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Tag: DLC

DevBlog: Seat of Power

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

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

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

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

A Seat of Power fit for any industrial ruler

Flexibility both majestic and modular

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

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

Entering the halls of power…

Projecting your power, one buff at a time

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

The departments you can unlock over time

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

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

Start ruling from March 24

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

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

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

Seat of Power (March 24)

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

A majestically illuminated palace at night

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

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

Bright Harvest (Summer 2020)

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

Early technical test of a tractor

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

Land of Lions (2020)

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

Discover the Land of Lions later this year

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

The Season 2 Pass is now available!

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

The Palatial Column and majestic Elephountain

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

The Ploughman’s Glory is a monument to your farming prowess
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The Future of Anno 1800

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

Bring the Holiday Spirit to your cities on December 10

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

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

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

And speaking of which…

There is more Anno 1800 on the way!

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

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

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

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Union Update: Happy Easter

You asked us earlier if we plan to add new things to the game after the big release and last week, we let the cat out of the bag (gentle-cat doesn’t mind) about our season pass and free updates during the post launch of Anno 1800. With our announcement of the season pass, we also recorded a video for all of you where we talk about our plans to expand the world of Anno 1800.

Union Talk
Luckily, Basti was far from alone with our small release celebration on Twitch. Thank you to everyone who joined our rather spontaneous stream, we had a “jolly” good time especially thanks to so many Union members chatting with us during the show.
And when we kicked off the party, we released our third Union Talk video which was, of course, pre-recorded. (Just because some folks in the chat asked us questions).

And in case you missed the whole party stream, you can watch it now here:
Highlight: AnnoCast – LAUNCH PARTY von ubisoftbluebyte auf www.twitch.tv ansehen
Last but not least, let’s talk about your feedback and reports.

Patch incoming after the easter weekend
We are working on a patch update to fix some of the issues you reported to us. The patch will hit next week on April 25 and here are the patchnotes:

ANNO 1800 – Patchnotes (Patch 01, coming 25.04.2019)
Fixed several crashes.
Fixed several Multiplayer Desyncs.
Fixed an issue for the Steam version, that made the games FPS drop significantly.
Fixed a rare issue, getting no further quests, after loading a savegame that has been created while a Newspaper was displayed.

Added some balancing fixes:

  • Diplomacy: Lowered the cooldown of “Flattering” and “Gifting” from 60 mins to 30 mins.
  • Diplomacy: Negotiations in the late game now cost ~70% less.
  • Visitors: Visitors are now more generous (Visitor income increased by 50%).

We will continue to improve the game in the future so keep up the good work and share your feedback in the Ubisoft Anno forum. With that being said, we had an incredibly exciting, successful as well as very busy first launch week. As there are two bank holidays about to come up in Germany, we will recharge our batteries in over the long weekend and will be back in the studio next week Tuesday.

Thanks to all members of the Anno Union for that incredible launch week and keep in mind: leave the PC once in a while to get a coffee or to stretch your legs!

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Announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass and our free content plans

One of the most frequently asked questions over the past weeks and months has been what kind of post-launch content and support players could expect from Anno 1800. Today, we are happy to answer some of those questions, as we announce our Season Pass, which consists of three DLCs (which will also be available separately) that we plan to release throughout 2019. We are also giving you a first glimpse at our free content plans, and detail how you can upgrade your standard edition of the game to the Digital Deluxe Edition to secure the Anarchist character that we will release in the coming months.

The 1800 Season Pass is here

Let’s start with the biggest news: We are announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass, which will give players access to three big content drops that we will be releasing throughout the year.

Our goal with these DLCs is to offer a variety of content that expands on all the new features and systems of Anno 1800. This includes some new additions that the community has been asking for or speculating about. So let us a first teasing look at what to expect when you buy the Season Pass.

DLC 1: Sunken Treasures

Expand your island with a new European session and large continental island, as you join an eccentric inventor and his diving bell on a treasure hunt.

DLC 2: Botanica

Grow your city’s attractiveness to new heights with a modular Botanical Garden, allowing you to earn new items and rewards as you draw the tourist masses to your floral masterpiece. Alternatively, construct the new Musical Pavilion and enjoy beloved tracks from previous Anno games inside your city.

DLC 3: The Passage

The Passage will take you on a new adventure to the Arctic Circle as you explore the legendary Northwest Passage. To succeed in this merciless climate, you will need to construct an arctic outpost and master all-new production chains and goods.

Cosmetic Content (available on Day 1)

Buyers of the Season Pass will also immediately receive three cosmetic customization items that you can use to customize your game profile for multiplayer: the prisoner portrait, and two exclusive company logos (“Promethean Fire” and “Eagle Crest”).

The Anno 1800 Season Pass is now available for digital purchase and is priced at 24,99$/€.

Upgrade your game to Digital Deluxe and secure the upcoming Anarchist character

Another question that has frequently popped up is how players who have bought the standard edition of Anno 1800 could get access to the Anarchist character when it is released. This is now possible, thanks to our Digital Deluxe Edition upgrade, which you can now buy to upgrade your version of the game.

Doing so unlocks fours things for you:

  • Access to the Anarchist character (once he releases in the future)
  • 4 unique company logos you can use to customize your profile (now available)
  • A digital version of our beautiful artbook (now available)
  • A digital selection of music from Anno 1800’s orchestral soundtrack (now available)

Also, to avoid any confusion: The Anarchist is only available as part of the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade and the Pioneers Edition. It is not part of the Season Pass (see above for details on what is included in the Season Pass).

So, who is the Anarchist, exactly?

“A self-proclaimed anarchist, Dr. Mercier has created a radical new society free of the state. Formerly champion of a union of student dentists, Mercier was asked by the Queen to use his popular appeal to pacify increasing threats of revolution in her territories. Instead Mercier sided with the protesters, declaring the people’s complete independence from crown authority.”

In game terms, the Anarchist is a new NPC opponent you can select to play against, including his own unique set of quests and rewards for the player to tackle. And while we don’t want to spoil too much, we can safely say that he will bring a very flavorful and unique playstyle to the game, with his own set of behavioral rules that mirror his views on politics and society.

Consider yourselves warned…

Did someone say Free Content?

As you can see from the above, we do have some big plans to support Anno 1800 and to make sure it stays exciting and fresh for our Annoholics. To this end, we are also planning to deliver regular Game Updates that will be free for all players of Anno 1800. Those will not only include bug fixes and ongoing balancing, but will also include all-new game content- some of which is a direct result of your feedback here on the Anno Union. So let’s see what’s in store (Note: We can’t promise any dates when this content will hit, so the below order does not necessarily reflect how it will be released).

Statistics Building

One request we have seen from many of the more experienced Anno players that love to go all in on the min-maxing is to have more information about their production chains and their output available. To provide you this information, we will be introducing a new statistics building in the future.

Co-Op Mode

You asked for it, and we listened: Anno 1800 will receive a free co-op mode in a future update, allowing you to team up with your friends to take shared control of a single empire as it evolves throughout the industrial revolution

Community Challenges

We will be giving the Anno Community regular challenges that will require all of you to come together to reach a shared goal. Doing so will unlock new cosmetic customization options like company icons or even skins for all participants. Go Anno union!

And that’s it for today! We know that you are all busy enjoying Anno 1800 as it currently stands, but we hope you enjoyed this first glimpse of what we have planned for you in the future.

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