- Anno 1800
- Season 4
DevBlog: The “Seasons of Silver” scenario
By order of King João, Third of His Name, His Most Faithful Majesty, Emperor of the Crown Colonies, Appointed by the Grace of God and the Unanimous Acclamation of the People; Granter of Mercies, Upholder of Dignity and Scourge of the Corrupt.
Vasco Oliveira, for your failure to retrieve the Scepter of Capon, you are hereby stripped of your position of Chief Aide to the King.
Certainly, a grim situation to be in for someone who once was one of the highest-ranking subjects of La Corona, here at the beginning of the “Seasons of Silver” scenario: Stripped of his titles, Vasco is banished to a distant group of islands to mine silver for the crown. Success might see him reinstated, but failure…
For a quick summary of the scenario’s content, check out the overview by our Game Designer Dominik:
A hostile world
As a player, this scenario presents you with a desert region, consisting of the main island “Deserto de Prata” and two smaller neighboring islands.
Deserto de Prata has seen previous settlements, previous attempts at mining the valuable silver out of the mountains, but each has been met with failure and ultimately abandoned: The dry, inhospitable land, the burning sun and the little fertile ground making life in this region hard and full of privations.
On your starting island you can still see the ruins of an older settlement and can make use of it to start your own. You will also spot a Hacienda which you can restore for later use.
In regular periods, the hot summer will give way to the monsoon period: A time of relentless rain which comes with its very own challenges. And then there are some optional events you might want to deal with.
But let’s talk a bit about the gameplay and your goals first.
Needs and Irrigation
You’ll have to set up a functioning settlement to provide the workforce for your mining operations. This scenario being set in the New World, you will need to supply Jornaleros and Obreros – but like the Eden Burning scenario, we changed things up a bit:
For example, Jornaleros will demand fresh tortillas and rum before you can upgrade them to Obreros who really love a spicy fish stew. And while you will still need ponchos to fulfill their happiness needs, these are now made from Linen – but Linseed fertility is only available on another island. Early expansion is a must.
A constant limiting factor will be the limited fertile ground: At the beginning, only a small patch of ground on your main island is usable for agriculture, while the two neighboring islands are completely barren. If you have played “Land of Lions”, you will be familiar with the solution to this problem: water canals!
There is a twist, however: Without rivers or lakes on your islands, the only source of water are the monsoon periods. With large water basins you can then gather enough water to create the fertile ground needed for crops like corn, linseed or sugarcane. The number of canal tiles is limited by the amount of water stored in a basin – hot summer months do slowly drain your supply, though.
You will need to set up several of these basins on your islands to gather enough water during the rainy periods. Each will take some time to build – going through two construction phases – before it’s able to collect rainwater.
You might remember Vasco Oliveira from the “Sunken Treasures” DLC. While searching for the Scepter of Capon, just like you, he ultimately decided to concede your victory and handed you the third and last piece – instead of taking all pieces from you by force.
Choosing honor over duty was not appreciated by the royal court of La Corona, however, and that’s where this scenario starts.
When brainstorming ideas for scenarios for Season 4, several points ultimately led to “Seasons of Silver”:
It started with the concept of “let’s do something with harsh weather conditions and meeting production quotas”. So, some early research already went into places with such weather conditions (like El Niño) which led to countries like Bolivia and Peru and ultimately the idea of silver mining.
Vasco, like Isabel in “Eden Burning”, was an established character which we were keen on providing more background story for. On top, at the end of the “Sunken Treasures” campaign he mentions expecting to be punished for his decision – a great opportunity for us to tell the continuation of his story. This could be nicely tied in with the production quota concept mentioned above.
The team also wanted to provide some visual variety with this scenario: After the very green “Eden Burning” and the New World generally being made up of a lot of green foliage, it was time for a change of scenery! Inspired by places like for example the Atacama Desert in Chile or the Potosí mountain range in Bolivia, this scenario shows a different side of the New World.
The weather cycle
The weather is doing more than just filling your water basins, though.
First, you will notice visual changes depending on the season – an element for which we build on a feature we had originally developed for the “Eden Burning” scenario last year.
Second, each season comes with its own gameplay effects. The hot and dry summers might provide a boost to timber production but also impact agriculture, while the monsoon seasons fill water basins and lower the fire chance but also decreases fishery output or even flood your mines.
To keep an eye on the seasons, we added a useful little UI element in the top right: It shows the current season, its duration and any buffs and de-buffs you will have to deal with.
Be prepared for these seasonal changes and plan accordingly.
This becomes especially relevant when we’re now coming back to your overall goals we mentioned at the start: silver mining!
The only way to escape your exile is to fulfill the ever-increasing demands by the crown for silver. Five times Edmundo Vara, the royal Actuary, will arrive to accept the deliveries you need to prepare.
Mining itself is straight-forward at the beginning: All your islands have several valuable silver deposits which require you to build mines. Later, however, you will need to deliver silver bars and ultimately coins, which greatly increases the complexity of the overall production chain. Let’s take a closer look:
The silver ore will need to be refined using Cyanide Leachers. Separately, charcoal is not quite doing the trick, so before you can progress to making silver bars, a Coal Coking Furnace is required. And for the final few deliveries, you will also need caoutchouc to prepare molds for the coins.
To unlock all these buildings, you will need to gradually increase your Obrero population and fulfill their increasing demands.
The challenge of the scenario therefore comes from balancing all these individual aspects:
- Limited fertile ground and the requirement of water basins
- Changing seasons with their very own effects on the gameplay
- An increasingly complex production chain for silver products
- Continuously increasing demands from the crown with tight deadlines
And like the main content of the DLC, “Seasons of Silver” also has its own tutorial pages. Just select any of the new buildings and then click on the “?” button in the object menu.
Missing one of the deadlines is not the end of scenario right away: Each time you are given the option to negotiate with the Actuary for a second chance. It will cost you, though…
Failing the second chance, failing the last delivery or going bankrupt will always lead to failing the whole scenario, however.
As in our first scenario, there’s a bronze, silver and gold medal to obtain, depending on your performance. For bronze, you will have to fulfill all deliveries or their respective renegotiation quests, while Gold will require you to not only NOT use any “second chances” but also end the scenario with a healthy amount of silver in storage.
Each medal will reward you with a unique ship skin based on Vasco’s flagship.
There’s one last question: How do you access the scenario? By clicking on the “Scenario” button in the main menu, you’ll now load a version of the world map with “Seasons of Silver” and the previously released “Eden Burning” scenario to choose from. All future scenarios will also be added there.
Alternatively, you can also access them any time from the world map in your regular sandbox game.
Well, dear Annoholics, this is the “Seasons of Silver” scenario that is arriving next Tuesday (April 12th) for all owners of DLC 10. Alongside the DLC we will release Game Update 14, the full Release Notes for this update will be published tomorrow evening.
Do you have any more questions about the scenario? Post them in the comments or reach out to us on any of our other channels. We can’t wait to hear about your experience with this silvery challenge!
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.