The latest issue of Game Informer contains a wealth of new information about the upcoming DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. We already knew the title of the content, Dawnguard, and the trailer that showcased some of the new powers and vampiric abilities that will be added.
Rachel wrote a quick overview of the information here, but as GAMElitist’s resident TES fanboy I figured I’d give my opinion on it. Naturally if you want to remain in the dark and unspoiled about the content of the expansion then read no further. Otherwise, carry on and let’s talk shop ’bout some Scrolls.
At the crux of Dawnguard lies the choice offered to players to side with the Vampire lord Harkon or the titular vampire-slaying humans, the Dawnguard. For those who side with Harkon, benefits relating to vampirism are abound. One of the things we know about so far are blood potions that will act as both health potions and serve as a feeding mechanism when there is no fresh blood to be had.
Siding with the Dawnguard affords you some more weapon-based bonuses, most prominently it offers crossbows. Crossbows are going to stay loaded at all times, even when holstered, making them excellent for responding to a sneaky vampire attack.
Personally, I think I am going to side with the Dawnguard. My main character is already a werewolf, which negates the possibility of me becoming a vampire without curing it. I enjoy playing a wolf, it suits my juggernaut approach to combat perfectly.
Crossbows sound excellent for that one straggler who always tries to run away at the end of combat, forcing me to give chase. In the Game Informer article it states that Archery perks will apply to crossbows, which is nice as I do have some points there. I have a suspicion that any points I gain in the new content (which apparently clocks in at 15 hours) will go into the new Werewolf perk tree. We’ve yet to get some solid details on the perks but one of them concerns the summoning of wolf minions. I think we can all agree that is going to be super cool.
Speaking of minions, a new shout is being added called Soul Tear that will allow you to use the soul of a fallen enemy to fight for you in combat. I have yet to collect all the shouts so that adds another one, albeit a very tempting one to acquire. I’m sorry but controlling the weather isn’t really high on my list of priorities of abilities to acquire.
Something that I have wanted for a while however, is being added. Somewhere in Riften’s Ratway, an NPC is being added that will allow us to change our facial appearance. This is something that can already be achieved on PC through the use of the console but using the console for non-emergencies is not something that I like to do. Otherwise I’d become lazy and just add metals to my inventory rather than actually trying to find them, because I totally never did that with Daedra Hearts… *cough*
Mounted combat is also making an appearance in the DLC. This is another ability I have long wished for and is one of the reasons that I rarely actually use horses. When playing on hard mode as I do, riding horses for any great amount of time becomes a tedious task of: go forward, get off, kill wolf, get on ad infinitum. This makes any journey maybe not take longer but feel a lot longer than it is. We’re also getting Dragonbone weapons which are something that I really think should have been in the game in the first place. I mean is there some mystical reason that we can craft both heavy and light Dragonbone armour but not make something long and pointy out of them? However, having maxed my blacksmithing skill I am finding that my fully improved Daedric armour is better than Dragonbone, I hope this is not the case for weapons.
Finally the addition of new homes, I already utilise a ‘Collector’s Vault’ mod from the Steam Workshop to showcase all my hard won loot but it will be nice to finally have a full castle to roam around.
Dawnguard has been given a tentative release date of June 26th for Xbox 360 and will be available on PC and PS3 later this year. Normally I’d get all up in a fuss (ro dah) about such a timed exclusive but thems the brakes. Not much I can do about it really.