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Tag: open beta

Union Update: A Contest, and lots of videos

Today we are short on text, but have lots of videos to entertain you in-between those lengthy Open Beta sessions this weekend. But first- your chance to win something!

Show us your love for Anno and win a vinyl soundtrack
As announced during yesterday’s AnnoCast twitch stream, we are giving away one of the limited Anno 1800 Vinyl Soundtracks from our friends at Blackscreen Records (which we will happily sign if requested by the winner). We also have one runner-up prize, which is a signed Anno 1800 t-shirt. To claim this piece of Anno history for yourself, you have to get creative, and perhaps even a bit crazy. In short: We want you to show us your love for the Anno series. The more inventive, the better! Whether you create a music video or record an audio play, we want to see you express your creativity as it relates to Anno.

Show us your creations in this forum thread here, and make sure to use the hastag #Annophony if you want to share them with the world on twitter. You can submit your content until 11:59pm UTC on Friday April 26.

Enjoy our Accolades trailer
With only 4 more days to go until the big day, we have released a new trailer for you all to enjoy, including some of the accolades Anno 1800 has received from press so far.

 

Anno 1800 Influencer Challenge
Our colleagues at Ubisoft US have challenged four popular strategy gaming influencers to see which one of them would make the best 19th century island governor.

For challenge number one, they had to compete to see who could reach 5.000 citizens first. Fair to say that their the approaches (and ethical standards of living) they settled on to reach this goal differed a lot between our contestants…


Alex the Rambler

Blitz

Draegast

Drew Durnil

We hope that our contestants provided you with some inspirations for our own Anno 1800 adventures! Check back next week for part two of the challenge, as they race to be the first player to reach the New World!

Reminder: Play the Open Beta to claim your ornament

Don’t forget to play the Anno 1800 Open beta this weekend to claim your chess table ornament for the full version. The Open Beta is available to everyone via Uplay and the Epic Games store.

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Union Update: Your questions about the launch answered (Updated)

After rubbing our eyes in disbelief when looking at the calendar, we have to face the facts- Anno 1800 is only six days away from launching the franchise into the age of the industrial evolution!

In last week’s update, we extensively covered the topic of our Open Beta (reminder: everyone can participate via Uplay and Epic Games store between April 12-14 to earn a fancy Open Beta ornament for their city’s parks). This week, we turn our attention to answering many of your burning questions surrounding the game’s launch (such as pre-loading, day 1 patch, when the game goes live etc.). We also have some live streams to announce, and encourage you all to take another look at our beautiful open beta trailer. So let’s get started!

Let’s talk about launch

Pre-Loading:
Pre-Loading for anyone with a digital pre-order on Uplay, Steam or the Epic Games Store will begin on April 12 at 3pm UTC . The total download size will be around 25 GB. Update: Pre-loading will start on April 11 at 3pm UTC, and not 9am as had been previously communicated. We apologize for this change.

Day 1 Patch:
We have been busy bees and worked hard to further improve Anno 1800 after we shipped the gold discs off to the factory to produce all the physical copies of the game. That means that anyone who bought a physical copy of the game will need to download our Day 1 Patch before they can start playing (the patch is already part of the pre-load for digital buyers). The Day 1 Patch will come in at roughly 23GB.

Launch timing:
We are currently ironing out the last details and will give you an update on the exact launch timing as soon as possible.

Removing Beta clients
As previously announced, you won’t be able to carry over existing downloads or save games from any of our test phases (Technical Test, Closed Beta or Open Beta), so feel free to delete them to free up space.

Open Beta trailer
This should give you answers to the most pressing questions regarding the launch. But before you have to worry about that, there’s out Open Beta coming this week! And what better way to get into the Anno mood than with another look at our Open Beta trailer?

This week’s live streaming
With only one more week to go, we will of course have some more streams for you all to enjoy as we count down the last final days until Open Beta and launch.

The entertainment already starts tonight, as we have granted select influencers and media early access to the Open Beta, which they are free to stream as they see fit. You can keep an eye on all available streams here: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Anno%201800

Then we have our latest AnnoCast on Thursday at 3.30 pm UTC. Join us one last time (before launch) as we play the game and answer your questions. Plus, there are rumors that our Pioneers Edition and the limited edition vinyl soundtrack will drop in for a live unboxing…

Friday afternoon while have another Anno Afternoon with Guddy and John continuing their Anno 1800 adventures. Join them for a relaxed fun time at 3pm UTC. Hey, with your help, there is a high chance that they manage to push forward into the fourth residential tier!

As always, you can watch out live-streams on our official Ubisoft Blue Byte channel: twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

That’s it for this (very busy, and filled to the brims with Anno-goodness) week. See you in the Open Beta!

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Union Update: Open Beta details and system specs! (Updated)

In today’s update, we detail everything you need to know about our upcoming Open Beta and reveal the much-requested final system requirements for Anno 1800!

Let’s talk Open Beta
The Open Beta is the perfect opportunity for you to test the game prior to its launch. Starting on April 12 and running until April 14, it will give everyone in the community a final chance to test Anno 1800 prior to its release on April 16.

Open Beta Game Content
You will be able to test a near-final version of the game and see the improvements since our Closed Beta for yourself, including access to the Multiplayer mode. Moreover, while game progression will again be capped at tier 3, we will for the first time invite you all to get your hands on Anno 1800’s story-based campaign, as the complete first Act will be part of the Open Beta.

There’s no NDA, so stream away
With this being an Open Beta, there won’t be a NDA. Therefore, you are not only allowed, but also in fact highly encouraged to share your experiences and to create content, whether it is streaming, videos or resource calculators!

If you’re on Social Media, make sure to use the Hashtags #Anno1800, #AnnoUnion und #Anno1800OB and tag our channel @Anno_EN. That way we can share all your great creations with the rest of the Annoholics community.

Supported languages
We are also happy that the Open Beta will for the first time give Union members a chance to experience the game in all supported languages! As with the full game, the Open Beta will be localized in all of these languages:

Fully localized Text and Audio:
English / German / French / Russian

Fully localized Text:
Italian / Spanish / Japanese / Korean / Polish / Chinese (traditional and simplified)

Save games will not carry over into the full game
Your Open Beta save games won’t carry over into the final version of Anno 1800, so you are free to go absolutely crazy and try wild things without having to worry about long-term repercussions. You also won’t be able to update the Open Beta to the full release version, so feel free to delete the Open Beta as soon as it sends to save space on your hard disk.

We always try to give you some context and explanations for your decisions- so why can’t your save games be carried over? One key reason is the way our AI works in the game. As the Open Beta content is limited to the first three (out of five in the full game) citizen tiers, the AI will of course also be blocked from progressing any further (as to not have an unfair advantage compared to human players). This could lead to issues with the AI if you were to carry your save game over into the full game, where they would suddenly have access to tiers 4 and 5 again. Our top priority is to ensure that you will have the best possible experience playing Anno 1800 on April 16, so to avoid any issues with such scenarios, we decided against carrying over save games. Rest assured that this issue won’t appear in the full version, where there are of course no limitations on the available content (for either AI or human players).

Is there a reward for participating in the Open Beta?
We are glad you asked- yes there is! Participants in our Open Beta will be able to earn the exclusive “Chess Table” decoration, which can be claimed from the Ubisoft Club after launch! All you need to do to earn it is to play at any time during the Open Beta period.
How to play the Open Beta?
Anno 1800’s Open Beta will be available and open to everyone via Uplay or the Epic Games Launcher. You won’t have to register at the Anno Union and can just download the game as soon as the pre-load becomes available from your launcher.

We prepared a chart for you with the release timing of the Open Beta. To make sure you are ready the moment the Open Beta begins, we will also offer pre-loading starting from April 10.

Updated: Always-Online for the Open Beta

We also want to give you a heads-up that the Open Beta will require a constant internet connection to play. Please note that this is not the case with the main game, as you will be able to fully enjoy Anno 1800’s singleplayer modes while being offline! 

The final system specs are here
After spending some additional development time optimizing the game performance following our Closed Beta, we are happy to finally announce the official system requirements of Anno 1800. We tried to break them down into some of the most common settings scenarios to give you a better idea of what to expect.

We have also been hard at work with our friends at Intel to optimize the game for integrated GPUs, and are happy to be able to include some of Intel’s iGPUs in our system requirements matrix (a first for the Anno series!). We hope that this will allow an even wider group of players to explore the industrial revolution with us.
We will stream our panel at this year’s EGX Rezzed live from London
Anno 1800 will be playable at EGX Rezzed 2019. This year’s event, taking place at London’s Tobacco Dock on April 4-6, is an opportunity for you to lead the industrial revolution and try out new gameplay. Also, join Bastian Thun, Anno Community Developer, on the Developer Stage on Thursday 4pm GMT+1 as he provides an insightful commentary into the world of Anno 1800.
You can also head over to their Develop session page to find out more details.

Keep an eye on the Anno Union as we will share the live stream on our website this Thursday at 4pm CET.

Next AnnoAfternoon: Lead the industrial revolution together
Following the stream from EGX on Friday, we will have a new episode of our AnnoAfternoon community show where Guddy and John need your help to steer their empire successfully through the industrial revolution. As always in our community livestreams, you can have an impact on the way we play while meeting other Anno crazy strategy game aficionados.

AnnoAfternoon: Revolutionize together
4pm GMT +1 Live on twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte

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Union Update: Closed Beta and a special Announcement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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