We knew that you would be as passionate as resourceful but we underestimated the extent of your passion.
While we work to improve the final bits of the website and prepare ourselves to share videos and streams with you guys, we decided to answer some of your first comments at the same. For that, we pulled Creative Director Dirk Riegert and Community Developer Bastion Thun out of their offices and gave them a printed version of your comments. The weight of the ideas, comments and suggestions was breathtaking.
With over 1000 comments in the Anno Union already, it wasn’t easy to pick a first set of comments. As we will explain development relevant topics in near future, we decided to concentrate on a few general questions about the Anno Union and Anno 1800. We will to react to your feedback more frequently in near future.
The Anno Union is a good idea in general.
But I think that the focus on communication via comments is not really optimal.
Basti: We got some feedback regarding the comment section. We will implement a few improvements soon and in addition, will offer different ways and formats to keep discussions going and to collect your feedback. From the general comments to voting’s, questionnaires, the Ubisoft forum and media content such as live streams and video updates. There is always room for improvement so keep the ideas coming.
I am with the previous comment: Please don’t make it too easy. I think it is an important part of Anno that you have to pay for mistakes being made and that one click shouldn’t be an easy way out to revert everything.
Dirk: We are aware that Anno 2205 did not met all the expectations of our players. Especially the missing of some key features, which were relevant for the long-time motivation, was a problem for some of you. We analyzed exactly that feedback and checked all internal factors which lead to that situation. For that reason, we will set the focus for Anno 1800 on the essential elements of the game, such as a multiplayer mode or AI characters. Furthermore, it is of very importance for us that the game experience is as flexible as possible to ensure that new players are not lost in the sea of possibilities, while experienced players have a variety of options, ways to configure the game and freedom to create their perfect Anno experience.
Please dear developers, you have a vast amount of options but please don’t forget new players in such games.
Dirk: The Anno series has many passionate fans, some of them sunk hundreds of hours in every single title. We want to bring a satisfying experience to all of them. But it is also important for us to win new players over to the Anno series. Especially Anno 2205 had, when we are talking about an easy first step into the game, excellent features but we want to improve that further. But it is important to say that we don’t want to cut down the depth of the game for that.
This blog reminds me about the various „forumblogs“ in AO, where they ensured us that they read every comment, but feedback to the suggestions came rarely, even less in the form of direct answers.
With that in mind, a frequent „Questions and Suggestions“ would be a big improvement. At least I am allowed to dream here.
Basti: We will do our best to meet your expectations. But at the end of the day, actions will be more important than promises. Give us just a bit of time to catch up with everything. With nearly 1000 comments on the Anno Union alone, our team had a lot of work to through all Union comments, forum posts and other reactions on channels such as Twitter and Facebook. We cannot promise that we will be able to catch and answer everything. But our whole team is incredibly interested about your feedback. Nearly every day, co-workers stop by at my desk and ask for the current state of the union and read posts on their own during breaks. We want to use anything possible to get in contact with you. For that reason, will bring as many interactive formats as possible, from hangout feedback sessions to livestreams. While we cannot talk about the cadence of each content yet, we want to ensure that we are in a constant dialogue with our Union members.
Surprising announcement of a new Anno and even a new website. Seems like that Ubi/BB learned a lesson thanks to 2205. I hope that you take is serious and will follow that path tot he end (sorry but too many not fullfilled promises in the last years…)
Basti: We understand that you guys are skeptical. But we also hope that the future and our current activities for the Anno Union initiative show our passion and commitment, as we share the same passion for the Anno series as you. With the 2205 frontier DLC, we had the chance to invite players before the actual release of the content and the result was incredibly valuable feedback. For that reason, we want to get player feedback as early as possible. And we want that feedback for Anno 1800 as well as the Anno Union. So please, feel free to share all your thoughts and ideas with us.
A small suggestions for the comments.
Wouldn’t it be better to limit the amount of comments to maybe 10 per page before the Site creates another page? Currently, we are spending a lot of time scrolling on the page.
Basti: We understand that it is a too much scrolling right now and will perform ongoing improvement on the site such as limiting the comment section. We will try out several options for page size until we find the one that works best.
I am the owner of ALL the Ubisoft Anno games starting with 1602. These games are AWESOME!!!!!! I would love to be in the Alpha and Beta testing phases of the game. I cannot wait til this one is released
Basti: Playtesting is a crucial part of the Anno Union initiative. These playtests are an important part to test the game in an early stage. With that said, if you are an active member of the Anno Union and if you share your feedback frequently, there will be a good chance that you get to test the game early!
I read on Game Spot that “Winter” means first quarter 2018. So not too far off!
Dirk: That was a misunderstanding. We are not talking about this winter as more about the winter coming next year. It wouldn’t make sense to invite players to join us becoming a part of the long-term development of the game if it would be almost finished. 6 month up to the final release wouldn’t give us enough time to take your feedback into account. We are more than one year away from the final release and Anno 1800 is currently in the so-called “Pre-Alpha” state, where the various game elements getting build to come later together as a complete game. We have enough time to check your feedback, share our progress and to discuss about the game itself.
Waiting for it.
Like the other.
My first ship will be called Titanic.
Dirk: Titanic? Then we are lucky that there are no icebergs in the game!