• Union Talk
  • Union Update

Union Talk: Looking back to the Beta

  • 11.02.2019

In October we had our first Union Talk, a video where we talked a bit about the development of Anno 1800. Today, we’ll have a new one ready for you, where Dirk Riegert, Marcel Hatam and Bastian Thun discuss their Closed Beta impressions. Additionally, we’ll give you a look at the things to come this week.

Union Talk – Closed Beta

As usual: Let us know what you think of the Union Talk format and which topics you want to see covered.

[vc_single_image image=”3933″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://smarturl.it/anno1800vinyl”]

Anno 1800 Vinyl Soundtrack
Ubisoft Blue Byte and Black Screen Records are excited to announce the official Soundtrack to Anno 1800™ on audiophile 180g double vinyl in April.
The symphonic soundtrack was composed by an experienced team around Tilman Sillescu (Dynamedion), recorded by a 70-member-ensemble of the Brandenburg State Orchestra and will come in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with original artwork by Karakter Design Studio.

Get a first taste of the soundtrack here.
And if we got your attention, audiophile Anno 1800 fans can pre-order the soundtrack here: https://smarturl.it/anno1800vinyl

Fire and Sickness – City Incidents
The promised City Incidents Blog will come this week. You’ll get to see, what can happen in your city, when you don’t pay attention. And more importantly: What to do when the fire breaks out and how to prepare for some of them.

[vc_single_image image=”3950″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”https://www.twitch.tv/events/xQnkx6qkRcSaksLPwNM-2w”]

Community Corner with Bastian
On Thursday, we invite you to our first Community Corner, a livestream with Community Developer Bastian Thun, where you can ask questions regarding the development of Anno 1800, while he tries to build a city in Anno 1800.

When: Thursday, 14. February, 3:00PM GMT
Where: https://www.twitch.tv/ubisoftbluebyte/

Comments

Leave a Reply

24 Comments
  1. F FerudaFarstaria

    No need to thank us! I very much enjoyed the closed beta! I also submitted plenty of feedback in the comments of a previous union post. Glad to hear that the closed beta was very successful for the Anno Team. I feel that this will be the Anno game of the century for sure! It was a great idea to create the Union. It has proven to be a very helpful resource for the developer team to work with. Now the game will be more polished than ever, and I expect a epic Anno experience when the game lunches. I am very happy to see the success of my favorite game series. It is great to see fellow Annonians butting heads together after all these years! ^.^

    Also I left a question on a previous blog post in the Anno Union for Marcel. Which has not yet been replied to. If Basti can please ensure that Marcel does receive this question bellow, it would help answer a lot of questions for people like me in Canada.

    My question from that previous blog post is written below:

    “I also have a very good question for Marcel. I been curious to know if there is any chance of ANNO 1800 merchandise making it’s way to Canada and the USA. Such as all the pins, shirts, and items for example. I know that some stores like GameStop and EB Games sell merchandise from big game titles. But I never seen any ANNO merchandise. And I been dieing to get my hands on the pins all of them, and shirts. I have a hat that I like to put all the ANNO pins on, and I definitely want the shirts too! I love the Anno Union, the ANNO game series, and I am happy to be a proud member of it! Anno has been a part of my life since my early childhood, and I grew up with the entire series. I been playing the series since it started 20 years ago. And I would love to get my hands on the pins, and shirts. It’s a great treasure, and memory to have after all these years. I even called EB Games today and asked them if they expect any shipments of ANNO 1800 merchandise. But they couldn’t give me any answers yet. So I think this is a very good question to ask Marcel about. To see if there is any chance of this happening. It would for sure sell. There are a lot of ANNO players in Canada that would love to get their hands on the stuff. As well as in the USA. I myself am from Canada. I would love to see ANNO merchandise in stores here. I would definitely go for it. I hope Marcel can give us a definite answer on this, or even consider this. Thank you!”

    •   BB_CR

      Hi there,

      thanks for your question(s)! This is a bit of a tough one to answer at the moment. Currently, there are no plans that I am aware of for merchandise that will be available in North America. There are several reasons for that. One the one hand, Anno has traditionally been a more Euro-centric franchise (making its humble beginnings in Austria and Germany 20 years ago), and is not as widely known in NA as the more local franchises in the strategy genre. The other is of course that Anno is somewhat of a niche franchise, compared to most games that get a ton of merchandise.

      If you look at what is usually offered at shops like EB Games, you will mostly see merchandise for the biggest of multi-platform franchises and competitive games. With Anno being PC-only and in more of a niche genre these days, it is harder to gain interest in merch.

      But, we do hope of course that Anno 1800 will help us to further grow the brand internationally and in North America. So fingers crossed- if the opportunity were to present itself, I am sure we would be delighted to create more Anno 1800 merch in the future!

      Best,
      Marcel

      • F FerudaFarstaria

        Thank you for getting back to me! I really appreciate it! Thank you so much Marcel! No problem. That is understandable. I am aware that Anno is a Euro-centric franchise. It didn’t take me long to figure that out when I played 1602 20 years ago, and then 1503. I know that games from Europe tend to be much more classic than the ones here in North America. But a lot of great, and beautiful games do come from Europe. I am European myself, living in Canada. My family is Polish. My Uncle who still lives in Warsaw got me 1602, and 1503. I managed to find 1701 here in Canada. There was no Uplay or steam back then. Everything was CDs back then, I remember playing it on my old Windows machine at the time, which I still have, and it does still run. So I still have the games, and their saves still from those. But that pc is retired, and I have a new modern gaming rig of today’s times. So I can see how it is not widely known. But I would love it to be! And it can be. Since now with today’s technology, anything is possible. And now we have steam, Uplay, streaming, gaming communities online, discord, twitch, youtube, and now the Anno Union, and much more. There is a way for Anno to be more known out there in the world, especially in North America.

        Well yes the big games here, mostly modern, scifi, fantasy games, and some other big games are more popular here. I myself prefer a good ole Anno match. But there are people here who would be interested. I am sure if the brand where to ever grow to the point where more people where to catch interest in the Anno series. I am sure Anno would grow to the extent where it would also become popular in other countries. Including North America. And the demand for Anno Merchandise would grow then for sure. I personally think that if you guys keep this up, and you make more Anno games like how Anno 1800 is. I don’t have a doubt that Anno will catch the attention of a lot of players. Like Anno 1800 already looks like it is going to be the most successful game of the series, next to the fan favorite Anno 1404. I would very much like to see more Anno games with all these features (like the blue print mode) in more future Anno Titles. Maybe go back to the 1700s and do a Anno 1700? Or Anno 1770? Maybe do a Anno 1440? Now that there is far more advanced technology, better game engines, graphics engines, etc. Why not go back and make more older classic Anno titles that we grew up with, but with all this new technology, game engines, graphics engines, etc? Anno definitely has the potential to grow into something bigger. Like I know there are a lot of people out there that crave city building games. Especially those with what Anno has to offer. I immediately point them to Anno. I have recommended Anno to 100s of people already. A lot of them are very pleased with it. I do hope that Anno will grow to the point where we could end up seeing more merchandise someday. Otherwise I will have to go to Europe to go get it myself. And it definitely would be worth it! I’d travel to the ends of the earth if need be!

        Yes I noticed what merchandise EB Games has to offer. I see a lot of stuff from the biggest game titles. Which I am not a fan of. I often think to myself when I am in there “how would Anno sell here”? But with a lot of gamers going crazy for the huge games out there. I am not sure if they would notice Anno. But I still would love to see Anno thrive into something huge someday. It definitely deserves it. Anno is one of those game series that really pulls me in, and once it does, it becomes a part of me forever. I guess Anno takes a special kind of person to play it, and find it appealing. I don’t know how big the fan base, or player base is for Anno. But I know it is nothing compared to the sheer size of the player base for let’s say Fortnite, or Elder Scrolls. Those games have much more huge fan bases, compared to Anno. So Anno is at a disadvantage there. It does sadden me though. I would love to see Anno be that huge one day. So others can notice the series more, discover it, get the games, and see for themselves what it is, experience it themselves, and maybe even become Annonians themselves. And well yes Anno is a PC game only. I am not sure how it would fair on other platforms. That remains a big fat eater egg mystery for me, and probably for the dev team too. I think though that a lot of Anno players would not agree to seeing the game on other platforms. As it traditionally is a PC only game. But I am sure there are a large amount of players who probably would like to see it on other platforms. Like you guys did a Mobile version of Anno Online for phones, tablets, smart phones, Android, and Apple devices. Why not look into putting Anno into Xbox, Play Station, and other platforms? Expand the game on a broader market? But then that would require the dev team to get Anno to work on those consoles, figure out the controls, and many other technical matters. That will need to be solved for it to work. And of course see what the players think. Oh I know!! Why don’t you do a vote in the Anno Union! Do a pole! See how many players would vote to consider putting Anno on other platforms in the future or not. Now that would be a great idea! Yes! That would be! Very curious to see the results of that pole. But then that may hint players into thinking that Anno is going to be on other platforms then. Which would give the dev team more to deliver before the April deadline, and well that wouldn’t work out too well. Maybe do it as a pole to hear what people think about it for now? Either way it’s still a good idea to think about for sure!

        “But, we do hope of course that Anno 1800 will help us to further grow the brand internationally and in North America. So fingers crossed- if the opportunity were to present itself, I am sure we would be delighted to create more Anno 1800 merch in the future!”

        Honestly Marcel. I think this is very possible to achieve. If you take a look for a moment to see just how big of a success Anno 1800 already is. Like look at how big of a success the Closed Beta was. And keep in mind this is the first time that a Anno game of this magnitude will be presented in the modern world. And by that I mean steam, Uplay, Twitch, Discord, Youtube, etc. With today’s technology news can travel across the world quickly. I am sure that when Anno 1800 launches, it will be a smashing success for sure. And many new players who never even heard of Anno yet, will be drawn to it. They will hear about it, will want to check it out, curious to see what Anno is. And that for the first time ever you the Anno Team managed to pull off such a magnificent feat. Where it is like all the past Classic Anno Games, but with new features of course, and the core game-play has changed, and the added influence system is also a great addition to the game, not to mention the praised blueprint mode, oh and of course the Expeditions too! The expeditions may attract Dungeons & Dragons players, because they also have the same dice system, but it’s 2x 25 sided dice, not 2x 50 sided dice that determine the outcome of an event. I actually had some Dungeons & Dragons players ask me about the expeditions in Anno 1800 actually. They seemed quite interested too! And of course the visuals too. The graphics engine, the graphics quality, the soundscapping, and sound effects of the game’s environment. So many modern technological enhancements have been made to the game that I have no doubt at all that Anno 1800 will be a huge success. Oh and of course (and this is a big one) the game’s soundtrack is just beautiful, and the combat/battle tracks are just amazing. There are so many enhancements to the game, that it makes a huge difference, compared to the previous Anno titles. And if you make more Anno titles in the future like this. I am sure that Anno will become a trending game series. Like I would love to see a Anno 1700 or a Anno 1470 where it’s like Anno 1800, but for those time periods. I really love the new graphics looks in 1800. It looks similar to Anno 1404’s graphics engine, but much more enhanced. And that’s my point. Is that with new technology, comes better enhancements, and you can then create even better (and more beautiful) Anno games then. And I would very strongly support those games if they ever hit development in the future. And I will forever stay as a loyal Anno Fan, Annonian, and player to the Anno series. You guys will never lose me. I want to see Anno thrive, and become something huge. You got my support all the way for that. I can never get enough of my favorite classic game series! Please keep ANNO alive and strong for generations to come!! And may we hope that someday Anno will grow big enough to have merchandise around the world. I wish the Anno Team all the best, for the best success, and continuation of the Anno series!

        Thank you so much again Marcel for getting back to me! I really appreciate the information, and your time! I will be sure to keep an eye on the development process of Anno 1800, and of course future dev blogs in the Anno Union. I will also be sure to give back more feedback if I have any. And ask more good questions if anymore come up, I’m sure more will! And continue to follow the Anno Union! Let’s go ANNO UNION!!!

        Best,
        Feruda

  2. y y018

    great to hear your feedback… now work work work 🙂

  3. c creek1958

    from what i was able to play of the closed beta ,( i was ill at the time and then my computer decided to have a hissy fit) i thoroughly enjoyed it . It certainly didnt take long for the addiction to return so i cant wait for it to be on sale.loved the old style updated, great that the way the buildings rise and the interaction between all and so pleased that the land is all open to begin with. Cheers

  4. R Rastfarian

    I too played the closed beta and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and gave my thoughts in the forums – Grand Hotel Please 🙂
    It is going to be the greatest Anno ever! – (I love 1404!)
    I am so happy to hear about the lack of micro transactions. I am so tired of games companies milking their player base for ever cent. I have stopped playing WoW for exactly this reason and I played for 14 years! – I have played Anno and own all Annos and so love them because you buy the game and that’s it. Well done Ubisoft!
    I also want to praise the Anno community team for the great variety of streams and updates on the title. I am so hyped (and of course bought the Collector’s Edition). I can’t wait till April, but know that you will keep me entertained until then!

  5. a aban298

    Thanks for the update guys, great news re micro transactions, and thank you for all your hard work over the last three years in developing Anno 1800. During the closed beta I was so relieved to see a return to a more authentic combat experience (more like 2070 and earlier). But a little disappointed with the A.i/npc’s; on the hardest game/a.i difficulty settings the npc’s/pirates provide very little challenge. E.g. when they are in a state of war with you, they just don’t attack, or they engage in bizarre/dumb ways. The a.i in general seems too soft/easy. The npc’s/a.i system I think needs some tweaks to make it more active, and actually challenge and engage the player. Looking forward to April 16

    •   Bastian Thun

      Our team is currently working to not only balance the AI but also improve it. We realized that the AI is way to passive, builds not enough defense while also often not reacting smart at all. We will make sure that the AI will not only pick more of a fight with release but also in general react smarter than before.
      One thing to keep in mind: every AI character has a difficulty level. Willy will always be easy while other characters, if you have them in a harder map difficulty or decide to include them in a match via custom map rules, will be way more of a challenge for you.

  6. m mickeykool01

    Is there a YouTube link to this video? I might be a minority here but I want subtitles since I”m deaf.

    •   Bastian Thun

      Hey mickey! Unfortunately not but I have a chat with some members of the community if someone would be willing to upload the EN video on their channel to allow you to enjoy the content.
      In the meantime, here a summary:
      1. The Closed Beta blew us away. The amount of players, excitement and feedback receives was more than we would have ever anticipated and asked for. It was also awesome to see for us that so many players shared their gameplay experience on Twitch and other channels.
      2. We received a HUGE amount of feedback and data and that is incredibly valuable for us. We are right not in the process of working on the first action points to improve balancing of the AI and other aspects of the game while also further work on performance, bugfixing and polishing.
      3. We made an important message: while stated in the past that we have no plans to do so, we said clearly that there won’t be any microtransactions in the game and that we plan to expand the gameplay experience after launch in the more traditional Anno way. In our mind atm are some free updates, smaller content expansions and maybe more 🙂

  7. S Suppe_86

    i bought the game after the beta, beta was super cool, was have not played anno for so long, but after the beta i want more xD

    add a trail version in uplay 😉 let players play for 10-20 hours for free, a lot of them will buy the game after it….

    •   Bastian Thun

      Great to hear that you liked the game so much. There are currently no plans for a trial version but the Open Beta will be the chance for everyone to test the game before it’s out.

  8. M MMateos19

    That is what I want to hear. I will pay every DLCs that the game may have, but please, do not go for micro-transactions. I prefer to spend 30 euros on DLCs rather than micro-transactions.

  9. l luckymichu

    please add clock to the game

    •   Bastian Thun

      I know you are refering to a UI clock but check out the clock on the Kontor 😀

      • l luckymichu

        Thank you for the information 🙂

  10. b banan1996.1996

    Thank you for this video, I especially liked this little teaser about new gameplay elements coming with Anarchist DLC. I thought it would be a very little DLC just with a new NPC. By the way, I am a little confused and I want to be sure: will the Anarchist be a neutral NPC like Archibald Blake or an AI opponent like Gasparov? I thought he was supposed to be an expanding and building cities opponent but the video confused me a bit.

    I think that Union Talk format is good for updates about current state of the game development, announcements and such things. I don’t think it would be good for regular Union Updates or DevBlogs.

    I can’t wait for the DevBlog about city incidents, I hope they will be explained well, during beta some incidents seemed a bit random.

    •   Bastian Thun

      Regular updates would mean regular Union Talks and to be frank, we don’t have the time for that. We always have to balance the amount of work it cost us for content creation and the stuff on our plate when developing the game. As I like to say “here it shows that the Anno Union is a passionate project from the devteam and not just a marketing stunt”.

      The Anarchist will be a full second party character such as Gasparov and more. But we will talk about that in near future 🙂

      • b banan1996.1996

        Thank you for the answer. I’ve always wanted to see so many answers to comments on Anno Union 😀

  11. p palemale53

    I played for about 40 hours. I cannot wait for the next two months to pass.

  12. p palemale53

    I really enjoyed the closed beta test. This is an excellent game. I cannot wait. I really have only one complaint about the experience: after spending a fortune taking over a competitor’s island to have all the buildings taken away. I really think that the amount spent and the risk taken needs a better reward.

    • D DeVeteran

      That IS your reward… space, land, that is at a premium, that you can’t make more of, is finite.

      They said they don’t want to give you the island build from the AI because in some cases the AI might do crazy stuff, or even go in the red, thus if you gain the island, you might be say with a balance of 5000 credits, but suddenly you go -7000.

You may also be interested in