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Tag: anno 1800

DevBlog: The prodigal Scion returns…

Welcome to the second half of the 19th century: fading aristocracy tries to tighten its iron grip on the population while the power of progress sparks a flame that will eventually engulf and change the entire world. It is a time of ever expanding cities, black sooted factories hungry to fuel the revolution of the machines, but also of the crumbling shackles of old ideologies. Inspired by classic tales such as the Count of Monte Cristo, here is a tragic tale of a family in ruin.  It will be up to you to clear the name of your father’s business and to bring righteous judgement to the malevolent forces responsible.

In today’s DevBlog, we will give you a glimpse at the story and content you will be able to experience in Anno 1800’s campaign. As most of you want to experience the tale of a family rising from the ashes on your own, this blog will be very light on spoilers and should be considered as more of a teaser for what is to come. We also give you some general information about how the narrative campaign is embedded into Anno 1800’s sandbox gameplay.

Anno 1800’s campaign- the facts, and only the facts
While the sandbox experience in Anno 1800 is a customizable playground offering hundreds of hours of gameplay, the campaign is often the first entry port of call in Anno games,  welcoming new players and old veterans alike into a new setting. Over the span of our four campaign chapters, you will not only learn the fundamentals about the core and advanced gameplay mechanics, but we will also transport you to a long bygone era of social unrest and scientific progress. And there is no need to constantly start over, as the entire campaign will unfold over one game during which you keep growing and expanding your empire. To ensure that you can keep playing in this world for as long as you want, the campaign turns into a sandbox game once you finish the final mission of chapter 4.

Many parts of the campaign are hand tailored to the story, and we created several unique locations where this dramatic tale will take place. You will however still be able to alter the full range of sandbox settings, ranging from your starting money and fertilities all the way to deciding which second-party AI characters you want to share the world with. Of course, you will also meet many new characters unique to the campaign story, like your despicable Uncle Edvard and the mysterious Acolyte (whom you may remember from a previous appearance on the Anno Union)…

When playing the campaign, a few key parts of the natural progression of your city will be unlocked via specific story beats, which let you experience and influence important events, such as leading your city into the industrial revolution. This allows us to intertwine the progression of your city with important moments in the sandbox gameplay.

Player freedom is a key goal of Anno 1800, so we want you to be able to play the game how you want, while enjoying a riveting story on top. That includes two campaign-specific expeditions, fully voiced cutscenes, unique voice lines for some of the Sandbox NPCs and more. And then there is the newspaper, acting as a family album of sorts that memorizes important milestones of your story in special issues.

So what’s the story?
In Anno 1800, you relive the story of a family in the 19th century, in a dramatic tale about tragic loss, revenge and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed.
After you are stripped of your inheritance, it is up to you to restart from the ground up with the support of your sister Hannah and your trusted companion Aarhant.

Soon enough, the open questions about your father’s death pile up. Did you malicious uncle Edvard have a hand in his demise? Or is he himself a mere puppet for a yet unseen master? This story unfolds against the backdrop of a tumultuous time, as old monarchy and new money struggle to control the industrial revolution.

Over the course of the campaigns four chapters, you will also learn more about the background stories of many of Anno 1800’s NPC characters, adding an additional layer to our 19th century lore.

But that’s a tale for a different day…

And that’s it for today! With only a week left until our Open Beta, you will soon be able to take your own first steps into the world of Anno 1800’s campaign. Until then, we are looking forward to reading about some of your favorite memories from the campaigns of previous Anno games

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DevBlog: A message to the Union!

As the release of Anno 1800 is drawing close, we want to kick off our launch marathon with a message from our dear Union friend Artur Gasparov.
Starting today, we will push the engines to launch mode where we will provide answers on the last burning questions (such as Open Beta details next week), bring you DevBlogs about the campaign and the soundtrack and – of course – more live-streams such as our EGX panel and a ceremonious unboxing soon!

And with the last sprint before launch, what are you looking forward to and what are your last curious questions for the big maiden voyage on April 16?

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Union Update: Conquer together

Welcome to another Union Update, with our latest news from our Anno communities as well as an outlook on this week’s content.

Upcoming DevBlog: Multiplayer
For some a neat extra while for others vital for the gameplay experience – playing with your friends in Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode can add countless hours of fun when competing over islands or going on a joint venture to end the regime of the tyrant Alonso Graves. The classic multiplayer experience celebrates a return to the series and we want to give you insights how the system works, what options and game modes we will provide while also give you a brief outlook on the future.

Community Roundtable AmA happens this Wednesday!
It is time for the next round of our Anno Union Community Roundtable. The Roundtable is a Community AmA where we, the Community Developer and Community Team, answer your most burning questions, hosted by our Annoverse Discord fan community. Everyone is welcome to join us and to ask questions about Anno 1800 and the Anno Union in chat.

To allow everyone to participate, we will have two sessions Wednesday evening, one in German and one in English. The German session will start at 18:30 GMT while the English panel begins at 19:30 GMT.

When:  Wednesday, 27th of February
German session: 18:30 GMT
English session: 19:30 GMT

Where: Annoverse Discord

We will take a short break from live streaming this week but do not worry, we will return as early as next week with more live streams from our Community team.

The Anno Union started as an idea and grew to a huge platform providing tons of Anno relevant information and details for players and fans out there. Is there anything you would like to see more in future or is there anything you miss on the Anno Union and specifically the Union Updates?

As always, we are eager to hear your feedback in the comments below!

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Union Talk: Looking back to the Beta

In October we had our first Union Talk, a video where we talked a bit about the development of Anno 1800. Today, we’ll have a new one ready for you, where Dirk Riegert, Marcel Hatam and Bastian Thun discuss their Closed Beta impressions. Additionally, we’ll give you a look at the things to come this week.

Union Talk – Closed Beta

As usual: Let us know what you think of the Union Talk format and which topics you want to see covered.

Anno 1800 Vinyl Soundtrack
Ubisoft Blue Byte and Black Screen Records are excited to announce the official Soundtrack to Anno 1800™ on audiophile 180g double vinyl in April.
The symphonic soundtrack was composed by an experienced team around Tilman Sillescu (Dynamedion), recorded by a 70-member-ensemble of the Brandenburg State Orchestra and will come in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with original artwork by Karakter Design Studio.

Get a first taste of the soundtrack here.
And if we got your attention, audiophile Anno 1800 fans can pre-order the soundtrack here: https://smarturl.it/anno1800vinyl

Fire and Sickness – City Incidents
The promised City Incidents Blog will come this week. You’ll get to see, what can happen in your city, when you don’t pay attention. And more importantly: What to do when the fire breaks out and how to prepare for some of them.

Community Corner with Bastian
On Thursday, we invite you to our first Community Corner, a livestream with Community Developer Bastian Thun, where you can ask questions regarding the development of Anno 1800, while he tries to build a city in Anno 1800.

When: Thursday, 14. February, 3:00PM GMT
Where: https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte/

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Union Update: Closed Beta and a special Announcement

In today’s Union Update, we reflect on the Closed Beta. Plus, make sure to read all the way to the end for a special announcement!

Thank for making our Closed Beta a full success
Wow, what a week it has been for all of us on the Anno Dev Team! So, where to start? First by saying “Thank you” to every single one of you who has participated in our Closed Beta- you managed to not only help us reach, but actually crush our expectations for this test. From the number of players, to how often you came back and how long you played during these few days, we were truly humbled by your dedication to helping us test Anno 1800.

We also want to thank everyone who created content for the game, be it live streaming, videos, screenshots or even creating the first cheat sheets and tools to calculate the most efficient production chains. Many of us on the team were glued to our various screens to watch streams and videos throughout the test, and we have to be honest with you: seeing “our baby” reach the #5 spot for most viewed games on Twitch on Friday night was more than just a little bit surreal. Fair to say that you all made our day(s), and that seeing all this excitement will be a great morale boost for the team as we tackle the feedback reports in the weeks to come.

But of course, it is not just about making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Watching so many different players of all experience and skill levels was also very helpful for our game and UX designers as they were able to check many of our assumptions and guesses how players would behave as they get familiar with Anno 1800 against real player behavior.

Your Feedback, and how we will act on it
Which brings us to your feedback. Not surprisingly, we have received plenty of feedback from you, ranging from crash reports to bugs, wishes for improvements and praise for new gameplay elements you love (like the blueprint mode).

While we will not be able to comment on all of them, there are a few hot topics for Closed Beta testers:

  • Game Balance: As you know, we recently made the difficult decision to delay Anno 1800 to April 16. Between these additional weeks of development and all the feedback from our testers, you can safely assume that nothing you have seen balance-wise should be considered final. This is also true for the influence system (more on that in a second).
  • Desyncs: First, a big thank you to everyone who helped test the multiplayer mode. A test at the scale of this Closed Beta is immensely helpful for us when it comes to testing multiplayer functionality, as having so many players (on many different ISPs, routers etc.) out in the wild helps to find lots of issues we would never come across in our internal testing. Thanks to your help, we have received a lot of valuable data to improve the multiplayer experience at launch. One thing to keep in mind here is that a lot of different behind the scenes issues can result in a desync error for the player (for example, you could still experience desyncs after our Closed Beta Update 1 fixed several different issues causing them, though we managed to dramatically decrease their frequency).
  • Performance: Another topic that we saw many questions around was in-game performance. This is another aspect of the game where we are hard at work optimizing and improving to ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy playing Anno 1800. This large-scale test helped us to get much more insight into the plethora of system configurations in our community.
  • Influence: We addressed this topic in our notes for the Update from Friday, but want to reiterate our points here. We know that your experience with the influence system during the Closed Beta was not optimal, for a variety of reasons. Three of them are especially noteworthy.
    • As you know, the game is still in development, and this is especially true of the influence system. The current balance you have seen in the Closed Beta is not final, and we will keep iterating on it, as we get closer to launch. You have already seen some live changes to that during the test.
    • One important aspect to keep in mind when evaluating the influence system in the Closed Beta is that due to the content being limited to tiers 1-3 and lacking the endgame, the player behavior was artificially changed from normal play patterns. Watching players engage with the full content, they are more likely to try to make vertical progress by reaching tier 4, rather than spending many hours creating their own endgame on tier 3. To give you an idea about the influence balancing in the full game: The fifths residential tier, the Investors, will provide a huge boost to your influence pool which will allow players to customize their experience way more freely in the late game of Anno 1800.
    • We absolutely agree with your feedback that the game needs to do a better job giving players the right information and context to make educated decisions on how to invest their influence points. Internally, we have already made some improvements here with better tooltips, though they sadly did not make it into the CB build in time.

Announcing the Anno 1800 Open Beta
With all that said, we want to leave you all with a special treat to show our appreciation- the Anno 1800 Open Beta, coming April 12th-14th. So what does Open Beta mean? Just what it says on the cover- it will be open to anyone interested in testing the game prior to launch! No need to sign up, no need to cross your fingers to receive a key- just download the Open Beta client, and start playing once it goes live on the 12th.

AnnoAfternoon – The Age of Steam – February 8th 4PM GMT
Save the date once more, as our Community Team takes to Twitch again to play Anno 1800 with you. We’re going through the Closed Beta Build and will be happy to follow suggestions from the community as to how we should build.

When: February 8th, 4PM GMT
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

And that’s it for this week’s Union Update. Thank you, and se… oh, you want one last final teaser? Okay then: the Open Beta will give you access to some new content that was not playable in either the Technical Test or Closed Beta.

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Union Update: Closed Beta Information

Keeping it short and sweet today, as we’re in the middle of preparations for the Closed Beta! And we got a few details that could be of interest to you. Plus a small tease at the coming DevBlog! 

Get ready for the Anno 1800 Closed Beta
The Closed Beta will be a bit bigger than last years Technical Test. And if you were one of the lucky selectees, then you won’t have to wait too long. Invitations will be sent out in the coming days, so check your inbox (and spam folders 😉 ).

A few things to note:

  • As with the Technical Test, this Beta is not representative for the finished game, which we’re currently finishing and polish so it’s ready for the big launch in April. Some things won’t work occasionally or outright break. This is intentional, as the Beta gives us important insights into topics such as Balance and Performance of the game. So please use the Closed Beta Forums (which will be opened on the english Ubisoft Forums soon) to provide us with Feedback and Bug Reports.
  • No NDA: This Closed Beta won’t have an NDA. That means you can stream, record and share videos and discuss your experiences in public. And we urge you to do so! If you’re on Social Media, make use of Hashtags such as #Anno1800, #AnnoUnion, #AnnoUnionCB und #Anno1800CB, so other Annoholics and ourselves can find your messages.
  • The Closed Beta won’t encompass the full game. The campaign won’t be playable and you can only reach the third residential tier in Endless Mode. Additionally, you’ll be able to challenge or cooperate with other players in Multiplayer, as well as explore and build in the New World.
  • The Closed Beta will run from 31. January 2019 to the 4th of February 2019.

Registering for the Closed Beta
If you’re still wondering how to get a chance to participate in the Beta: Log into the Anno Union with your Uplay Account or register a new Uplay Account if you don’t have one. You can do that using the buttons in the upper right corner of this website.

So if you haven’t yet logged into the Union for whichever reason, now’s the time to get that sorted. 🙂

System Requirements for the Closed Beta
There are only minimal changes from the specs since the Technical Test, but please keep in mind that these still aren’t final, as we’re still optimizing the game.

Current Minimum Specs:

  • CPU: Intel i5 3470 oder AMD FX 6350
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 670 GTX oder AMD Radeon R9 285
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (jeweils 64-bit)
  • Hard Drive: 60 GB

Current Recommended Specs:

  • CPU: Intel i5 4690k oder AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 970 GTX oder AMD Radeon RX 480
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (jeweils 64-bit)
  • Hard Drive: 60 GB

DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE NOT THE FINAL REQUIREMENTS! As Anno 1800 is still in the middle of development and performance optimization, you should not consider these specs to be representative of the final game. This test specifically should help us to find some areas where we can further improve the game’s performance.

Language
We are still in the middle of localisation of texts and recording voiceovers. Therefore we’ll only be able to offer this Closed Beta in English only. Sorry about that!

When we release in April, the following languages will be available:

Fully localised Text and Audio

  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Russian

Fully localised Text

  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Chinese (traditional and simplified)

Livestreams and Videos
If you have no opportunity to play yourself or need to take a break from being at your computer, then you can still get some impression from the Anno 1800 Closed Beta. You can check out what other players show from the game on Youtube, Twitch and Mixer.

Last but not least, we’ll want to show off the Closed Beta Trailer here. It was first revealed during last weeks AnnoCast and gives you an idea about the Feature we’ll showcase in this weeks DevBlog.

And that’s it for this weeks Union Update. We wish you all good luck to get a Beta invite!

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Union Update – Streaming Week

Welcome back to the newest Union Update, this time a bit shorter than usual to leave us enough time to prepare the upcoming Closed Beta.

DevBlog: City Incidents – Moved
This week we planned to publish a blog taking a closer look at the City Incidents that you’ll have to deal with when creating your cities. We are still going to publish this blog, however, due to some workload caused by the  preparation of the upcoming Beta of Anno 1800, we decided to move the blog to February. That way, we have time to prepare the Closed Beta starting January 31st and bring you the hot insights about the incidents right after the test has concluded.

We teased to reveal another new feature for Anno 1800 last week and even though we had to move the City Incidents blog, rest assured that we will still raise the curtain on the new content before the Closed Beta starts!

AnnoCast moved to Thursday 24th & AnnoAfternoon this Friday 25th
A reminder that this week we’ll hold another AnnoCast and AnnoAfternoon that you can watch live on http://twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte.
As a headsup from last weeks announcement, we had to move the date of the next episode of our AnnoCast gamedev stream to this Thursday instead of Wednesday and we hope that despite the change in times, you’re going to watch because we have some interesting infos prepared and lot’s to show you!

AnnoCast: Quests and Expeditions – January 24th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm CET / 11:00AM EST

Follow our channel if you haven’t done so and use the links to the Events to receive a reminder when the Streams are about to begin.

That’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll have a huge chunk of information regarding the coming Beta and a DevBlog, so make sure you bookmark the Union and follow us on Social Media so you’re not missing out.

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DevBlog: Ornaments

For beauty builder, Anno games are a huge model kit, which offers hundreds of puzzle pieces to build the city of their dreams. For some of them, the sandbox is even a canvas for environmental storytelling and with Anno 1800 new city attractiveness and modular cultural buildings like the zoo; we will have more content than ever to support our city-building artists.

Today, we want to give a brief look on Anno 1800’s ornaments and how they complement our new city-attractiveness feature.

Every residential tier will come with a new ornamental set. From the first sets of trees, your collection will grow with fence modules, city ornaments such as statues, benches or city stands and with the later tiers, you will be able to create impressive gardens with hedges, fountains and pavilions.
In previous blogs and streams, we demonstrated how even your non player character opponents use ornaments to give their cities a more believable and unique look or how they can be included in your zoo layout to create a truly marvelous 19th century zoological park.

Visual Feedback in todays screenshots hasn’t been fully implemented yet, so the amount of people walking around is not final and the final game will feature a lot more.

The ornamental sets itself were designed as a modular toy box, coming in sizes from as small as 1 by 1 tile up to 3 by 3, allowing you not only to fill small areas in the back alleys of your workers district but also to create appealing park grounds. As we think that the construction costs and space is already enough of an expense, ornaments will not generate upkeep cost.
Once built, ornaments will generate a small amount of city attractiveness, which can sum up if you build large park areas, including tourist inviting vistas such as hedge labyrinth or a renaissance style garden.

Aesthetes like Gasparov or dreamers like Bente will not only comment on the beauty of your city, a higher city attractiveness rating will further have a positive impact on your reputation with certain characters in our diplomacy system. The robber baron Malching will surely not waste any breath to appreciate your ambitions as a landscape gardener.

Thanks to tourists now exploring your island for getaway trips, visitors provide satisfying additional visual feedback when sprawling through your city, stopping by attractions like the museum or even taking a break in parks or other ornamental structures. With that, a large park or plaza in your city center becomes a real treat for the eye when watching visitors and residents enjoying the provided getaway areas. If you need a break from managing your expanding metropolis, just sit back and follow the tourists closely while they explore the attraction of your utopia.

Ornaments play an important role if players want to get higher attractiveness level for your metropolis, which results in higher income from tourism and a higher chance of rare specialists arriving at your tourist harbor. As the zoo or the museum are real visitor magnets, how about building some nice walkways and resting areas between the animal enclosures and exhibits? To reach the highest city attractiveness ratings, you have to make use of your cultural buildings, the world fair and your ornaments.

Maybe you have already plans for city layouts or want even to re-create something you did in a previous Anno title? We are looking forward to your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

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Union Update: 2019 – Road to Launch

We are back from our short holiday break and ready to tackle the last 7 weeks before Anno 1800’s launch on February 26th. With this first blog in the year 2019, we want to give you a brief outlook on the content to come until launch.

Road to launch
Last year’s Technical Test provided us with lots of valuable data, from player behavior up to bug and feedback reports. Fixing, fine-tuning and polishing is now our top priority for Anno 1800’s Beta period. After the TT, we followed up with another focus test session to get feedback on recent changes but also allowing us to get in-depth detail on other aspects such as balancing and overall gameplay experience, including progression through all residential tiers.
With the upcoming Closed Beta on January 31st, you will be able to see the changes and improvements for yourself as once more, we will invite a large number of players from the Anno Union to test the game.

However, it’s not all bug smashing and polishing- we are also putting the final puzzle pieces together, including one all-new feature we haven’t even announced yet! Between that feature, as well as upcoming DevBlogs about City Incidents, Ornaments and of course Anno 1800’s story-driven campaign, there is still a lot to talk about on the Union.

You can look forward to the first of these DevBlogs to come next week, alongside more information about our Closed Beta. And if you haven’t done so already, keep in mind that you can still register for our Closed Beta by signing up here on the Anno Union.

And if you want to get reminded if a new blog comes fresh from the press or stay in the loop about anything #Anno, you can just follow our official Anno Twitter and Facebook channels.

Winner of the Expedition Event Contest: The Lost Civilization
It was a neck-and-neck race between Hexagon19’s “Isla De Los Muertos” Event and Hojny87’s “The Lost Civilization”, with Argurino’s “Voyage Of The Beagle” also mobilizing many fans rooting for a throwback to Darwin’s journeys.

In the end, “The Lost Civilization” secured the 1st place and we congratulate Hojny87 for making the cut with his exciting expedition event.
This community-chosen event will now get the same treatment from our design team and together with the Union island and the ship variant, will find its way into the game itself.

While we want to continue to funnel the creative power of our communities in future contests after the launch of the game, we want to utilize the voting feature more in the future to allow you to voice your opinion on various topics like favorite game element or balancing.

Streaming schedule update
With more information out in the open and the big launch at our doorstep, we will start a new series of community streams, with the first show starting shortly after the Closed Beta has concluded.
Different from the AnnoCast, the show will be mostly run by our Community Developer and focus on answering your questions while playing the game rather than highlighting a specific feature in detail.
And to give as many Anno fans as possible a chance to direct their questions at us, we will host not only English but also a German episode.

But there is also the next episode of our AnnoCast game dev stream on the horizon: at the end of this month, we will have Narrative Designer Marie on board to demonstrate how we breathe life into the 19th century world of Anno with a great variety of quests and expedition events.

Speaking of streams- we know that many of you liked our ship preview during our naval stream. Hoist the flag and all hands on deck, as the video is now available on our Twitch channel. What is your favorite ship and will you rely on a bulwark of huge battlecruisers or a versatile wolf pack of fast gunboats?

That’s it for this week’s peek at the upcoming content. See you next week, as the final march to release begins in earnest!

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