Skyrim's DLC Dawnguard Is Right Around the Corner
What It's All About
The expansion packs that have been released by Bethesda for each Elder Scrolls game are great additions on top of the already great game. Sure we must wait a little while before we can get them, but most of the time it’s worth the wait. In the soon to be released DLC Dawnguard you must choose two different paths to follow, just like Skyrim. The first path is to fight beside the Dawnguard against the vampires or to fight alongside the vampires to destroy the sun.
The storyline of Dawnguard is based around the once great vampire lord Harkon. The Lord has returned to Skyrim and has set his sights pretty high. The one thing that stands between the vampires and their rise to rule is their weakness against the sun. Harkon uses his forces of vampires to find the fabled Elder Scrolls and to use them to destroy the sun. You must choose sides to either help Harkon or to destroy him. If you choose to side with Harkon a new transformation (like the werewolf) will become available to you. This is called the “Vampire Lord” and it looks much like Dracula in Van Helsing once he transforms. Pretty darn awesome if you ask me. You can enter and exit this transformation at will, unlike the werewolves. You will no longer be attacked in the cities just from being a vampire. You must transform into the vampire lord in order to be attacked. The sun still hurts you as a vampire and vampire lord.
This expansion will work off of the base game, Skyrim. You can begin the expansions quest at any time but it is advised that you be at least a level 10 before starting Dawnguard. Set to release in the summer for Xbox, and later in the year for PS3 and PC, this will be a downloadable content game that will cost roughly 1600 points (for xbox), $20. Here is a list of the new information released.
Be sure to check out my 24 Hour Review of Dawnguard.
Vampires, Werewolves, Gargoyles and Dragons; Oh no!
Bethesda realizes that the main part of Dawnguard will be the Vampires but they also realize that not enough was done as far as the Werewolves are concerned in Skyrim. A new system of upgrades will be implemented into the game for both the werewolves and the vampire lords. Now, just like all of your other perks, you will be able to upgrade certain special attributes special to your playable character. One of the new powers that will be given to Vampire Lords is called Vampiric Grip. This power (much like Lord Vader using the force) allows you to suspend a person in the air while you drain their health. A few other powers released will include turning into a swarm of bats (keeping very close to the superstitions of vampires and what they can do) and hovering above the ground. Some of the powers that will be given to the werewolves are called Animal Vigor, Savage Feeding, and Totem of the Moon. The latter will allow you to summon werewolf allies to fight by your side.
While we’re talking about perks it will be a good point to mention that you only gain experience through these areas when you’re using your power as that “transformation” (i.e. a transformed werewolf or a transformed vampire lord). It is also good to note that if you’re a higher level character you might want to save up some perk points. It becomes really hard to level up once you get higher in level and coming by perk points will be very difficult. You don’t want to miss out on the vampire and werewolf skill trees.
After choosing your side and you start progressing through the missions you will at some point hit a stage where you can buy a new home. This point will be hit by both the Dawnguard side and the Vampire side of the campaign. If you’re a vampire you will be given the opportunity to buy Castle Volkihar. This castle is a super creepy home that is perched up on some island. If you fight for the Dawnguard you will be able to buy Fort Dawnguard. This fort is just like any other fort in Skyrim except for the fact that it will be yours. Each of these places will provide extra amenities for each of their owners. At the castle you will be able to make “blood potions” that maintain your characters hunger, as well as giving your vampire lord bonuses and upgrades. The fort will bring you the option of creating armor and weapons for destroying the vampires.
A Few Other Changes
One of the most noteable changes that will come with the expansion (at least the one that everyone is very happy about) is the ability to use weapons while riding horseback. You will not be able to use magic while fighting on your horse, but you’ll be able to use all of the weapons (at least the one handed ones). You will even be able to use the new crossbow that is being brought through Dawnguard. These slow loading weapons will remain loaded even when they’re not selected. This allows people to easily switch to this weapon as a failsafe weapon and immediately use it. All the perks you invested into archery will transfer over to this weapon, and it will even stagger your opponent sometimes. You will also be able to use your new Dragonbone weapons that will come with Dawnguard. I know we’re all excited about that since we worked so hard to get our Smith skill up to make them only to find out it was just armor.
A few other upgrades the Dawnguard is bringing us are a few new shouts and the ability to change your characters face. We can speculate that the new shouts will be entered in as a part of the new Dawnguard map. Don’t expect new dragonwalls to pop up all over Skyrim. One of the new shouts will be called Soul Tear and it allows you to raise a recently defeated NPC as an undead minion. The ability to change your characters looks will be something you can do through a NPC found in the Ratway in Riften. You will not be able to change the race or sex of your character but pretty much everything else is fair game.
The last upgrade that will come with the game is the modification of some boss type monsters and the addition of a few new boss monsters. We all shiver in fear when we see one of the Ancient Dragons. Well Bethesda went ahead and gave us a new level of Dragons that stands above them, aptly named the Legendary Dragons. Bethesda didn’t tell us whether they would possess new powers or higher hit points; we are only told that they will surpass the Ancient Dragons completely. Along with this new level of dragon we will also see Armored Trolls, Death Hounds, Gargoyles, and of course the new Vampire Lords (whether you choose Harkon’s side or not, you will probably face them).
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*Note* this expansion has been released. Read the 24-Review here.