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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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DevBlog: Scoring the industrial revolution

A cityscape of smoking chimneys. Streets brimming with life, as the upper classes take to the zoo for a day out with the family. None of these evocative scenes could unfold their full impact on the player without the proper musical accompaniment. Orchestral soundtracks have always been a key part of the Anno experience, and this is no different for Anno 1800. So join us on a journey intot he creation of Anno 1800’s grand soundscapes.

Let us raise the curtain for veteran composer Tilman Sillescu (who has been working on the music for Anno games since 1701) and his team at Dynamedion, as they carry you away into the world of the industrial revolution:

And while we focused on Tilman in the video, we would be remiss to forget all the other talented composers who contributed to the game, as seen here:


If all of the above has put you into the right mood to light candles and to dust off your old record player, we have some great news for you! We have created a limited vinyl edition of the Anno 1800 soundtrack in partnership with Black Screen Records! If you want to call one of these precious records your own, you get still get them here.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy the full digital soundtrack on spotify!

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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: Meet your rivals!

Welcome to another week in the Anno Union, this time with an introduction to the cast of Anno 1800 second party characters as well as an update to the streaming schedule.

Meet your rivals!
Originally planned for the end of last week, we prepared a video for you showcasing the variety of AI opponents which will be able to choose as your dire enemy or future to be ally.

Every single rival will have their own character, which will not only define their general difficulty rating but also influence their playstyle.
Since the Closed Beta, we improved their behaviour in many ways and while old chap  Willy will remain let’s say, a slow and simple fella, the AI’s capabilities of defending islands or deciding on various tactics fitting to the situation has improved a lot. As an example, especially war savvy characters will make decisions such as attacking your Harbour directly, engaging your war fleet or launching attacks on your trading routes based on the current situation.


Are you looking forward to testing your skills in naval warfare against the Psychopath Graves or are you more interested in Tea parties with Bente Jorgensen? We are curious to know how important the second party opponents are for you and if you are more the player who likes to challenge themselves with the most fierce of opponents?

Streaming Schedule – 2 streams on the horizon!
As promised during our special German episode of our Community Corner last week, we will have another English episode this week Wednesday at 5pm CET.
While we won’t have a special guest this time, our Community Developer Bastian will not only give you further insights into the fourth tier but also answering your chat questions.

And as one stream is not enough, our Anno Afternoon community crew will return this Friday 5pm CET – Not only Guddy is back on board, we will also jump from the trusty old Closed Beta ship to a newer development version of the game!

We plan to bring you more live-streams in future, from development insights with our AnnoCasts to community focused shows like CommunityCorner and AnnoAfternoon.
If you do not want to miss a show, make sure to follow out twitch channel to receive notifications as soon as we are online.

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DevBlog: Multiplayer

Whether it is teaming up with friends to end Alonso Graves’ reign of terror or taking on three other players to see who will be the last man building- playing Anno 1800 alongside and against your fellow human players can make for tense adventures.

So today, we want to talk about Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode, what options it gives players and also give you some interesting insights into how we make it possible to run an enormous simulation with more than one player.

Multiplayer – conquering the world with friends(?)
In Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode, up to four players can join a match to settle and conquer islands in an alliance or in a race against each other to reach the victory conditions first. Players can freely trade among each other, and with the possibility of trading any goods, they can decide if they want to start a trading conglomerate with specialized production on each side. And should you find yourself short of a full set of human players to stage a naval battle to rival Tsushima Strait, you can always fill any open slots with an AI character of your choice. This choice of how to approach the multiplayer is very important to us, no matter if you want to go for an ultra-competitive race to be the first to construct a battlecruiser squadron, or if you want to play a relaxed Sunday afternoon match with some old friends.

And since this is a question that came up many times in the past: Yes, the multiplayer mode supports the full range of gameplay options in Anno 1800, including the second session in the New World! So will be the first to settle a tropical island?

Starting and victory conditions
There are several game modifier which allows you to set the stage for the game experience.
Alliance with shared victory conditions – You can start the match with an active alliance pact between all players and shared victory conditions. This allows for a truly collaborative effort for players who want to work together as a team.
Alliance without shared victory conditions – This game mode enforces peaceful matches between players while encouraging economic competition thanks to the personal victory conditions.
Free-for-all – A free-for-all, with no shared victory conditions and no active trading or alliance treaties. In this mode, it is solely up to you how the world (and your fellow players) will remember you.

And while it can be fun to build and expand for hours on end, we know that some players prefer a more defined game experienced with a clear goal. That is why we have the same set of victory conditions as in the Sandbox mode, such as being the first to construct a monument, reaching X amount of investors of generating a positive revenue of X. You will also be able to select whether players have to reach one or all of these goals to emerge victorious from your online match.

Custom sessions and the new quick match mode
Anno 1800 will offer two game modes to set up games, either allowing you to invite friends into your custom sessions, or to be paired up with random players via matchmaking.

You can either create or join a custom made multiplayer match, where the creator of the session can take full advantage of all custom settings of the classic sandbox experience. Once you set your various parameters and decided which AI should populate your island space, you can invite up to three players from your friend list to your match. And if there is this one friend of a friend who wants to join you, players who join also have the rights to invite players from their friend list. The game mode supports a maximum amount of 4 players in total, which also includes AI opponents who can fill the ranks of missing players.

Our new Quick Match mode will match you with random players around the world in preset multiplayer sessions. The presets allow you to look either for a match with two, three or four players or alternatively just look with “Random” where a slot is available in any of the three presets. Unlike in custom matches, you won’t have any non-player characters in Quick Match other than NPC traders and every game mode comes with preset victory conditions.

Under the hood – large scale multiplayer simulation
Simulating a vast and complex strategy game like Anno 1800 in a multiplayer match is quite a challenging task. To make it possible, we make use of a “lock-step” mechanism, a system which allows simulating the whole game state on every single PC and as a result of that minimizes the amount of data traffic between the players.

In case the game states of the players will differ at some point in time, the game will detect it (we call it a desync) and immediately provide a simple one-click solution to repair the game state with automatic synchronization of all parties participating in a match.

You will be able to save the state of the game to continue the match with your friends at another time or to switch hosts if the initial creator of the session is not available. This also means that when you are creating a session from a previous multiplayer savegame, players in the lobby can decide which island to control during the game. And if you cannot remember the party of friends from your last session anymore, we will display the players which played with you before.

This large-scale simulation and synchronization process is also the reason why fast-forward is not available in multiplayer sessions. Speeding up the simulation would have a big performance impact on the CPU of each player. However, you will be able to pause a multiplayer game to allow everyone to take a break or get a refill of your favorite beverage.

Build an empire together
While the Anno multiplayer experience always had its vocal fans across the years, we hope that with Anno 1800, more players will team up to experience the game together. We received a lot of valuable feedback during the technical test and Closed beta, giving us ample data we currently use to improve the multiplayer experience for the launch of the game.

And as your feedback is always important to us: While there won’t be a classic Co-Op mode in the game at launch, we will add it as part of our post-launch plans for Anno 1800.
#coopiscoming

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DevBlog: Newspaper

“Breaking News! Breaking News! The despicable tyrant Graves strikes again. While his fleet of buccaneers wears itself out on our superior coastal defenses, the Governor assures all citizens that the attackers constitute no threat to our brave city. Cheer and sing the song of our proud metropolis, while we pity the poor souls getting torn apart by our brave soldiers!”

In the wake of the modern world, information became available for everyone, whether it was in the smoking clubs of the aristocracy or in the crowded working class pubs after a grueling shift in the factory. In the 19th century, the newspaper allowed everyone to get a grasp of what was going on in a time of dwindling empires and rising nations, a powerful tool to bring the truth to the populous- or to twist it in the most convenient way to reach one’s goals.

Hot of the presses – the newspaper in Anno 1800
The newspaper is a new addition to the game, which not only highlights the milestones of your empire but also looming issues in your ever growing city. It’s a flavorful tool which helps newer players to understand what’s going on while Anno veterans have a satisfying stage to showcase their big achievements (or being reminded of their failures). Reading the headline “grand opening of the wondrous World Fair” or the shocking news about an outbreak of war also helps to immerse yourself in Anno 1800’s colorful but often dramatic setting of the 19th century.

The “Anno Chronicles” keeps track of everything noteworthy happening in your city, both good and bad, and will highlight the top three news on the front page of every new issue released. And as your residents are always eager to get the latest rumors, word of a beer shortage in your city can spread like wildfire, affecting the happiness of your entire population. In the same way, news about your newly opened school will have a positive effect on the mood in your city.

With that, news can have either a positive, negative or no effect on your city, depending on the nature of the event. While ravaging fire is naturally makes for a menacing newsflash, the other two articles can also generate positive effects, if there is something positively exciting to report.

The range of possible positive or negative effects of the newspaper on your city includes happiness of your population, consumption of goods, the chance for a riot and taxes gained from your residents.
Once an issue is published, the global buff or debuff on mentioned categories can last up to an hour.

The system tracks all important milestones of your empire, with usually one issue of the Anno Chronicles being published roughly every 30 minutes, reflecting the actual development of your metropolis. But if dramatic incidents happen, such as a sudden declaration of war from your neighbor or your first expansion into the new world, the newspaper won’t miss the chance to publish a special issue to cover the breaking news.

Furthermore, as old news become less interesting for the esteemed reader, ongoing issues will lose priority over time. As an example, the scarcity of bread is surely a matter people care about but they can get used to it, especially if there are more emergent issues on the horizon. That way, the Newspaper always ensures that you get interesting and not overly repetitive news. As you can imagine, a well-developed empire will give your newspaper plenty to work with. And should there ever be a time where nothing noteworthy has happened in your city, your always-reliable editor will back on his stock of humorous anecdotes and filler stories.

In total, we have prepared a total of over 250 possible articles, ensuring that the release of a new issue of the Anno Chronicles always makes for an entertaining diversion. On top of that, all published articles will get archived which allows you to browse through the history of your empire.

PROPAGANDA
The newspaper is interested in the latest rumors and breaking news, which can be rather inopportune to a besieged ruler of a troubled empire. Thankfully, there are ways that you can make your influence work in your favor, persuading the editor to instead publish some alternate, more helpful news- all for the greater good of your island, of course!

Enforcing propaganda allows you to change or erase unloved articles by temporary spending influence points. But backing your editor into a corner will not only let you get rid of the thorn in your side, but also benefit from some of the positive buffs that propaganda can (temporarily) apply to your city.

The different propaganda articles vary in strength, effect and influence cost. There is also a progression curve attached, with more effective articles becoming available as your empire and company level grow.

While standard articles have only a limited amount of effects, we have a total of 9 different positive propaganda buffs which additionally come in three different levels. And with that, taking control of the newspaper can have a high impact on your economy and other game elements.
From simple announcements, which erase negative news articles up to morale boosting propaganda which lowers the riot chance, reducing the consumption of certain needs or improving your tax income.

During an island siege, propaganda can unfold its real power of influencing your residents. Use war speech to make your people less willing to surrender during a siege, mobilize your workers to speed your military production or encourage your soldiers to increase the firing rate of your harbor defenses.

But spending influence is not the only downside, as some propaganda articles might have additional negative effects on your empire or on the standing with other third party characters. Depending on their nature, they might dislike the idea that you manipulate your people; other NPCS, who themselves are not opposed to exploiting their citizens, may however feel attracted by such behavior.

But times have changed and your residents might not be willing to belief every news article you feed them as they might be able expose your web of lies.
The more propaganda you use, the higher the chance that riots occur as residents refuse to accept the manipulative doing of their leader. However, education plays a role in looking through your deception, so higher tiers like the engineers will be more likely to look through your lies than the more humble farmers. In that scenario, it can even happen that a propaganda article you use increases the overall happiness of your islands while the engineers rally on the streets.

A word from the editor
We will leave it at that for today, as many of you will be able to get their hands on the newspaper system themselves as soon as tomorrow, when our Closed Beta begins. Until then, we are of course curious to hear your first thoughts about this new system, which can have a profound impact on many other aspects of the game.

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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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DevBlog: Naval Combat

We hope that you like our brief look into the new naval combat feature in Anno 1800. Please be aware that the content shown is from the latest development version of the game and as we are still in Alpha state, it does not represent the quality of the final product.
The feature, as demonstrated in the video, was not part of the Technical Test version and was fully captured in-game. We are still working with full force to bring you a great Anno 1800 experience at launch and therefore, there will be more updates and Devblogs to look forward to until February 26th.

To give you a direct follow up on that matter, we will provide further insides on Anno 1800’s naval combat and answers to some of your questions in the next episode of our AnnoCast livestream, going live next week Thursday, December 13th at 4.30pm CET on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

We are looking forward to your feedback and questions in the comment section below.

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DevBlog: Back-Room Politics

Hi, my name is Andrea, and I’m the Game Designer for Anno 1800’s Diplomacy feature. I’m pretty new to the Anno team, as I only joined in January of this year. Since I grew up with Anno, starting with Anno 1602 when it came out, I am still super thrilled to now work on this series myself! How cool is that?

I love city builders and management games, and adventures in the broadest sense. Recently I played They Are Billions, Project Highrise, The Red Strings Club and Deltarune.

The 19th century – a century of back-room politics
Creating a metropolis from rags to riches is one thing, doing that while competing with other characters over territories is where the Anno series stands out. During your journey through the world of Anno’s depiction of a 19th century, you will meet many different ambitious or even ambiguous personalities. It is up to you if you approach them as an opportunist seeking a profitable trading alliance or as a ruthless warmonger trying to dominate the other factions.
To breathe life into the world of Anno 1800, every single character not only has a standing with the player character, but also with each other, ranging from love triangles to hate relationships.
Every non-player character populating your island world has its own unique personality traits, and our diplomacy system allows you to interact with them in various ways: from forging alliances to raging relentless war campaigns.

How will the world remember you? – Anno 1800’s reputation system  
The motor of our system is fueled by reputation, which represents your standing among the various second party characters as well as Anno’s ruthless pirates. Neutral factions are an exception as they are not in an active competition with the player and therefore are not part of the diplomacy system.
But more than just a rating for the players standing, reputation also takes the relationship between the non-player characters into account. The rating itself is in constant flux, as war driven actions of one character will constantly affect the opinion and therefore the reputation with another second party who dreams of a peaceful economic utopia. The longer the game goes, the more likely it is both characters will break their treaties, and even start their own personal war against each other.

Reputation is also the deciding factor for any diplomatic action in the game, which allow you to negotiate different treaties with the second party characters or pirates.
Here a quick look on our Anno 1800 diplomacy window. 

Raging war or forming alliances – Treaties
There are four different treaties in Anno 1800. The success of signing a treaty depends on the reputation between characters as well as on their personality. A leery character might be way more open in engaging in a trading agreement than a selfish baron. Let’s have a look:

“Alliance” – Allies will protect your ships and harbors when under attack. When you declare war on somebody, your allies will follow you into war. Forging an alliance usually requires a high reputation between the involved parties.

“Trade Rights” – Easier to achieve as an alliance, this treaty allows you to trade goods with the involved party.

“Peace” – A peace treaty ensures that both parties are not engaging in any combat actions against each other. The treaty is effective until one of the two factions breaks the peace condition, namely by declaring war.

“War” – When declaring war on a party, your ships can attack all vessels of the other party. Any trading relationships cease with immediate actions, and other parties who might be in an alliance with your now declared enemy might also support the war effort of their ally. So you better check twice who might be your enemies!

In addition, there are pacts in the game which are agreed on only for a limited amount of time. While such a temporary pact is effective, both parties are unable to declare war on each other. This pact cannot be broken by either of the parties before time runs out. This is very helpful when you know that for the next minutes a surprise war declaration of that double-minded brute Alonso would ruin your day.

Family ties and popularity contests – Diplomatic negotiations
The likeliness of negotiations being successful is determined by the reputation rating. Naturally, it is in the interest of the player to change the standing with a character to have a higher chance for negotiations to result in the desired trade agreement or even an alliance.

The other party might just agree, or just say no. As a third option, the other party might request money in addition to the new treaty. This depends on the other character’s traits and his or her own “point of accepting” this treaty.

Depending on the character themselves, they might also ask *you* for a treaty instead. This will of course only happen with friendly characters that want to make progress through this treaty – or who only want to protect themselves via a Non-Aggression Pact for example.

For all decisions, depending on it being a military or an economic issue, the diplomacy parties will consider how much stronger or weaker they are than you. Friendly and easy characters will not deeply care how much wealthier they are than you when thinking about accepting trade rights. Strong and stern characters on the other hand will carefully think about a request for peace, and only accept it if they are way inferior to you.

Changing your reputation – Diplomatic actions

So how do you influence the other parties’ reputation towards you? There are four direct ways:

  1. Flatter – A compliment here, a compliment there… Just don’t overuse it so that the other party gets tired and will even dislike you more.
  2. Insult – A good way to ruin your reputation. But hey, maybe you want them to declare the war on you, so it might save your standing with other characters who won’t blame you!
  3. Offer a gift – Who doesn’t like money offered for free? Well, some characters in Anno 1800 actually don’t like to be bribed, so you won’t get far with them by using money.
  4. Complete a quest – For some, actions speak louder than words. Finish a quest for them to win their favor. But don’t abandon or fail it! That certainly wouldn’t be please your would-be friend.

Apart from these direct actions, there are also some several passive, let’s say “hidden” actions. That’s also why we are not going to spoil too many examples here…

Artur Gasparov, the visionary architect, will love the effort you put into an impressive museum. On the other hand, his standing to you will sink if you build a lot of factories – pollution is a gross and detestable thing for Artur.

As a visionary architect, Gasparov is not really a fan of your unsightly factories!

Alonso, the war-hungry maniac, will grow to like you more when you start a war with another party. And Beryl O’Mara, the lady of organized crime, will not like it if you declare war on her underling Willie Wibblesock.

“You want to declare war on my dear Willie? NOT WITH ME!” In Anno 1800, different characters have various relationships or even feuds linked to their backstory. 

What kind of diplomat are you in the Anno games? Do you want to be friends and allies with everybody, or with just the ones you like the most? Or are you excited for the challenge of war and want to fight everyone? Tell us in the comments!

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