What an exciting week! In our big announcement livestream on Monday we unveiled the future of Anno 1800 and our plans for 2020. If you missed the stream or want to watch it again, we got you covered:
Since you’re already on the Anno Union you probably noticed, but… we also summarized the upcoming DLC in a dedicated blog post and a new trailer.
As a big thank you for your support and by now over a million players, we also prepared a special ornament for you which you can now find in the game.
Fittingly, this week’s Anno Afternoon is all about YOUR cities! Ubi-Thorlof and Ubi-Hanabi will take a look at several Anno 1800 cities created by community members. Time to take a stroll along beautiful boulevards, check out fleet sizes, city layouts and production centres – and maybe cause a bit of mayhem along the way.
Tune in on Friday, March 13th, at 4PM UTC over on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte A big thank you again to everyone who sent in their savegame!
Episode 6 of our Union Talk show is here, with Community Developer Basti and Brand Manager Marcel talking about the differences and challenges of Anno 1800’s first year and what is to come. They also address the unusual quiet on the Anno Union in early 2020 and might even know a thing or two about when things will pick up again…
Our Union Talks aim at providing you insights into the work of our developers and certain processes behind the scenes as well as news about the most recent developments for Anno 1800. Is there a topic you always wanted to know more about? Are you curious about a specific aspect of game development or an ingredient of the Anno series? Let us know in the comments below for future episodes of the Union Talk!
Anno Afternoon – Scuba Diving Cows
Since they were not able to save all cows from the flood last time, Ubi-Hanabi and Ubi-Thorlof return to the world of Anno 2070. With their priorities set and the heart-shaped city completed, it’s time to explore the ocean and build an underwater base. Tune in for a fun and relaxed Anno Afternoon on Friday, 28. February, at 4PM UTC over on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
We also want to use this opportunity to thank you for
sending us save games of your Anno 1800 playthrough! We will showcase them in
the next Anno Afternoon (March 13th) – Ubi-Hanabi is already looking
forward to getting her hands on them.
And of course, feel free to also send us YOUR save game for the stream! Just send them via mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Podcast – Environment Sounds in Anno 1800
There’s always something going on in the world of Anno 1800, but all the activity on the roads and sea is not just visual. Listen to the latest Game Makers podcast with members of Anno 1800’s audio team and learn about how sounds adapt based on camera zoom or jumping from one end of the map to the other. Audio Director Stefan Randelshofer and Lead Audio Designer Tino Schleinitz from Ubisoft Düsseldorf talk about how they developed a brand-new environmental sound system for Anno 1800. Give it a listen!
The New Year is already over one month old – about time to share a Union Update with you, feature some great Anno 1800 creations from our community and let you know about our upcoming live streams.
Anno Afternoon Stream
This Friday our community team is traveling into the future for another Anno Afternoon. On this Anno 2070 adventure, Ubi-Thorlof invited his colleague Ubi-Hanabi – the goal: brew some tea, hug a few trees and save everyone from drowning. Join them on their adventure over on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
And if you want your Anno 1800 city to be featured, judged and most likely also devastated live on stream, send us your save games at email@example.com! When we have gathered a few, we will show off your layouts, parks and fleets in a future Anno Afternoon. *
*We can only accept unmodded save games
As usual, we want to share some of the cool creations and stories from the community here on the Anno Union.
Let’s start with jasperwillem’s blog, a great source for tutorials and tips&tricks for Anno 1800. You can find detailed blogs and videos about all phases of the game, the different population levels and more. Worth checking out!
If you instead prefer some entertainment, Normul8or’s new video series could be for you. The goal: creating a city purely dependent on imports. To follow him on his journey, head on over to his YouTube channel.
Now, we all know you love creating beautiful cities with massive parks and impressive zoos and museums. And we never grow tired of looking at your creations and sharing them here.
Bootlegsoldierwent all-in and hid something in his city – can you see it?
And since working in a team gets things done a lot quicker, Smeerwolfteamed up with some friends to beautify his city – the result you can see here:
We know you’re all waiting for what exciting things we have planned for Anno 1800 this year. Right now we’re still very busy creating new content for you to enjoy and are looking forward to sharing more with you, soon.
back once more with a community update and some info on what to expect from us
in the near future.
Anno Afternoon Stream
This Friday, Seraxia and Thorlof will put their creative hats on (most likely not literally) in another Anno Afternoon and try something completely different. You want to know more? Then don’t miss out this special livestream episode and tune on the 25th at 4PM UTC+1 (5PM CEST).
And if you got any cool or funny ideas for future streams, what better opportunity to share them with us than this Friday?
Playtest beginning next week!
As you all know the next playtest is just around the corner and as we work together with the community to get a jam-packed Game Update 6 ready for December, we will take a short break from Union blogs in the upcoming week. But worry not, we will be back soon with community news and new game information.
And we already got some exciting news this week! Keep an eye on your inbox, cause for a first wave of players the the playtest will already start next week – more invite-waves will follow.
We’re very much looking forward to your feedback. So, when we’re already talking about GU6 and The Passage, why not hop over to Reddit. Some of you already started a discussion about the content of the DLC there. We might have some theories ourselves but it’s far more exciting to read your predictions. Which features and production chains do YOU think will be added with The Passage?
Something that impressed all of us quite a bit was jasperwillem not only managing to get this settlement to house Engineers without ever visiting the New World but shortly after also luring Investors into ‘Golden City’.
How many of us spent long nights outsourcing production chains and setting up new trade routes. Or planting hedge rows for hours for that perfect inner-city park or the world’s best botanical garden. We bet there are some quirky challenges or legendary achievements you set yourself in the past or future. So, share them with us in the comments below!
Fitting to last week’s blog about the Day & Night Cycle, we also want to use this blog to share some impressions from the community. Apparently some of you have a weird fascination with exploding factories…but admittedly, fires look very cool at night:
WolArn, however, proves, that calm images also have their charm – sunsets usually have:
And bergveld shares a video of his whole city at night with us.
And then, when the sun rises and everyone has to go to work, you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Not much has changed to today.
That’s it for this Community Update. Did you already share your favourite moments with us? Be it day or night, dusk or dawn, we always love to see what fantastic scenes you manage to capture.
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.
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.