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Union Update: Streaming and multiplayer Q&A

As the release date of Anno 1800 draws closer, we are in the final sprints to polish and balance the game. Creating the DevBlog takes a lot of time and much of the games content has been highlighted in some shape or form already, the game developer insights will take a short break this week. We brought you dozens of DevBlogs since launch of the Anno Union in 2017 and we still have some articles in our pocket leading up to the launch of the game.

But we won’t be lazy as we will ramp up the amount of Anno 1800 live-streams on our twitch channel with the AnnoAfternoon stream returning this week and the Community Corner coming back in the week ahead with a German episode including a special guest.

Livestream: AnnoAfternoon
It’s time once more for our Community team takes you on another Anno 1800 Twitch adventure! In the next episode of our AnnoAfternoon community stream, we will venture forth into the new world together, when we listen to your suggestions as to how we should build and name our cities.

When: March 8th, 4pm GMT
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Annoverse Roundtable recordings
Last week’s Annoverse roundtable was an absolute blast! Over the course of two hours, we made a challenge out of answering as many questions as possible and thanks to the Annoverse team and community member Domo, you can listen to the recorded German and English session here:
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable German
Annoverse Anno 1800 Roundtable English

Last but not least, we have prepared some answers to your most burning multiplayer questions in today’s community Q&A.

FerudaFarstaria
When we add friends from our friends list. Does this include the Steam friend list and Uplay? Or do you have to find your friends in the game, and add them to your friends list? I’d really like to know if this does link to friends lists in Steam, and Uplay.
Answer: Anno lists steam friends as well as your Uplay friends. In case you invite someone from you friend list, Anno does automatically select the right backend (Steam or UPlay) for the invitation and also receive and handle the invitations from both systems.

Mattly
We did find that once we had expanded into the new world we had to give up due to constant desync’s. As we are all on fibre and all in the same country (New Zealand) could this have been caused by the need to communicate with the host server where ever that is located or was it a known issue that has been worked out in these final weeks?
Answer: We identified and fixed many reasons for de-synchs thanks to the great participation of Closed Beta. This also includes many de-syncs related to the South America session. It is not very likely, that your desynch problems as described where caused by network issues, as because Anno tries to keep the connections “as local” as possible. Only if the NATs of the participants are not compatible, we are forced to route the traffic over Ubisoft servers to enable the players to join. But this also can be resolved by players by adding Anno to the exception list of your router.

elmoh1one
I would be interested in a whole Devblog about the topic synchronization. Which kind of data is exactly synchronized? How is the system checking if there are disparities between the different computers and how does that coherent with the simulation of the game?
Answer:
Simply speaking, every single player action will get recorded and synchronized before the system shares all input data of for the simulation with every other participating player (every PC in the session calculates all steps of the simulation for every player in the match).

Drake-1503
Does that mean that saved multiplayer matched can be continued with different players? That would mean it would be possible to create a staged savegame with already established cities instead of an empty map.
Answer: You are able to continue mutliplayer savegames even if the original players are not available anymore. When new players join, they can “overtake” an empire and continue to progress and expand with that game state. While it is technically possible to create scenarios that way, you would need to have a dedicated player for every single party as you cannot take control over two or more empires.

The_Waith_Lord
I would love to see that you could also do a search for players based on language and region to make it easier to communicate with the other players.
Answer: When looking for a player, our matchmaking takes the region as well as language into account. Should the system be unable to find a player after a while, it will expand the search for players with the same language across the globe. If the system is still unable to match you with someone, it will also widen the search to global players with any language.

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Union Update: Winter QnA

While some of us enjoy the snowy surprise and the resulting winter themed skin applied in many parts of Germany, we bring you another round of our Community questions and answers and streams for the cozy winter days.

With this week’s DevBlog: Ornaments, our blog series revolving the development of Anno 1800 returns from its winter hiatus. Next week, we will conquer the winter season with some heat: we hope that you look forward to city incidents such as firestorms, strikes and the season appropriate illness before we raise the curtain for the big feature reveal before our Closed Beta at the end of the month.

The next episode of our AnnoCast and Anno Afternoon
Save the date as our Twitch devstream will return next week Wednesday January 23rd. This time with Narrative Designer Marie who will demonstrate us how we applied some fresh paint to the quest system in Anno 1800. Nevertheless, that is not all as next week Friday, January 25th, Chris and John will be back with their aspiring Anno 2070 utopia.

Annocast: Quests and Expeditions – January 23th at 5pm MEZ
AnnoAfternoon – January 25th at 5pm MEZ

Watch it live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyteand follow our channel if you never want to miss a show!

iyamaShiro
Will it be possible to change specific sound slider, such as voice, music and effects? I love to tune up the effects and dial down the rest of the game audio.
Answer: You will be able to change the following audio levels individually: Master Volume, Menu Sounds, Voice Volume, Music Volume and SFX Volume. Enjoy!

Ceib0
Will we only be able to exhibit artefacts in the museum or also art pieces such as statues or paintings?
Answer:Exhibits will mainly include cultural artefacts and sets will include statues. Bigger exhibits are displayed in open-air modules and come with their own unique asset while smaller artifacts will be showcased in museum wing modules. By the way: You will be able to place ornaments between your zoo and museum modules freely, which will allow you to create beautiful vistas with statues, fountains or other ornamental structures.

adriankowaty
Will there be a statistic overview like in 2205 which allows us to see how many units of a certain good we produce at a time?
Answer: We won’t have a statistic feature such as the one in Anno 2070 at launch of the game. But we are aware that many of you wish to see a comprehensive overview and statistics of your production, especially when reaching the end-game. We will keep continue to keep an eye on such feedback after the launch of the game.
The tooltip of each production building allows you to see how long it takes to finish one good and you will be further able to change the production speed with things like the working condition slider. If you compare the time it takes to create a good compared to the production time of the production of the needed resources, you can easily calculated the most effective rate of production and resource buildings.
Furthermore, you can check the overall amount of goods and if their stock is currently rising or declining in the kontor and warehouses.

g4mer901
Will it be possible to build sole production islands or will I need to create a new settlement with each island expansion?
Answer:
Reaching the fourth residential tier unlocks a new building: the commuter harbor. This new building allows you to connect different islands, which also have a commuter harbor and once linked; islands will share their workforce as one global pool. This means that you will not need to create settlements to support your production islands. But beware: an economy which mainly relies on a commuter network is an easy target during war, as one well-directed blow to your commuter harbors can cripple your whole production pipeline.

prgbrowne
I have read reviews on Anno 1800 where one of the downsides is the small size of land masses to build your empire. Is that a valid concern? It probably would be nice to have the choice of the size of the land mass you get to colonise, much like Civilization I guess. I don’t really want to see small islands close together. Varied terrain type options would also be good.
Answer: Anno 1800 will not only have the biggest maps in the history of the series, but also islands with vastest construction space. In the custom game options, you will be able to change the type of island world (which affects the arrangement of islands, such as atolls and archipelagos) and how frequents large islands are on your map. As naval exploration was always an essential game pillar of the Anno series, we further expanded on the ocean space to give you more room for trading networks or open water battlefields for tense ship fights on the high sea.

denNes_
Is a return of the research planned for the game? I loved it in 2070 and 1701 and would like if it celebrates a comeback to the series.
Answer:
We currently have no planes for a self-contained research feature in Anno 1800. We followed many community discussions revolving research closely and want to provide a few insides how Anno 1800 will cover that topic. In previous Anno titles, research served as an item generator and further allowed you to customize your playstyle with various perks and special abilities. Anno 1800 covers said options with several new features and as player freedom is important for us, we decided against a classic and often restricting “RTS” style research tree.
There are many different ways how to acquire items. In addition to quests or trading, you will be able to generate items with the new city attractiveness, the variety of expeditions or the world fair monument.
When on a zoological expedition, you will not only be able to acquire animals for your zoo, you can also get your hands on some cultural items or even hire specialists during events, which come with abilities which might not be related to the zoo at all. As an example, a specialist might join you who is able to boost one of your battleships with a special ability. If you want to focus on your fleet of warships, you can run naval themed exhibitions in your world fair or do bounty-hunt expeditions, which will reward you with naval related items such as weaponry or combat savvy specialists.
If you prefer to use the power of science to benefit your society, get marvelous new machines from the world fair, which you can slot in your guild houses to boost your factories with various effects.
Furthermore, you can make use of the influence system to get bonuses which suit your custom playstyle which are, in contrast to a research tree, are reversible at any time.
Add more elements such as electricity; Anno 1800 adds various layers, which allow you to optimize or to get experimental with your own unique playstyle.

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Union Update: Technical Test concluded

Our big Technical Test of Anno 1800 has concluded, so today we want to give you a brief production update on how the test will help us in the final months of development leading up to our launch on February 26th.

First things first: We want to thank all members of the Anno Union who participated in the test.
Once again, you demonstrated that getting you in as early as possible on the game’s development was the right call, with thousands of comments providing constructive feedback and reports during the Technical Test week.

While we will be busy checking all your comments to filter out actionable feedback, what were the biggest takeaways for us? And how will they help us to improve the game?

A first brief look at our learnings
Besides reporting bugs, balancing was a very important topic for Anno veterans out there. Ranging from the “vicious Schnapps cycle” to fierce discussions about how demanding production chains should be in a classic Anno title, your voices will help us to find the right balancing for the game. Our vision is that Anno 1800 will be a callback to old classics such as 1404, offering great complexity and replayability while also allowing a satisfying first experience for players new to the series.

The new workforce feature was also a welcome change for most players, as it offers many new intricate ways to play around with Anno 1800’s mechanics. However, as the content was limited to Tier 3, players spent a lot of time playing the same game loop again, settling and expanding their empire to various islands without being able to transfer their workforce. To shed some light on that matter, workforce transfer will be available via the commuter harbor, which becomes available with Tier 4 (the Engineers).
In the full game, we expect players will likely advance to tier 4 earlier, instead of heavily expanding during tier 3. In order to get more quality feedback across the entire gameplay loop (including the late-game portion of Anno 1800), we will continue to make use of our focus tester program.

So what’s next for the development of Anno 1800?
As mentioned, we have received a ton of feedback, so these are just a few examples. But there are still new things to look forward even for our stalwart testers who played Anno 1800 during our Technical Test.
What could those things be? Well, how about our naval combat system- which we will unveil and explain in our next DevBlog towards the end of this week! We are very much looking forward to giving you an exclusive first look at our new naval and siege combat.

With that said, please keep in mind that the NDA for the test is still active, so please refrain from making any comments about the content of the Technical Tests in the comments.

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Union Update: Sic parvis magna

Yo ho! This week we’ll feature not one but two streams, our game development show AnnoCast as well as our community favorite AnnoAfternoon.

Last week, we’ve shown off our two Pirate captains, Anne Harlow and Jean La Fortune. We were especially happy to see some of the feedback we’ve gotten to their island designs and that you like their stories. Mind you, these will not be the last of the NPCs you’ll get to see!
Furthermore, the blog has shown that many of you are curious about the various possibilities to interact with the different AI characters of the game. A diplomacy blog is currently in the making and will shed some light on the various interactions with future to be enemies, allies or trading partners.

Streaming Schedule!
Without further ado, here comes this week’s streaming schedule. You can find the Events with their times also listed on Twitch by clicking the links, which allows you to set up a reminder when the streams are about to start.

AnnoCast Episode 06 – SIC PARVIS MAGNA
When
: Thursday, November 8th, 4.30PM CET / 10.30AM ET
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
In the next episode of our Anno 1800 stream, we will start a completely new settlement, from our first farm houses to the technical marvels of the first industrial revolution.

This week, we will not have a QnA in this blog due to the stream, though you will have the opportunity to ask us questions live during the stream. So what are you waiting for? Let us know your most burning questions in the comments below and we make sure that we take some time during the show to bring you the answers!

AnnoAfternoon – Anno 2070
When
: Saturday, November 10th, 5PM CET / 11:00AM EST
Where: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte
This week, John from the Community Team will fly (swim? sail?) solo on this week’s AnnoAfternoon and continue where he left off two weeks ago. For those who might have missed it: The AnnoAfternoon is now every second and fourth week of a month.
We hope to see the first underwater settlement in the game by the end of this stream and maybe someone will finally show Hector that we have the strongest navy.

Community Highlights
While we don’t have a QnA in this weeks blog, want to show you some cool content we’ve seen from our community:

Bambierfurts Facts Telegram
Where: twitter.com/bambierfurt
Language: German

Many Annoholics count the days until February 26th. Bambierfurt goes one step further and brings you interesting Annofacts daily.

KatherineOfSky’s Anno 2070 Multiplayer Tutorial
Whereyoutube.com/KatherineOfSky
Language: English

KatherineOfSky, or KoS, loves to play building games and recently created a Anno 2070 Multiplayer Tutorial, which might even teach Anno 2070 veterans something new.

RhetioTVs Annolyse
Where: youtube.com/RhetioTV
Language: German

You like the Anno Union but you don’t have the time to read it all? RhetioTV is not only giving you an overview of the latest Anno Union Blogs, but doesn’t shy away from speculating a bit.

Those were just a few examples of what we liked this week. But let us turn this around now and ask you, what Anno-related content you like to check out, when you’re not building cities yourself? Do you prefer to watch a livestream? Have an Anno-blogger you follow? Someone who makes really good Anno-memes that make you smile?
Let us know down in the comments and we hope to see you tomorrow and on Saturday!

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Union Talk: Player Feedback

Today, we want to present you our first Union Talk, where we sit together to talk about Anno Union relevant community topics.
With our big reveal in 2017, we invited Anno fans around the world to share feedback to help us developing Anno 1800. Thousands of comments and 120 blogs later, how has the community actually changed the game for the better?
Our Creative Director Dirk “Karrenschieber” Riegert will give you some insights how your comments and participation helped to shape the New World and other important game content.

Let us know if you liked the idea of our Union Talk, is that something you would love to see more in future and topics you would like to see tackled in the next episode?

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Union Update: Happiness and Community QnA

Before we handle the needs of our residents in this weeks DevBlog: Happiness, we will tackle some community questions in todays Union Update. 

Thaliruth
I have a question coming from how other building games do it. I cannot recall Anno games ever having some kind of maintenance mechanics for buildings, such as that they wear off after a while and have to be repaired. How is it with 1800? Do we need to maintain buildings in order to keep the production going?
Answer: Buildings will not wear themselves out from usage and therefore there is no need to perform any maintenance actions. However, incidents such as fire can damage buildings, which will regenerate over time. Ruins on the other hand, have to be manually refurbed by the player. When it comes to harbor defense, repair cranes serve as a measure to maintain your damaged defense structures. While the idea of a maintenance mechanic for buildings sounds interesting for the early game, it would have an extremely heavy micro-management impact in the mid- and late-game. In Anno, you construct not only hundreds or even thousands of buildings across multiple islands and sessions, you also have to take care of trading routes, your fleets and to manage complex logistical networks.

Jinkha5
What if I spent all my influence on a big fleet of ships and then want to change my strategy to use a ton of items or settle on many different islands?
Answer: That depends on the size of your empire, as the amount of influence points is bound to your population. Even if you spend enough points on one category to benefit from the bigger global buff, you will have still some influence at your disposal to invest in other categories. You can also downsize your fleet to reinvest the points in different categories. The military category will allow building fleets at a size and scope previously unseen in an Anno title but a total focus on military won’t be necessary to build up a strong fleet.

Das_ist_Phil
„Investing in Expansion will allow you to settle on more islands, …..”
Does that mean that we will be restricted from the get go? We won’t be able to settle on an unlimited amount of islands and NEED to invest in the expansion category?
Answer: Players who like to steal islands away from AI or other players as fast as possible will need to invest in the expansion category in order to do so. Most players however won’t even need to spend any influence in the beginning, unless they pursue a rush strategy at the start of the game. This way, during the early game influence is especially relevant for players who want to fully commit to a certain playstyle, such as expanding quickly in all directions or to rush a production pipeline to have a large fleet of battle ships as early as possible. When it comes to the “Expansion”category, there is something you have to keep in mind: additional islands will automatically generate influence alongside your growing population (unless you are just claiming new land without establishing settlements). If you just establish a few production islands, you won’t need to spent much (or even any) influence at all but if you want to prevent other parties from expanding, you will need to invest. Players who want to build huge empires don’t need to worry, as influence has no upper limit and will grow together with your empire and its number of inhabitants.

Hexagon19
Is it correct that gramophones are produced by engineers? It makes sense to a degree, but will investors even provide any form of workforce? I also think that it would make more sense that the artisans create the ornaments for the gramophones, instead of the engineers.
Answer: Not all production chains are final yet, as we are still working on balancing, which is also affected by feedback from our focus test groups. It is also important that we find a good distribution of all workforce, in order to ensure that each residential tier is equally relevant, and remains so even in later stages. If we notice that we ask for too many engineers in one production tier while artisans are being left out, we will sit together to find ways to have the workforce distributed more evenly. Since we started developing the game, we had to re-arrange and sometimes even completely change different production chains. But there is one overarching rule: the workforce from all residential tiers stays relevant throughout the whole game.
Investors are different, as they will not provide a typical workforce for your production chains. However, the amount of investors available will play a role when organizing events that are hosted at the world fair.

Ger_Lunak
Will there be a Beta phase for final polishing and bugfixing?
Answer: In order to improve the game, we will continue to make use of our Union focus test program, but also have larger scale testing phases with a lot more players later on.

Frederic440
I would really like to see that every residential tier would get their own enhanced version of the basic kontor. IN the tradition of Anno 1602, it would be great if the enhanced kontor would be available as a project from your construction menu instead of upgrading automatically.
Answer:  While the kontor will not automatically upgrade with every new residential tier, you will be able to upgrade every kontor as well as you warehouses in several stages.

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Union Update: PC Gaming Show, Community Roundtable and more

Welcome back to our regular Union Update, as the last week has been quite busy bringing Anno 1800 to the PC Gaming Show in Los Angeles. However, before we dive into the news, let us talk about upcoming Union content.

This week, we will reveal the last residential tier of Anno 1800. The 19th century was not only a time of progress; it was also the time of big business, from old aristocrats to soldier of fortune trying to build the next big company. New production chains will be challenging and exciting alike and as mentioned in our last Q&A, the last tier will unlock interesting end-game content. After that, it is time for the anniversary of one of the most influential Anno games of all times: Anno 1404. After the anniversary content, you can look forward to blogs that will tackle the technological marvels of the 19th century. On that note, we are still looking for any 1404 anecdotes from our community. If you have a special, funny or just awesome 1404 moment to share, let us know in the comments below!

Anno 1800 at PC Gaming Show 2018
Last week, Anno 1800’s Executive Producer Burkhard and Community Developer Bastian traveled to Los Angeles to present our game during the PC Gaming Show. To show the game to PC players and strategy fans out there, we revealed our new trailer, kicked off a new Anno Union vote as well as talked about the game, setting and why community feedback matters. However, the PC Gaming Show was only the beginning, as we are looking forward to see Anno Union members and Anno fans at this year’s gamescom 2018.

Save the date: Community Roundtable
The next community roundtable is happening! Meet our community developer and members of our community team to chat about anything Anno 1800 and Anno Union related. Our Annoverse Fan-Discord will host the roundtable session, in which you can join, ask us questions, discuss or just listen to the ongoing conversation.

This time, we will run the two roundtables (one in German and one in English) on two different dates:
Second Anno Union community roundtable German: Monday, June 25th, at 7PM CEST
Second Anno Union community roundtable English: Monday July 2nd, at 7pm CEST

We use Voice Chat to communicate during the roundtable, but you can also ask questions in the chat if you don’t have or want to use a microphone. We will share some further details with the next Union Update.

You are hungry for more Anno or want to get in touch with other Union members and Anno fans out there? Check out our growing Anno fan Discord community: https://discord.gg/V4xhZ8Z

Current vote and availability of the AI ships
Many of you mentioned that they would love to get their hands on every ship and we heard you. We will make sure that you can get the hands of most, if not all, of the special ships via gameplay. While you will not be able to build them in your shipyard, there will be different ways to acquire the ships when playing, if it will be from third party NPC’s or via other features. Do not worry about the variety of ships you can construct, they will cover a lot from sail to steamships and we will share some details when we highlight the while Naval system in a future Union blog.

With the current vote, we want not only to get insights which ship is your favorite (and especially why from gathering your comments), it will decide for which ship we will create a second variant designed by the Anno Union itself. Do not worry about the missing details; we will share some examples and details when the contest starts.

Next focus test has already started!
The next round of our Anno Union focus tests is currently live. We invited a new group with over a dozen Anno Union members to test Anno 1800 inside out while providing daily reports to the development team. If you did not make it into this round, do not worry, we will continue the focus test program throughout the year and will invite bigger groups of players later on.

We heard your feedback that you want more details on what and how focus tests affected the development of Anno 1800. When the current focus test round concludes, we will provide you with a more detailed update about our insights and findings from this session. As always, our “player stories” are a combination between Anno Union blog feedback, discussions in our forum and fan groups as well as detailed feedback from our focus groups.

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Union Update: Next vote ahead!

For the first Union Update for the month of June, we want to share some details about upcoming Union content.
During the last episode of our AnnoCast, we were able to present you Anno 1800’s UI design. From design to functionality, many of you shared their feedback and questions and our UI Design team would like to invite you this week to give you exclusive insights into their design and thought process.

Next week will be a little bit different, as we won’t have a classic DevBlog or Union Update. However, we have something exciting up our sleeves: the first stage of our next Union vote!
We don’t want to leave you fully in the dark, of course, so we can tease that it has something to do with ships and will give you some interesting insights about another third party character in Anno 1800.

Beyond that, you can also expect some new anniversary content for one of the most beloved Anno games in June. Can you believe that it has been 9 years already since 1404 set sail for the first time? Let us see what kind of fond memories and old anecdotes we can gather from our team. And as always we want to hear from you!
What are your personal best Anno 1404 moments, anecdotes or funny stories you remember?

With the engineer’s blog, we moved from the early years of the industrial era to the second wave of the revolution. Naturally, we want to highlight some of the wonders of that time, when the old age passed the torch to a new era. Finally, you can expect the reveal of the fifth and last residential tier as well.

Before we head over to today’s community Q&A, we have one more update for you. We plan to bring you the second community roundtable at the end of this month, this time with two different sessions for our International and German community. The roundtable is an event where we invite everyone from our community to an Anno Union voice chat session to talk about the Union, the game and its fans.
We will share the exact details and dates with you soon!

Community Q&A

Nox29
Will you be scattering little easter eggs across 1800 like you did in previous games?
Answer: Some of you folks have a keen eye and were able to spot some easter eggs already.
Our developers love to sneak smaller and bigger details and easter eggs into the game. Fun fact: We do not even know how many of them will be in the game, as our developers themselves keep it secret.

T1MR
Will street networks be realistically simulated, so that pedestrians and carts can cause congestions?
Answer: The distance travelled on your street network will play a role in the transport of goods in Anno 1800. Production buildings will calculate the most effective way to get goods either from another production building or from the warehouse. As goods are physically represented in the game world, transporting carts will need to queue up in front of your warehouse in order to load or unload the materials. This can, if your street and warehouse network is not optimized, lead to traffic jams in front of the loading/unloading areas.
We had our own development blog dedicated to the logistic system, which you can check out here: LINK

Henning00
Will the attractiveness of a city affect the productivity of some buildings like in Anno 2070?
Answer: Attractiveness itself will not affect the productivity of your industry. The new feature will support beauty builders with meaningful gameplay while also adding a new economic layer to the game. However, we do not want to force players, who want to concentrate on their industry, to use the city attractiveness if they don’t want to.

schwubbe1980
Will it be possible to fast forward time like in 1404, so that the visuals and gameplay will run noticeably faster? (Anno 2205’s fast forward was too slow).
Answer: You will be able to fast-forward the gameplay but the exact parameters are not final yet. With Anno, we always have to find a balance between comfort and usability. Especially with all the different gameplay loops of an Anno game, combined in a large game world and economic simulation, forwarding gameplay too fast would lead to issues. Think about all the things you need to keep track such as complex production chains, economic balance, AI behaviour of your opponents or potential city incidents.

Gert8517
What I would love to see in an upcoming blog are some insights about the soundtrack of the game, if this kind of blog isn’t already in the works or even ready to go. The music in Anno games was for me, especially in the older titles, one of the important factors, which pushed the game experience.
Answer: We are aware that you folks love the Anno music and are curious how we design and create sounds for an Anno game. We are currently working on DevBlogs related to audio design and soundtrack but these blogs take some preparation time.

SirKju
Will tourists just come out of nothing or arriving from different islands? Will it be possible to make use of a sea blockade to cut your opponent off from tourist ships?
Answer: Tourist ships will enter the map and then travel around the session, stopping at any visitor harbour on the map and drop visitors based on the specific attractiveness level of a city. There will be ways to affect the tourism of an opponent’s island, keep an eye on the Union for future details.

drizzle64
I would like to raise something based on the previous gameplay tours through the cityscape of the game. The small people, which run around the various places, are comically huge in the farthest zoom level. I mean sure, you want to be able to identify them but it would make more sense and help the atmosphere if the residents would be small.
Answer: The not realistic proportions in Anno are a deliberate choice, as visual feedback units are not only an important part of the atmosphere; they play an important part in the readability of the game. On one side, you want that the game gives you the feeling of creating a lively city, on the other side need players to be able to get important basic game information when observing feedback units.
However, the current ratios are not final yet and we got a lot of feedback from the community. Rest assured that we will modify the proportions to be more in line with the classic Anno appearance you are familiar with.

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Union Update: Livestream week

This week, it’s all about the upcoming next episode of our Anno 1800 development live-stream. AnnoCast 04 will be the most ambitious episode as of yet, as we not only show the latest state of the development but also present the city attractiveness system in action.

Our first guest, UI Designer Khajag Jabaghchourian, will demonstrate our big UI overhaul, as also provide insights about the importance of a well thought UI design for Anno 1800. A perfect chance for Anno enthusiasts and future game developer to learn something about intricate UI designs for complex management and city building games.
Our second guest might be familiar from our Monument and City Attractiveness blog. Game Designer Natacha Hentzien will take you to a small trip to our island paradise, when we follow our tourists through our panoramic city including a nice trip to the zoo but also not ignoring the smoking dark side of your modern industry.

As always, you will be able to watch the stream on our twitch channel twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte as well as on our Anno Union website. We will make the blog including the video player available by Thursday noon, to give you enough time to share your questions in the comment function.

AnnoCast Episode 04 – A trip to the zoo
Thursday May 17th at 5pm CEST / 1 AM ET / 8 AM PT
Follow us on: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Other than that, it will be the first time we use our new streaming room. Expect a new look while we will continue to improve decoration and a few other elements in the upcoming episodes.
As there is another bank holiday coming up, we will do a short break from our regular Union Updates, which will not affect next week’s DevBlog.

But before we leave it to this week’s community Q&A part, we have another small announcement to make. Our Ubisoft community team taking care of Anno, among them some familiar names such as O5ighter and Seraxia, will host a new streaming show on our channel. Join them this Sunday, when they dive into old classic Anno games in our new Anno Afternoon Community stream. Feel free to watch and comment – backseat gaming is welcome!

AnnoAfternoon #01 – Anno 1404: Maiden Voyage
Sunday May 20th at 5pm CEST / 1 AM ET / 8 AM PT
Also on: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

Community Question and Answer

loex1337
Is it possible to merge different enclosures to larger modules into each other, so that I can create a big elephant enclosure if I connect two of them?
Answer: Allowing the enclosures to merge into bigger compounds leads to different issues to tackle, such as what happens if you unequipped one of two elephant items or how do you expand visual feedback, as animals and visitors heavily rely on pathfinding. One solution would be to develop preset modules in different sizes, but that would also ramp up the workload to create said assets. The various different and free to place enclosures offer many customization options for your zoo project. As it is a vast feature already, we think that we are doing the zoo a favor if we invest that development time into quality and variety of the different animals.

Revadan
Will Anno 1800 have a mobile companion app like Anno 2205?
Answer: There are currently no plans for an companion app for Anno 1800.

banan1996.1996
In the devblog about artisans glass was produced by workers and here it is produced by artisans. Did you change your mind about it or is it a mistake?
Answer: During development, we continuously work on the balancing, from small bits and pieces up to the re-work of whole production chains. Just recently, we reworked some of the production chains, which are one of the biggest balancing points for an Anno game. Rebalancing, as well as minor and major changes to the game, will continue for a while, often fueled by feedback gathered by the Anno Union blogs and especially playtests.

HarroLP
How much impact had the last playtest, did you made any major changes based on player feedback?
Answer: The playtest gave us a lot of important feedback on the current state on the game. Every feature has its own “player stories” note in our development plan. The “Player Stories” are insights and findings we gathered from blog and forum comments as well as from our playtest groups. That feedback will be gathered in reports, which are then being discussed in the team. The last playtest lead to a lot of smaller and even some minor changes to the game, from pure balancing to altering content. We are looking forward to the next test, which is planned to start in June. From that on, we will run further focus playtests throughout the year.

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