• Anno 1800
  • DevBlog
  • Season 4

DevBlog: “Empire of the Skies” DLC

  • 30.08.2022

Today I saw a most remarkable thing. We gathered, the whole town, filled with anticipation. A breathless silence settled on us, broken only by the clicking of pocket-watches repeatedly checked.

And then, rising beyond the distant mountains, silhouetted against the morning sun, it came: immense and majestic; thunderous and forbidding. A titan of the sky, its lungs enclosed by ribs of metal. I must say, I had the impression more of some noble antediluvian beast, grazing the sky, than of a man-made craft.

I sense a new age dawning, the possibilities stretching as far as the limitless horizon. Untethered from the capricious sea, we can accomplish vast voyages in record time; melt away the distances between nations. But fear grows in me, too; visions of what violence we might wreak on one another, of these vessels we worked so hard to launch into the sky falling to earth once more, screaming plumes of gas bleeding from their ruptured sides.

A new age, indeed. To stand on the threshold between epochs… It is a vertiginous sensation.

Hello Anno Community,

Welcome to our second DevBlog dedicated to DLC 11, “Empire of the Skies”! Previously, we (hopefully) delighted our players and readers with a DevBlog dedicated to Airships, heart and soul of this DLC. Today, instead, we will focus on the whole content and mechanics of the DLC.

Come on aboard, fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the flight: we will be cruising through game mechanics, dev insights and more!

A quick recap on Airships

As mentioned in our Airships DevBlog, with DLC 11 you will have access to two types of Airships: Rapid Airships if you prefer speed over cargo space, and Cargo Airships if you need more space to transport your goods. Airships present different capabilities and features: from transporting goods on your designed trade routes, to worker commuting and drop actions on islands. The first step of your journey into the sky starts with building a Hangar on your island: that is where your airships will be constructed. The Hangar is a monument that needs to be built in 4 phases, each one requiring various materials and quite a bit of workforce – so you will need to be prepared!

New Production chains

Two new elements will be essential for the construction of your airships: aluminium and helium. Of course, this implicates the need for two new production chains.

The new airships are surprisingly lightweight thanks to the aluminium frames that help maintain their structure. Not only is aluminium used in airship constructions, but also for many of the buildings used by airships. Two elements will be required to start your aluminium production: coal and bauxite, with the latter only available in the New World.

These Airships also require a new type of gas, helium, another element that can only be found in the New World, where numerous helium-rich gas pockets have been discovered. The production chain for helium is a bit more complex than the aluminium one. The Helium Extractor, unlike other mines, needs input goods to function and start extracting the gas. The first is lubricant, produced by the Palm Oil Press, which uses two input goods, fish oil and saltpetre, in addition to needing space to plant palm trees. We know you like a good challenge, so you will need to set a trade route to get that precious saltpetre, as the saltpetre works is only available in the Old World. Together with the lubricant, add some clay, and the helium extractor is ready to begin its work!

Pssst! Would you like to increase the output of your mines? We have got the perfect item for you: Mad Mary, Dynamite Enthusiast. With this item, mines will process dynamite instead of mineral resources – while costly (and quite risky, too), it will greatly increase their output.

Disclaimer: we take no responsibility for any kind of explosion in your cities, you have been warned!

We have got more Items for you, of course. Like the Arctic Gas Expert: This item can be researched or bought from the local trader, and it allows you to use Industrial Lubricant in Arctic Gold Mines in order to produce more Gas. However, keep in mind that this means you will have to transport Industrial Lubricant to the Arctic region!

Airship Platforms

Once you have built your first airship, it is time to build an Airship Platform to maximise the airships’ potential – plus, this way, you will always know where you parked! You can build only one platform per island which can then be expanded with various modules to unlock unique features and capabilities on your island. Platforms can only be built in the New World and the Old World.

There are in total 3 modules that can be built from the Airship Platform menu.

Item Transfer

It allows you to quickly transport items between different islands and sessions. Once the Item Transfer module is built, you will be able to drop any item in an empty slot. The dropped item will then be available after a cooldown on any other island that has an Airship Platform with an Item Transfer module built – however, be aware that the cooldown varies based on the rarity of the item you are dropping. The more Item Transfer modules you build, the more your global storage capacity will increase. Each module you build will supply two additional slots, up to 24 in total.

Airmail Module

This module represents the main mail sorting centre present on your island. It allows you to send and receive mail through airship and their routes. Mail is produced passively by your residents and collected by Post Offices and Post Boxes. Once collected, the mail will be then distributed via airship to other islands and regions. But let us stop here for now, more on Mail and Air Mail Routes later in the blog, just be patient!

Airship Commuter

Shared workforce, anyone? Just like the Commuter Pier, it will allow workforce to commute between islands on which you have built an Airship Platform with an Airship Commuter module.

 

Based on what your airships are transporting, they will direct themselves to an Airship Platform or other trading spots. When it comes to Mail, airships will unload their precious epistolary cargo on Airship Platforms only, whilst when it comes to other goods, they will approach Airship Platforms, Piers, Trading Posts, etc.

Paloma Valente

With “Empire of the Skies” we’re introducing a new character to help you with the onboarding.

Meet Paloma Valente: aviator, inventor, dreamer. She’s harnessed two valuable new discoveries, aluminium and helium, to create a new type of lighter-than-air vehicle: the rigid airship. The aluminium provides the material for a lightweight metal frame, while helium offers a stable, non-flammable lift gas. After all, the Age of Airships might never catch on if people associate them with deadly fireballs…

For Paloma, this isn’t just a matter of technological innovation: she dreams of an interconnected world, where violent seas are no barrier to communication; where travel is fast and glamorous and invigorating; where one’s prospects are untethered from the place of one’s birth. Embodying the confidence and the zest of an emerging modern world, Paloma hopes that you’ll help her make her mark on history.

You’ve got mail!

One of the most interesting aspects of “Empire of the Skies” is the Mail System. Nowadays, we live in a hyperconnected world, where everything and everyone is just one click away. However, nothing beats the joy and charm of receiving a handwritten letter from an old friend living on the other side of the world, doesn’t it? An envelope carefully sealed, with stamps methodically placed on the back, or a care package full of our favourite treats thoughtfully picked and placed together…

Mail is a Lifestyle Need for your Residents, and it provides additional income and resident influx. In total, there are three tiers of mail:

  • Local Mail – distributed locally on the same island
  • Regional Mail – distributed between islands within the same region/session
  • Overseas Mail – distributed between different regions/sessions

A quick guide on Lifestyle Needs

With “Empire of the Skies” we are introducing Lifestyle Needs, additional goods and resources that can be provided to your residents. They act like normal needs but are completely optional. If fulfilled, Lifestyle Needs will grant bonuses and extra residents. Furthermore, they are purely beneficial and do not increase the consumption of your residents’ base needs. Once unlocked, Lifestyle Needs are deactivated by default: therefore, you will need to manually activate them in the designated Lifestyle Needs Tab in the Residence menu.


“After all these Seasons, we created several new goods spread across multiple new regions, and apart from recipes in restaurants and patents in malls, cross DLC content was still low. With lifestyle needs, we get an opportunity to link the populations of all regions closer together, also with content being released later.”

– Dominik, Game Designer

As mentioned before, Mail is passively produced by your residents and then collected by Post Offices and Post Boxes. Both buildings have a radius, therefore you should place them strategically in your residential districts: the more Residents in the range, the more Local Mail will be gathered. While the Post Boxes are easier to place as they take very little space (only one tile), their range is also smaller than the Post Office. Another thing to keep in mind is that radiuses cannot overlap between each other: time to use those Tetris skills!

As the name suggest, only Local Mail will be consumed by your Residents on a specific island, while to obtain Regional and Overseas Mail, you will need to transport Mail via the Airmail Module and, therefore, Airships. In terms of numbers and percentages, about half of the Local Mail produced by your Residents will be needed to fulfil their Lifestyle need for local mail. This means that the remaining will be used to produce Regional and Overseas Mail.

Once you start producing enough Local Mail to get to second and third Mail tier, the next step is to transport it to other islands: this can be considered as the next step in the “production chain” of Regional and Overseas Mail. This distribution will start once you set a Trade Route through the Airmail Module. Once the Mail reaches its destination, it will convert to Regional Mail when reaching another island within the same session, or Overseas Mail when reaching another island in another session (except for Old World – Cape Trelawney, sending mail between them will only count as Regional Mail). We called this conversion process Route Alchemy. This does change a few things to how you are used to trade routes to work. First, mail will always be completely unloaded at target, it will not be unloaded in steps. If you cancel a trade route or throw the mail overboard, the mail will be unloaded and lost.

What about the Arctic, you might ask. Well, while the Arctic platform on the plateaus follows the same rules as when it was introduced back in 2019 with “The Passage” DLC, a special stand-alone mail module has been added for them with “Empires of the Skies”. For the regular islands in the Arctic, a modified Airship Platform has been added that also has this one module.

In short: You will still need to have a platform and a module on any Arctic island or plateau that you want to connect to your mail system. The existing Post Offices will now handle two tasks: Fulfilling the regular need of the Technicians and collecting as well as distributing mail in the context of DLC 11’s mail feature.

New World & Arctic Reports

If you have the Land of Lions DLC, you will have access to a fourth type of Mail called New World Reports. These can be generated by a new Specialist, the New World Science Reporter, that can be hired at the Research Institute. To gather these reports, you will need to equip the New World Science Reporter in a Town Hall placed in the radius of a Post Office. Reports can be then provided to Scholars, who will use them to boost their Research.

For The Passage DLC and the Arctic Reports, the process is quite similar: in this case, you will need to equip the Arctic Science Reporter in an Arctic Lodge with a Post Office in its radius.

Drop Goods

Air-Drops are another important feature of the new Airships, allowing you to drop different goods on your islands, based on your needs. To produce them, you will need a Drop Goods Factory where you can choose your preferred good from the recipe list. Once produced, you can load the goods onto your airship.

There are 5 distinct types of drops available: pamphlets, care packages, bombs, sea mines and water. For each drop production, the Factory will require specific input goods but will use the same amount of workforce and have the same maintenance costs for each.

Pamphlet Printer

By dropping pamphlets on your opponents’ islands, you will create unrest, affecting residences and production by distracting your opponents’ population with propaganda.

Care Package Factory

An effective way to boost your own, your allies’ or neutral factions’ production and happiness! After all, who does not like a thoughtful care package dropping from the sky?

Water Drop Factory

When fires are too extended and firefighters are struggling to keep a fire under control, you will be able to take out fires with water drops from your airships.

Bomb Factory

As you have learned from our previous DevBlog, airships can now be armed with bombs and attack your opponents’ harbours and fleets.

Sea Mine Factory

An interesting way to sabotage your opponents’ trade routes and fleets would be dropping sea mines in the open sea.

With “Empire of the Skies”, the AI will have access to the same Airship technology and if they can access Gas and Bauxite, they will be able to build their own fleet.


“The way they use Airships is up to the individual character: some will see value in spreading propaganda, others will support their friends and allies, Da Silva might try to end you…”

-Dominik, Game Designer

Ornaments

Let’s not forget the most important part for the beauty-builders out there: ornaments! In total, there will be 8 brand new ornaments that will go perfectly with the whole DLC 11 theme. They will help you create the perfect atmosphere around your landing platforms and, of course, make your people feel comfortable and ready for their flights: a nice refreshing drink from the Airport Café, café tables to sit in the shadow, an airport clock to make sure not to miss their flight and much more!

Struggling with the Mail System, Airship Platform modules or Drop Goods? Do not worry, we have the perfect solution for you. Just like other DLCs, you can access an in-game Tutorial Menu by clicking the “?” symbol in the top left corner of the object menu you want to know more about: here you will find an overview of all the new mechanics and features.

Free Game Update: Military Changes

DLC 11 will also come with a free update, available for all the Anno 1800 players. We mentioned some of the changes already, like the resizing of the Passage Airships, for example, or the Lifestyle Needs and several new items. Alongside of those changes, there will be some free military improvements: for example, new weapons will be available for your harbours, such as an anti-armour gun or a flame tower. Following this, we did some changes to the different damage types, which means that based on the weapons you will build, there will also be distinct types of damage – e.g., wooden ships will take more damage from fire attacks from the flamer tower.

The full list of changes will as usual be shared close to the Game Update’s release – so watch this space to know more!

 

This brings us to the end of today’s DevBlog, Annoholics. We explored quite a few topics and had a taste of what awaits you in “Empire of the Skies” on September 20th. We hope you enjoyed the read and are ready for the next one, as soon we will share our third and last DevBlog dedicated to DLC 11: the “Clash of Couriers” Scenario DevBlog!

As usual, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, and our official Forums.

Until next time, happy city-building!

 

Development of Anno 1800 – Season 4 is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action within the framework of computer games funding.

Comments

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35 Comments
  1. a awehunter

    Will we be able to update current save files to use the new DLC? It’d be nice to get a new save file going ahead of time, but I’m worried that since new resource spawns are different it’ll be broken. I know DLCs in the past have had compatibility.

    •   Ubi-Thorlof

      Exactly, and this will continue. You can continue any of your existing savegames with DLC 11 🙂

  2. m medm24

    is developing a hydroelectric dam on crownfalls good idea to you guys? theres a waterfall there like one of the Scenarios.

  3. m mfuegar2018

    Are you planning, in the future, to make a DLC of the Asian continent inspired by China or Japan?

  4. M Mohammad_ford

    hi I have a idea about season 5.
    How can I explain? Where should I explain? Maybe you liked it

  5. E Enerjak

    Absolutely in love with the small addition of mail. Yet you all made it more intricate and satisfying! Thank you so much! Cannot wait for this DLC!!!!

  6. S SerikaG

    Platforms can only be built in new&old world, but to connect to the maill system, arctic and enbesa(or not with enbesa?) will get a special platforms and modules? I don’t really got this, does it means enbesa and arctic will also get platforms which is similar to normal platforms except it doesnt have some abilities, and modules like Airship Commuter and Item Transfer could still use in these two region? It will be really helpful if we could get a Commuter in these two region, especially with so many new needs from enbessa and arctics 🙂
    Another question is about the new world report. Quotation from the articles: “Reports can be then provided to Scholars, who will use them to boost their Research.” Does the “boost” means an extra research points cap, or just boost the gain speed of research point, or both since satisfying the lifestyle need will give extra populations?To be personal i would like to have extra caps since i already have bunch of scholars.Besides, the arctics already have a post office as the technicians common service building and the slots in arctic is a rare resources. I dont think taking a slot will be a good choice but if you have to do this i will accept.
    At the end i have to say this DLC look very great so far, i’m more excited then seeds of change and cant wait to see next chapter of this seasons.Well done!
    By the way, with these new life style need, any thoughts of adding DLC regions into the game itself? Like you can give access to new regions and its residents, but lock the ultimate rewards like gas&scholars, story lines, NPCs and traders.It will be really cool if we can get a true multi-regions production chain in anno1800.:P

    •   Ubi-Thorlof

      Hey Serika, to clarify:
      – in the Arctic we incorporated the existing platform to now also function with the mail system, Enbesa is not incorporated into the mail system
      – Right now, there are no plans to add a commuter pier to the Arctic or Enbesa. We can consider this part of the challenge 🙂
      – It increases the research points you gain, but not the cap. Since they also increase the number of scholars per house (like all lifestyle needs), and the number of scholars is tied to the overall cap, it ultimately also helps you increasing the cap without having to build more residences.
      – Right now, the DLC regions will remain DLC-exclusive content. But I know what you mean, we could create more interconnected content this way.

      • S SerikaG

        Thank you Thorlof! Honestly at the first glance i thought this DLC will only be another production-boost DLC like the past seasons.With new platforms and new mail system, i have to say you guys are outdone yourself.Anno 1800 has become the greatest game in anno series, and I believe it can go even further

  7. V Via4Uplay

    Said mails? I never seen any city/colony/strategy game that has such a communication model in mechanics. It’s at best “people talking with each other will get happiness”. Of course one in Anno 1800 seems to be abstracted pretty much but still a great attempt. I love how you guys sometimes try a new thing, keeping tradition.

    In the future, events about mails like correspondence chess, mail robbery, a Conan Doyle-ish mysterious letter etc could be cool.

  8. J JediiPL

    Witam na wstępie informuje że nie znam dobrze Angielskiego więc pisze po Polsku i tłumacze na Angielski przez tłumacza Google. Więc mam nadzieje że to co pisze będzie zrozumiałe.
    Bardzo fajnie zapowiadają się te nowe rzeczy ale mam pytanie czy możecie poprawić obsługę statków w porcie i na szlakach czyli chodzi mi oto. Byście dodali do wyznaczania tras polecenie do którego dokładnie pirsu lub portu dany statek ma przypłynąć (na danej wyspie) bo aktualnie statki z tego co zauważyłem wybierają najbliższy. (chyba że jest ta opcja już a ja jej nie zauważyłem). Podam przykład.
    Mam wyspę w górnym rogu mapy mającą trzy nabrzeża na jednym port naftowy, na drugim same pirsy i pierwszym doki. Niestety aktualnie statki zawsze płynom do dolnego nabrzeża a górne omijają przez co ciągle tworzą się kolejki a drug strona wyspy nie obsługuje statków. Więc proszę jak jest to możliwe byśmy mogli otrzymać możliwość wyznaczania do której strony nabrzeża załadunkowego ma dany statek płynąć. Pozdrawiam wszystkich i czekam z niecierpliwością na aktualizację.

    Hello, I would like to inform you at the beginning that I don’t know English well, so I write in Polish and translate into English by Google translator. So I hope what he writes will be understandable.
    These new things promise to be very nice, but I have a question if you can improve the handling of ships in the port and on the routes, which is what I mean. That you would add to the route mapping an instruction to which pier or port a given ship is to arrive (on a given island) because currently ships choose the closest one from what I have noticed. (unless there is this option already and I didn’t notice it). Let me give you an example.
    I have an island in the top corner of the map with three wharves on one oil port, the other only piers, and the first docks. Unfortunately, currently ships always carry fluids to the lower quay and avoid the upper quays, which means that queues are constantly formed and the other side of the island does not support ships. So please, how is it possible so that we can be given the opportunity to designate to which side of the loading berth a given vessel is to go. Best regards to everyone and I look forward to the update.

    • t tetrarch-u4

      Google translation is really weird, but it seems you simple have your loading piers on a useless side of island. The simplest solution in your situation is to destroy your island (I know, it’s painful) and to found it again on a proper side. Then place all loading piers (with Docklands or without) on the same side, on put the rest of harbor stuff (oil, warehouses etc.) on the other side. Hope it helps

    • S SerikaG

      Actually if you have the land of lions DLC, you can use one of Research Institute’s Major Discovery, i forget whats its name but you can upgrade your normal port, which will make it load&unload quicker and have an slot where you can assign one material.Once you assign a special material, all the routes contain this material will only trade in this port (i didnt test will docklands’ captain follow this rule since i rarely build port away from dock).Another tips is upgrade the port you didnt want the route ship use, and assign it with a material which you never used in route trade.You can still use this port by yourself and no route trade ship will use this port.

    •   Ubi-Thorlof

      Hey JediiPL, thank you for your feedback and suggestion for the ship behaviour.
      Right now, there are no plans to add such a specific feature, but we’ll keep it in mind for the future, as I agree that more control can be useful indeed.

  9. M MrDragonfyr

    Looks good. Can’t wait to play it 🙂

  10. k kkosik1983

    Hi guys,

    it looks as amazing DLC what is going to come – many thanks for your good work!

    However, I have several questions:

    1) Quotation from above: “…airships can now be armed with bombs and attack your opponents’ harbours and fleets.”
    Question: Does it mean that fleets can be target of bombing too? I got the opinion from the DevStream it is not planned and sea mines are the only option how to damage fleets…

    2) Will sea mines produced by the factory same as these produced by the Old Nate, or should we expect any differences (except the fact they will be dropped from the airships :o))?

    3) Will airships be able to drop mines from Old Nate too?

    Many thanks in advance for your kind response!

    • H Humility925

      Maybe flawed early thinking airship don’t used that much or useless, if they unable to damage fleet, but time would tell how it going. It’s make sense airship should able to do, but how efficient is it? I guess we wait and see.

    •   Ubi-Thorlof

      Hey kkosik, to answer your questions:

      1) Sea mines will be more effective, but you can drop bombs over the water and hit enemy ships with it.

      2) They’re basically the same, yes.

      3) The mines to be dropped from airships are a special new good, while Nate’s mines are items. The item-mines can only be used from regular ships.

      • k kkosik1983

        Thank you, Thorlof. Well done and I am impatiently looking forward to playing the Empire of the Skies!

  11. t tetrarch-u4

    Watched your DevStream @ThorlofLeifsson. (Just a quick remark) I hope will it be the ability to change the type of ore (from gold to aluminum and back) via Research Institute, same as in Old World – in case if default location will be not suitable?

    • f fordfan_2015

      I hope that too, but im worried it will not because these are a kind of special mines?

      • t tetrarch-u4

        What is the specialty? I hope it is the same resource as copper, or iron, or even gold. All of them are metals. I mean that if we change copper metal to iron metal, then why we shouldn’t change gold metal to aluminum metal? The rule is simple: you can change any source to another one of same type, presented in the same region. That’s why we can’t change for example oil to gas – because they are not available in the same region. But while both bauxite/gold available – so what’s the deal with switching? 🙂 Hope the developers will hear us

        • t tetrarch-u4

          Anyway, even if it is not implemented yet – there’s a time to make it. 20 days is pretty enough 🙂

        • H Humility925

          I was worry about space and influence and this limited number of mine, there is some people always want more mine, but not enough due high population.

          • t tetrarch-u4

            No way to worry about any type of ore except of aluminum – just to import them via Docklands DLC. Aluminum is quite unique for now, because it can not be imported. But the good news is you probably won’t need it a lot – just once to make a commuter piers and airships

          • S SerikaG

            Actually, for now aluminum are only use in empire of the skys consturction and we all know what will happened to building materials once we complete the related construction, like the mud bricks in enbesa…

    • P Pinepyi

      I really hope they enable the ability to change mines in the New World now- yeah! Tt’d be shame if that got forgotten for release.

      As always, lovely dev blog and much respect to the Anno team <3

      • t tetrarch-u4

        So, it is not the simple question – it is a kind of hint to devs, while it is still not late 🙂

    •   Ubi-Thorlof

      That’s currently not possible, but a valid question. We’ll discuss this internally and see if it makes sense to add it later.

  12. M Misiek_1991

    Why there is no mail / workforce transfer in Enbesa? 🙁

    • M MrDragonfyr

      You can achieve this with mods.

    • t tetrarch-u4

      I think the answer is simple: if it wasn’t told about something in the presentation, then it will just not be something

  13. H Humility925

    Cool and Awsome, but I was worried that it’s take more space on island and cost more influence to set up along all other dlc on already tight island. I guess we are wait and see.

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