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DevBlog: Seat of Power

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail,” wrote poet John Donne, an idea many a royal and tyrant appear to have refigured over the centuries, constructing extravagant and self-aggrandizing Palaces as an extension of the self— a demonstration of the power and freedom of divine privilege. The masses would look on in awe of what beauty and grandeur was possible, while they themselves grew ever more miniscule.

By constructing vast and lavishly-adorned palaces, rulers presumed they had the personal heft and prestige to fill the yawning emptiness within. Their gold oozed along every rim and chamfer, their Objet d’art cluttered the mantelpieces, and the oil paintings of their illustrious ancestors gussied up the walls. But mere appearance of power and status will never be enough.

Any such seat of power must also have some connection, no matter how moot, to the important business of state. Such an immoderate edifice as a palace must be more than the oppressor’s great white elephant— it must appear to the people to serve a purpose in their lives. It must be the constitutional heart of government, from which grave and meaningful decisions come to pass under the gavel, in chambers puffed full with the nation’s great political minds. An illusion of democracy. The Palace is the nexus of legislative limbs that reach out and touch every corner of the empire, where, as no leaping lord will admit, all of the real business is conducted…

The palace is as classic an Anno element as any, having been first introduced all the way back at the franchise’s birth in 1998 with Anno 1602. From then on, it would go on to serve in several other Anno games as something to aspire to in the late game, once you had mastered all other challenges. In this way, it would serve as the ultimate projection of your city-building prowess.  Now, the palace is ready to make its triumphant return in Anno 1800, kicking off Season 2 and living up to its predestined role as your “Seat of Power”.

A Seat of Power fit for any industrial ruler

Flexibility both majestic and modular

The first thing players will notice about Anno 1800’s palace is its visual opulence. The palace joins the ranks of the botanical garden, museum and zoo as 1800’s latest modular building, giving you a lot of freedom on how to arrange the 6 different modules (straight, gate, corner, junction, crossing and end pieces, plus some cosmetic variations on the straight pieces) to your liking. As with our other modular building projects, it all begins with the main building, which you will unlock once the first investor calls your empire their home (assuming of course you can afford the associated significant building cost). You will also be able to build an initial number of modules, based on your profile level. As you attract additional citizens and raise your profile level, you will unlock the ability to place even more modules. And guess what- there is no hard limit on the number of modules you can unlock, with one community member reaching more than 130 modules in a recent playtest! Now before your mind starts drifting off with visions of an all-palace empire, there are some limitations we have to talk about- namely that you can only build one palace in your empire, and it can only be placed on an Old World island (so either the original session, or Cape Trelawney from our “Sunken Treasures” DLC).

Beyond this limitation, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to building your palace, and we have already seen a variety of impressive setups in our tests- from extravagant gardens to museums and even a world fair constructed within a sprawling palace’s inner courtyard! And of course, both streets and railway tracks can be placed inside the gates to make sure that whatever you want to construct inside the place grounds is properly connected to the rest of your city!

Entering the halls of power…

Projecting your power, one buff at a time

But what about those players who don’t care pretty looks you, I hear some of you ask? Very well then- let us talk departments and policies! Once you construct your palace, you immediately gain access to one or more departments (based on your city attractiveness), with additional departments unlocking over time as your island increases its attractiveness. So, what do they do? For starters, each unlocked department immediately gives you access to a permanent buff, such as +200 tons islands storage per Harbormaster’s office on that island (each department is specialized on one aspect of your city, such as administration, culture or trade). In addition – and this is where things get really interesting – each unlocked department gives you a choice of several policies, of which only one can be active at a time (though you can switch them out). These give you a lot of flexibility to make sure that whatever the situation on your island currently is, you have full control of what boon you want to use.

The departments you can unlock over time

Of course, it would not be Anno if there was not also a logistical element to it all- these boons only work in a certain radius around the palace, and only along the street network (though only the palace main building has to be connected to the streets, rather than every module). And, to bring everything full circle and ensure that future palace builders will have to make some tough choices, the radius of these effects increases with each additional palace module constructed. Do you want a minimal palace to leave as much room as possible for the rest of your city? Or are you looking to construct enough modules to have the effects of your policies reach across all of Crown Falls? As always, the choice is yours!

There is one more piece of the palace puzzle, and that is the local department. These are essentially outposts of the palace that you can construct once per Old World or Cape Trelawney island to select a single policy (out of al your unlocked departments and policies) to enact locally. Beyond this limitation, local departments follow the same rules as the main palace- they give a passive buff (based on the active policy you selected), and buildings must be both within their radius and connected to the street network to benefit from them. And yes- more palace modules also increase the range of the local departments. Happy city-puzzling, everyone!

Start ruling from March 24

And there you have it! Seat of Power combines a lot of flexibility for building the modular palace of your dreams with some tough choices when it comes to which buff to select for which island and local department. On top of that, you can prove your mastery with five new achievements, and two new sets of ornaments you can unlock with the Ubisoft Club. You can start constructing the “Seat of Power” of your dreams when the first DLC of Season 2 becomes available on March 24th for all Season 2 Pass owners. Starting on that day, you can also buy the DLC individually for 9,99€/ $, or your local equivalent. However, please note that due to the current government advisory on the Covid-19 pandemic, we will have to skip our traditional release stream for “Seat of Power”. Please take care of yourself and the people around you, and as always, keep an eye on the Anno Union for the latest news.

An illuminated palace at midnight
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Announcing the Anno 1800 Season 2 Pass

Prior to the release of The Passage last December, we excitedly announced our plan to deliver even more Anno 1800 to our 1 million+ pioneers of industrial revolution throughout 2020. This presents a unique opportunity for the Anno team, as it means that Anno 1800 will be receiving more postlaunch support than any previous game in the series! In the past, development of content has ended a year or so after the release of an Anno game, with the team moving on to the next title. With Anno 1800, we are excited to have the chance to flesh out the world of the industrial revolution even further, with new systems, citizen tiers and yes, even a new continent. Enter stage right: The Anno 1800 Season 2 Pass, which will be adding three exciting new DLCs to the game this year!

Seat of Power (March 24)

It all begins later this month with our next DLC pack, Seat of Power, which allows you to construct a magnificent palace fit for the ruler of an industrial empire. And while we know that our modular buildings like the zoo or botanical garden are big hits with beauty builders, the palace has an altogether more profound impact on life in your capital. As the eponymous Seat of Power, the palace will house several departments, each giving you not only a passive bonus, but also the pick of several policies that you can use to influence different aspects of life in your city.

A majestically illuminated palace at night

Game Update 7 (March 24, free for all players)

Speaking of influence, we would be remiss if we did not mention our free Game Updates. As with Season 1, each of our three Season 2 DLCs will release alongside a free Game Update that will further improve and enhance the game for all Anno 1800 players. With Game Update 7, we will tackle one of the most discussed game systems by adding three separate difficulty tiers for the influence system. With this change, you can select whether you want to earn more, less or the same amount of influence as you currently do. And yes, this will also apply to existing save games, asking you to pick a difficulty the first time you load up your save game!

Bright Harvest (Summer 2020)

With our second DLC, we are taking the technological marvels of the second industrial revolution to the countryside, allowing you to boost your farms’ productivity to unknown heights! To do so, you will place new tractor modules on your farms, which will increase the overall productivity of the farm, while also lowering the required workforce. Depending on how many farms you have, this could mean a whole lot more space on your islands, and we can’t wait to see what you do with it! Of course, you will have to make sure that your tractors don’t run out of fuel along the way…

Early technical test of a tractor

To round out the theme of industrialization, Bright Harvest will also include a new selection of farming-and-industry-themed ornaments, to make your cities feel even livelier.

Land of Lions (2020)

We bet you didn’t see this one coming, eh? Jokes aside, we know that the community has been clamoring for an African-inspired session in Anno 1800 ever since we first announced that the game would be using the Session system, way back in 2017. Good things come to those who wait, and we are happy to say that Land of Lions will be the biggest DLC for Anno 1800, including a new session and continent, new citizen tiers, buildings, production chains and quests. In a new storyline, you will travel to the drylands to join up with Emperor Ketema, as he works to turn his lands green.

Discover the Land of Lions later this year

You will do so using the new irrigation system, making smart use of what little existing water there is on the map to construct a network of canals and fertile patches of soil. Anno veterans will notice similarities to Anno 1404’s Noria, though Land of Lions puts an all-new spin on the timeless fantasy of making the desert bloom. We also listened to your feedback regarding the Passage, and rest assured that Land of Lions will have a deeper impact on things in the old world! We will have much more information about all the new content later this year.

The Season 2 Pass is now available!

In addition to these three DLCs, buyers of the Season 2 Pass will also receive three exclusive new ornaments when Seat of Power launches on March 24th— so enjoy your first look at the appropriately-themed ‘Palatial Column’, ‘Ploughman’s Glory’ and ‘Elephountain’.

The Palatial Column and majestic Elephountain

The Season 2 Pass for Anno 1800 (including Seat of Power, Bright Harvest, Land of Lions and the three ornaments) is now available for purchase from Epic Games Store, Steam (Update: The Season 2 Pass sadly won’t become available on Steam until Seat of POwer and Uplay, for a price of 24,99 $/ €, which will represent a saving of 9,99 $/ € versus individual purchase of the three DLCs. We can’t wait to show you more about all three DLCs, and our free Game Updates over the coming months!

The Ploughman’s Glory is a monument to your farming prowess
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Celebrating more than 1 Million Anno 1800 players

Hey Anno Community,

happy Monday. And what a great Monday it is! Not only did we just reveal our plans for Season 2 of Anno 1800 (which begins in just two weeks with our next DLC, Seat of Power!), but we also want to share and celebrate a special milestone with all of you.

2019 was an incredible year for the Anno 1800 team. From seeing our game becoming a hit on Twitch during the Closed Beta in January and the game’s launch in April, to three DLCs and lots of improvements throughout the following months, it was quite the adventure. We even won a lot of awards (and were nominated for even more)! The last highlight of the year came in December, when – thanks to all of you! – Anno 1800 reached the milestone of more than 1 million players after less than nine months on the market, confirming its status as the fastest-selling game in our beloved 21-year-old series! 

1 million is obviously a huge number, but how does that translate into the world of Anno’s gameplay? To give you a better idea of all the shared achievements of the Anno community, we have put together this handy infographic, showing some of the mind-boggling numbers that can be reached when over 1 million Annoholics get down to business. 

Of course, we could not have reached this milestone without the passion and support of the Anno Union community, who have been with us every step of the way for the past two and a half years. As a special “thank you” for the love and support of the Anno community, we are releasing this free ornament with Game Update 6.3, which is out today.

Test Anno 1800 for free from March 12-15

Of course, it would not be a proper celebration if we did not invite everybody! So, if you have to yet take the plunge into the industrial revolution, you can test Anno 1800 for free from March 12-15*. The Anno 1800 Free Weekend will give you access to the first three tiers of Sandbox Mode, as well as multiplayer and co-op mode. The pre-load is now available via Epic Games Store and on Uplay, and you can see the exact times of the Free Weekend on Uplay below.

Here is to an exciting Season 2! 

The Anno 1800 Team 

*Play a free demo of Anno 1800 from 12th March, 2020 3pm UTC to 16th March, 2020 2pm UTC on EPIC PC and from 12th March, 2020 11am UTC to 16th March, 2020 2pm UTC on Uplay. The game is provided AS-IS, may not function as expected, and may crash. Please note that maintenance may also occur at any time during this period, rendering you unable to access parts or all of the game. Internet access and Ubisoft Account registration required.  

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Changing of the Guard

Hey Anno Community,

As we are getting ready to reveal our 2020 plans for Anno 1800 next month, we want to inform you about some changes in the Anno development team. At the end of last year, we said goodbye to two long-time veterans of the franchise, Burkhard Ratheiser and Dirk Riegert. While we are sad to see them leave Anno, we can appreciate that working on the same gaming series for over 15 years is a long time and that the huge success of Anno 1800 makes this the perfect time to hand the scepter over to our new leadership. Rest assured that both are staying with Ubisoft Mainz, exploring new ideas for future projects!

Burkhard is not only one of the co-founders of our studio here in Mainz but has been instrumental in Anno’s transition to full 3D as the Lead Programmer of our game engine during the development of 1701. Following that, he worked on Anno 1404 and 2070 as the Head of Graphics and R&D, before moving into game production with Anno 2205. Over the last years, he led Anno 1800’s development as Executive Producer. Of course, many of you know also know him from the eponymous “Burkhard’s Trail” easter egg from Sunken Treasures.

Burkhard on staging presenting Anno 1800

“I’m very thankful that I had the chance to contribute in several different roles to this great franchise. For the last 15 years Anno has always played a big part in my life and with Anno 1800 being the fastest selling Anno ever and for many also the best installment so far, the time has come for me to move to new ventures, handing over the baton to a new team. I would like to thank the Anno community for their great support and feedback over all these years, knowing that the fruitful collaboration will ensure that Anno has a bright future, continuing in providing countless hours of joy and excitement to our fans.” – Burkhard

Dirk probably needs no introduction to Anno devotees, given the number of interviews and live streams he has participated in over the years, earning him the loving nickname of Karrenschieber (“cart pusher”).  He is one of the driving forces behind the Anno games developed in Mainz, starting as Lead Game Designer on Anno 1701 and 1404, before taking over as the franchise’s Creative Director with the Venice add-on. He then took the franchise into the future and even space with Anno 2070 and 2205, before leading the Anno team and franchise into the age of the industrial revolution with Anno 1800 as Senior Creative Director.

When I started as Lead Designer on ANNO 1701, I wouldn’t have dared to dream that I would help shape five Anno games over the coming 15 years! It is said that one should quit while they are ahead, and after the great success of ANNO 1800 last year this moment has finally come for me. I am already working on new, exciting projects within Ubisoft. The baton with the golden nine engraved in its knob has been passed on to Manuel. I for sure know that he will take perfect care of it.” – Dirk

Dirk across the ages

Which brings us to our new Game Director, so please welcome Manuel Reinher!

Manuel is a true strategy gaming veteran, having first started his career as an artist at Phenomic on Spellforce in 2004, before filling a variety of art related roles on games such as Spellforce 2 and Battleforge (by then as EA Phenomic, as the studio had been acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006). He has now been with Ubisoft Mainz for over 6 years, starting as Lead Artist for the futuristic cityscapes of Anno 2205, before leading the art team responsible for the detail-obsessed 19th century world of Anno 1800. As Game Director, he will oversee the overall future of the Anno franchise, both for future Anno 1800 content and beyond.

“Hi Anno Union, I’m Manuel, and extremely honored to follow in the footsteps of Burkhard and Dirk. Working on Anno for the last years has been a fantastic journey: After our adventures in space we brought the game back to a historical setting and we are extremely proud to kick off 2020 with new ideas and full of energy.

But, before we head into a bright ANNO future, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you: The success of Anno is just possible because of our hard-working team and the fantastic support we have from our community. So, I grab the baton: we have more opportunities than ever and I’m very excited to take the next steps together with all of you.” – Manuel

Manuel hard at work

And that’s it for today! Please give a round of applause to Burkhard and Dirk for their many contributions to Anno, and a warm welcome to Manuel! And as always, keep an eye on the Anno Union, as we get ready to unveil our plans for Anno 1800 in 2020!


 

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Game Update 6.1 is coming next week

We are currently working on Game Update 6.1, which will fix the issues you can see below. We will share more informaton on the releasem timing and download size once they are available, so keep an eye on this spot!

Bug Fixes

Fixed a potential crash that could occur at game start.

Fixed an issue that could cause performance drops when a lot of ships were simultaneously switching sessions, which would have especially affected larger save games.

Fixed an issue with the fog of war returning to islands after loading a save game.

Fixed an issue that could cause performance issues in co-op games specifically.

Fixed a visual issue with fire effects not being correctly aligned on the affected ships.

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The Future of Anno 1800

As we get closer to next week’s update hattrick of The Passage (available as part of the Anno 1800 Season Pass or as a stand-alone purchase), co-op mode and new statistics system (available as a free update to all players), one question has become prevalent within our communities: “What`s next for Anno 1800?” Does The Passage mark not only the end of our Season Pass, but of development overall? Or can Annoholics look forward to more industrial adventures in 2020? Today, we want to answer that question by raising the curtain just a little bit…

Bring the Holiday Spirit to your cities on December 10

First, we have one more surprise in store for next week- the release of our “Holiday Pack”. This standalone DLC Pack (not included in the Season Pass or any editions of the game) adds a total of 23 new ornaments to the game, allowing players to build their very own Christmas Markets in their cities- including huts, Christmas trees and even a carousel featuring some vehicles from the game!

If all this sounds familiar to you as Anno fans, you are right; we did similar content packs for Anno 2070 as well, like the “Eden Series Package”. So why bring them back now? We know that Anno players love few things more than having new buildings to add to their cities, and there can never be enough variety when it comes to decorations and ornaments! At the same time, feature-rich DLCs like The Passage take several months of development, making it impossible for us to release them as frequently as we would like to deliver new content to you all to keep Anno 1800 exciting and fresh.

As a compromise between these aspects, our talented art team has created this pack of Holiday-themed ornaments to see if this is a content format that will appeal to the Anno community. Should the Holiday Pack prove popular with players, we would love to create more such themed packs in the future. Who knows, we could even run a vote on the Anno Union to decide on future themes to give you all something to look forward to as we work on new gameplay content!

And speaking of which…

There is more Anno 1800 on the way!

Enough teasing, here is what you all wanted to hear: The Passage is not the end for Anno 1800, and we are working on new gameplay content and features to further expand the world of the industrial revolution in 2020!

There is however a caveat: The team has been busy finishing The Passage and Game Update 6, and it will be some time before we will be able to share more concrete information with you all.

With that said, we hope you are as excited about this news as the team is, and we look forward to talking more about the future of Anno next year!

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DevBlog: Day & Night

The invention of the light bulb was more than a mere boon to comfort and luxury. This new way of illuminating the darkness was also an inspiring force for creative minds and a motor for the industry, unshackling them from the natural rhythm of day and night. With electricity playing such an important role in Anno 1800’s economy, there was a strong desire from our community to have a true day and night cycle in the game. Finally, this wish became reality with Game Update 4. As the days are getting ever shorter, what better time to shine a light on this major visual update than in today’s DevBlog!

A true passion project for the players – the beginnings

Since the early days of development, we had been toying with the idea to add a day & night cycle to Anno 1800, similar to the one from 2205. In reality, game development often means throwing a lot of ideas onto a wall and then deciding which ones may be a crucial must-have features, while others end up on a potential “nice to have later” list. While the day & night originally did not make the cut, many Union members told us repeatedly that they would love to see a return of that feature to the series.

Therefore, when some members of our art team had a bit of time available after launch, they immediately set out to realize this previously scraped idea from the early days of Anno 1800. This plan was quickly validated by the modding community jumping on the topic, which showed the big interest in having this functionality in Anno 1800.

Let there be light – developing the Day & Night feature

As is often the case, our artists are perfectionists once they have their hearts set on a topic.So it was clear from the get-go that an official day & night cycle could not simply be about adding a dark night, and sun and moon cycles. Instead, almost every asset players can build would have to be reworked to make sure they look their best, no matter the time of day. Ranging from new glowing textures for illuminated windows to tons of new light sources to ships sailing the nocturnal oceans, we added over 1000 new light sources and changed more than 200 existing assets to provide the intended ambience during the night.

We also had to ensure that the new light sources would start shining during specific times of the day and account for the additional gloom of our dusk and sunset scenarios. In the 19th century, cityscapes started to change drastically with the introduction of the lightbulb. We depicted this in the game world with a more blueish tint to our electric light sources, as opposed to the warmer, yellowish light of candles and fireplaces; this way, a heavily industrialized metropolis will look and feel notably different from a rural hamlet’s atmosphere.

Here you can see how we manually setup a new light source!

Our modern cities are awash with artificial light during the night but back then, they were comparatively sparsely illuminated. Once more, we decided for a tradeoff: we wanted to create an appealing contrast to the darkness while we also did not want to outright dismiss that feeling of a gone century in the midst of transformation into the modern world.  

Players would also expect that their city would appear much quieter during the night, but Anno’s cityscapes are normally famously bustling with life. As a result, we had to send our feedback units through another development pass, where we had to reduce the overall amount of residents following their daily business while again, adding and altering light sources. As a result, the streets are less crowded during the late hours. You may also notice some other subtle changes, such as removing the kids from the schoolyard during the night or adding more musicians to the pub to let it appear livelier in the after work hours. 

Our tools allowed us to precisely define the tinting of each time of day.

Finally but crucially, we wanted to give the player full control over the scenery. For that, we had to program the functionality to allow them to change the time of day at their convenience or to go for one of our presets, such as daylight, dusk, dawn or midnight. While we decided to make the night hours shorter than the actual day for gameplay convenience, players would also be able to decide to stop the cycle altogether to enjoy their sunset for as long as they like.

It’s not always style over substance – Impact on Gameplay

While changing hundreds of assets manually was a huge albeit worthwhile task, there was more to it than just adding another layer of visual fidelity.
In a game like Anno, readability is an important factor to provide a satisfying gameplay experience.

While various tooltips and windows help you to keep an overview about events in your empire, the game also transmits a lot of information through visual feedback happening in your city. A night setting naturally makes it much harder to read what is going on, which necessitated the addition of all these new light sources to make sure that you could still identify all buildings, and not lose track of your ships.

We also played around with ideas how the shift from day to the midst of the night could affect gameplay, and while it would open many possibilities, we realized that doing so would simply add a lot of unnecessary micromanagement, without actually benefiting the overall game experience and player fantasy.  

Day & Night, a joint effort

While we have primarily talked about our artists, the day & night update was a collaborative effort from the whole Anno team, drawing on all disciplines from art and engine R&D (research and development) to programming and interface. Judging by the countless of majestically lighted nocturnal cityscapes we have seen online, we are very happy with the results of this effort, and hope you agree as well.

What is your preferred time of day for your empire? And do you make extensive active use of the options available, or do you just roll with the natural rhythm of night and day? Let us know in the comments below!

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Union Update: Anarchic News

Our last Union Update for May not only brings you all the information you could ask for regarding next week’s Game Update 3, but also news on our next live stream. Finally, the Anno 1800 team is looking for some new blood, so let’s get right to it!

As you saw when we announced our Season Pass, we have some big plans for Anno 1800. To realize all of them, we are currently looking for some reinforcements to join our industrial revolution. So if you have experience working in game development and would like to help us shape the future of Anno, you should definitely check out our career portal!

We currently have the following openings:

3D Engine Programmer

Tools Programmer

Gameplay Programmer

Senior Game Designer

Lead Narrative Designer

Senior QA Tester

And right before the content launches, we will have another Community Corner Live-Stream with our Community Developer Bastian.
Tun in next Tuesday June 4th to have a closer look on the the Anarchist’s island while Basti answers your questions about the DLC and other community hot topics.

Anno 1800 – Community Corner: The Anarchist
When: Tuesday June 4th at 5pm CEST / 11am EST / 8am PST / 3pm UTC
Where: http:// twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Release date: June 5, 12pm UTC/ 2pm CEST/ 8am EST/ 5am PST

Download size: roughly 3GB

Highlights

Game Update 3 adds support for The Anarchist character and associated content for all owners of the Digital Deluxe and Pioneers Editions. Owners of the Standard Edition can buy The Anarchist as part of the Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade.

The first expedition event from our Anno Union contest and vote, “The Great Sickness”, is now in the game and awaits intrepid explorers.

We have reworked interface elements for the World Fair Monument, the Court of Justice and the Excavation Site. These new menus will give players better readability.

You can now find new items for purchase at the harbors of Eli Bleakworth, Archibald Blake and Carl Leonard von Malching

The “Anno Union Emblem” company logo is now available for all users and can be claimed from the Club Rewards section on Uplay. Go Anno Union!

Balancing and Improvements

Improved trade routes to prevent sudden player bankruptcy

  • Previously, it was possible for trade to spend more money than the player currently had in their

balance, which could lead to an unexpected and sudden bankruptcy. During our investigations, we noticed that this was a reason for players suddenly losing a game without fully understanding why.  

Rebalanced the way power plants handle workforce.

  • They will now shut down if they have less than 50% of the required workforce (previously this could happen with any loss of workforce).

Ship improvements

  • Improved the behavior of ship illnesses that could easily go out of control.
    We sent out a group of expert physicians to counter the ongoing spreading of the plague on your ships. Ships can only contract or spread the illness to a harbor and will not be able to infect other ships anymore. This should put an end to the ongoing epidemics, which could be a problem for late game empires with lots of ships and trade routes.
  • Improved the Military AI behavior. Now, the behavior should be more natural and ships should not flee without reason.
  • Improved selection when double clicking on a ship with the intention of selecting all ships of this type.
  • Added the Oil tanker to the list of ships that Archibald Blake sells on his island.
  • The Oil Tanker can now be sold, bringing it in line with other ships.

General Balancing changes

  • Rebalanced the reputation gained from big trade deals via Diplomacy Menu.

In some combinations, it was possible to exploit the trade deals with NPC’s to max out their reputation in a short amount of time without much of an investment. We rebalanced the reputation gain for trading to make it more reasonable.

  • Improved the bonus to force attribute provided by Steam Carriages, Beef, Dynamite and Coffee during Expedition events.
  • You created stunning metropolises and the word about your utopian island paradise is spreading through the world of Anno. We rebalanced the attractiveness requirements for rare visitors to arrive at your tourist harbor earlier. Previously, legendary visitors would not set their foot into your city before you reach a minimum attractiveness of 5000 and with Update 3, you will be able to get legendary visitor items with a rating of 1750. Further balancing changed the attractiveness rating for rare visitors to 450 and a chance for epic visitors to 1000. This will bring more value to the tourist feature while also providing you with more freedom to customize your playstyle thanks to the items. We realized that due to the high requirements, some legendary items have rarely or never been found by players. That means that the powerful Pyphorian Naval Architects, which enable you to build their infamous steam ships, will finally find their way on your island.
  • In the same wake, we changed the item pool of Third Party trader Eli Bleakworth. He will not only offer a bigger pool of specialists, some of the convicts, which had been locked away in dark and lonely detention cells (such as poor Keralis), will now appear more frequently.

User interface and experience improvements

  • Improved the behavior of the music when a large-scale incident occurs. From now on, the dramatic music should be a bit less prominent to your ears and nerves.
  • Reduced the frequency of notifications tied to dropping workforce on an island.
  • Reduced the frequency of notifications tied to hostile island takeovers.
  • Hitting the “Escape” key will now close the Transfer Goods Menu.
  • Added various extra information and new tips on game loading screens for users to discover.
  • Improved the loading times on many interface graphics.
  • Improved readability in the German version of the “Baptism of Fire” expedition event.
  • Improved some of the UI elements displayed in the Newspaper Archive.
  • Aligned the consistency and style of several interface icons
  • Improved the transition between expedition menu and gameplay screens.
  • Improved readability and tool tips for the Trade menu.
  • Improved the way character`s emotions are visible while in the Diplomacy menu during an audio line delivery. Animations should now be more consistent with the audio lines.
  • Improved the visibility of the visitor’s dialogue in the Monument menu during a Monument event.
  • Removed automatically generated profiles, which could contain unsupported special characters in their names.

BUGFIXES

Stability fixes improvements

  • Fixed stability issues in multiplayer where match setup with two or three players could lead to an infinite loading screen.
  • Fixed stability issues where the creation of several new games in rapid succession could lead to a crash.
  • Fixed an issue where the game could crash if certain shortcuts were spammed while in the save game name dialogue.


Campaign and quest bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue in campaign where premature destruction of the trading post on Prosperity could block completion of the “Prosperity for all” quest.
  • Fixed an issue in the campaign where upgrading some quest-critical buildings could break quests.
  • Fixed an issue where Refugee’s campaign quests could not be completed if ship with refugees equipped were transferred between sessions.

General Bug fixes

  • Fixed an issue with newspapers mistakenly displaying articles about missing goods that were actually being provided. This could happen due to residence buildings that do not need the respective goods mistakenly being considered as not being satisfied. The improved logic for this will now only take buildings that actually need the goods into consideration. No power to fake news!
  • Fixed an issue where moving around harbor buildings during an attack could lead to military AI units being stuck.
  • Fixed an issue where using invalid characters in editable fields could break the associated save file.
  • Fixed an issue where changing the graphics settings for “Feedback Quality” would not be properly applied.
  • Fixed an issue with the “Party like it’s 1851” and “Annoholic” Club Challenges not properly unlocking once all requirements are met.
  • Fixed the achievement “Gold Digger”, which previously unlocked for the player as soon as any session participant reached 100.000 coins.
  • Fixed potential issues with moving around and then upgrading blueprints of harbor buildings.
  • Fixed an issue where the monument would sometimes show the tool tips for the previous phases.
  • Fixed an issue with invalid items and special visitors.
  • Fixed a shortcut key, which would mistakenly permit the player to place an Old World warehouse in the New World region.
  • Fixed an issue where the Military AI would not realize that a hostile takeover has occurred, which would lead to a never-ending state of war.
  • Fixed an issue with the logistic system where available storage space was sometimes not fully utilized.
  • Fixed an issue where during an escort ship quest the ship following the intended target would move at a lower speed than intended.
  • Fixed an issue with the Old Bell item that would not work on the Gold Ore Mine in the New World.
  • Fixed onscreen notification when user sells goods via passive trade.
  • Fixed a problem where Jean La Fortune from The New World session was shown in the Diplomacy Menu before The New World session has been discovered.
  • Fixed an issue where newspaper article tool tips would not display properly.
  • Fixed an issue where disabling the right-click menu in the options could be reset after restarting the game.
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong info layer would show on top the Charcoal Kiln if it was placed in blueprint mode.
  • Fixed an issue where moving a Commuter’s Pier that was not connected to a street would activate the transfer.
  • Fixed an issue where the Oil could not be manually transferred to the Oil tanker via Trade Menu.
  • Fixed an issue where item effects would not disappear if the associated building was destroyed.
  • Fixed the “Banker” item that would not increase the range of the Bank. To mitigate this issue, the effect has been removed and changed to target residence buildings.
  • Fixed an issue with pirates remaining in the game after being defeated. Sorry guys, you are out.
  • Fixed an issue with ships being erroneously shown on the wrong trade routes in the menu.
  • Fixed an issue with ships being displayed in the trade routes menu after being sold.
  • Fixed jumps between gameplay notifications and the Trade Route set-up menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the White Flag item could break the peace mode if moved between ships.
  • Fixed a text problem displayed in the Trade Menu as “Select station from the list” when no list existed.
  • Fixed various problems where ships that were part of a quest could be infected by incidents, therefore spreading the incidents to the islands next to which they were stationed.

UI, UX and Localization fixes

  • Adjusted the profanity filter to more lenient with certain words.
  • Fixed various instances of text being cut off in Expedition tool tips on the world map.
  • Fixed an issue with city incident-related Newspaper articles not being properly applied.
  • Fixed an issue with mob-quest-type objects not properly interacting with bridges.
  • Fixed many minor text issues for increased consistency.
  • Fixed various problems with items that would accidentally swap the actually produced items, such as “Marcel Forcas, Celebrity Chef”.
  • Fixed an issue where tool tips were shown as empty boxes for empty slots in the construction menu.
  • Fixed readability issues with text on colored tool tip boxes.
  • Fixed text issues where line breaks where displayed in various expedition events.
  • Fixed text readability in several expedition screens.
  • Fixed an UI issue that could occur when using the workforce slider.
  • Fixed UI issues for the banner notifications displayed in the New World for upgrades of the Town Level.
  • Fixed UI issues for banner notifications displayed when expeditions ended.
  • Fixed UI issues with the downgrade button in various object menus.
  • Fixed UI issues with the display of “Father’s Diary” on various screen aspect ratios.
  • Fixed UI issues with the mini-map that could affect readability when zooming in.
  • Fixed various UI issues in the Multiplayer Lobby screen.
  • Added missing text for a few subtitle lines in German localization.
  • Added missing text for some notifications in the Korean localization.
  • Fixed some UI issues in the Notification archive section.
  • Fixed some text issues with quest descriptions in the Russian localization.
  • Fixed text issues in the French and Italian localizations where the text could overlap various UI elements in the Shares Menu.
  • Fixed an issue with the fast-forward in the game’s credits not working properly.
  • Fixed a text issue in the Japanese localization with missing attractiveness values in some menus.
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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

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