Speculation about Skyrim's first expansion pack (DLC), 'Dawnguard'
The anticipation of Bethesda's first expansion pack for "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" is at an all time high as the day of its arrival approaches. Skyrim's first DLC will be a timed (30 day) exclusive to Xbox Live, and should be arriving in the summer of 2012.
While questing online for information concerning Skyrim's first DLC, officially entitled "Dawnguard;" I was rather excited to find a video titled, something along the lines of, "Skyrim's Official DLC Trailer Teaser," until I somberly realized that I had been... "Rickrolled." Yes Rick may be sharing a seat with numerous Skyrim fans around the world, who are seeking the same information.
However, there is no need to fear because as I found myself lost in despair over the lack of information on the subject, I did what any Skyrimite would do--I traveled to the College of Winterhold and visited my old friend Enthir. Sure he may be a little shady and have the occasional identity crisis, but he's an elf who knows how to get things. Enthir shared more than expected, and directed me to various books in the College. He told me of mystical secrets and grand new adventures; you know, the kinds of things only shared between friends, or delusional Skyrim fanatics...
What should I expect from Dawnguard?
It has been officially confirmed by Bethesda that Skyrim will be receiving large and substantial chunks of DLC, which appears similar to what was done with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It has also been revealed that multiple expansions for Skyrim's DLC will be released.
Bethesda's main focus within the confines of Skyrim's newest expansion "Dawnguard" is to improve the game rather than to add a whole lot more content to the game. The reasoning behind this stems from the games already large size. However, it has been acknowledged on Bethesda's Blog that the first set of game add-on content will include: new quests, locations, and features.
Bethesda's creative director Todd Howard shared, at the DICE 2012 games industry convention, a compiled list of ideas that his team put together concerning Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's DLC.
Short List of Possibities for Skyrim DLC shared by Todd Howard:
Epic New Mounts
Lycanthrope Perk Tree
Giant Mud Crabs
Flying Vampire Lord
Build your Home
Vampire Imp Minions
Which of these would you prefer to see in Skyrim's DLC: Dawnguard?
Howard expressed that these ideas may or may not be implemented into the upcoming DLC for Skyrim. Therefore there is no guarantee that any of these ideas will be used in Skyrim's "Dawnguard." However, the possibility remains that they certainly could be! And since they are the only ideas that have been presented by Bethesda so far, they are certainly one of our best assessments of what to expect in Dawnguard.
Todd Howard also suggested that players not expect multiplayer content in Skyrim's DLC, and that Bethesda's focus is on improving the single player experience. This means that it is unlikely that "Dawnguard" will have Massively Multiplayer Online content. However, for those individuals who are anticipating an online Elder Scrolls experience, it was just announced yesterday (May 2012), by Game Informer, that an online Elder Scrolls game is currently in the works.
The Mysterious Findings
A few technically savvy Skyrimites have been so interested in Skyrim's "Dawnguard" that they have become treasure hunters, digging around in Skyrim's patch files like an Archeologist from Jurassic Park. Their findings may give insight into what to expect from Skyrim's Expansion Pack "Dawnguard." Especially since a few of their discoveries allude to things already touched on by Todd Howard (Bethesda's creative director). The findings include: Vampire feeding animations, Snow Elf Prince, Crossbows, and something called "RF" which appears to be either a new NPC, Follower, or may have something to do with new dialogue options, including words like "playful" and "serious."
Snow Elves, and Crossbows, and Vamp Bites! Oh, my!
Like Dorothy's exploration of "OZ," we too can travel down the yellow brick road of inquiry, mystery, and excitement concerning Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's "Dawnguard." All it takes is a trip to the College of Winterhold's Library, a talk with Enthir, and a little good ol' fashioned day dreaming.
Who are the Snow Elves?
"Everyone! What of the Bretons? What of the dark elves? And the wood elves. Of the ice elves I say nothing. They are gone, gone altogether and forever." --King Edward, Part X (Daggerfall)
Are the Ice Elves really gone forever? Maybe not. They certainly may make an apperance in Skyrim's "Dawnguard," as Snow Elves, since mention of them has been found secretly hidden in Skyrim's latest patch files. What Impact could Snow Elves have on the world of Skyrim? I speculate that they may be either an additional monster to the game or possibly a playable race.
"I have studied, and traveled, and explored, and observed, and my hypothesis has finally been confirmed: that the twisted Falmer that inhabit the darkest depths of Skyrim are indeed the snow elves of legend." --The Falmer: A Study by Ursa Uthrax.
Skyrim Lore indicates that the Falmer were once Snow Elves--a proud and civilized race who inhabited Skyrim before the Nords, and were believed to be the descendants of the Original Elven population.
These mythical beings had icy blue skin, and an aptitude for magic. According to "The Wispmother: Two Theories" by Mathias Etienne, there may also be a connection between Snow Elves and Wisps.
Snow Elves used spears and archery in combat which could have something to do with the reason that "Crossbows" are seen in Skyrim's recent patch files, and why the Bethesda's team listed "Spears" as a possible addition to Skyrim's DLC. Also, since Snow Elves were magical in nature, it is possible that we may see some new spells or spell combinations as well, and possibly elemental arrows.
"The Snow Prince is come! Doom is at hand!" --Fall of the Snow Prince by Lokheim.
The Snow Elf Prince was the leader of the Snow Elves, and he died along with the Snow Elf civilization at the Battle of Moesring.
The remaining Snow Elves sought aid from the Dwemer, who enslaved them, and forced them to consume a toxic fungus which caused them to lose their sight and eventually become "Falmer"--vile and twisted creatures found throughout the Dwemer ruins of Skyrim.
Why is Skyrim's DLC called Dawnguard?
Dawnguard sounds eerily similar to Dawnstar, and if Skyrim Lore is explored we find that Dawnstar was once besieged by Snow Elves. This may be simply a coincidence, but for the moment it stands to reason that this may very well be the reason behind the title of Skyrim's new DLC "Dawnguard."
Will there be Epic Mounts in Dawnguard?
This is possible because Todd Howard did list the idea of "Epic New Mounts," with a long list of other things to "possibly" expect in Skyrim DLC. However the only connection that can be found along these lines, following the snow elf theme, is that Snow Elves once tamed Trolls and Gehenoth as war beasts.
The only easy-to-find information available about the Gehenoth was found at UESP.net. Apparently this is said about the creature: "I must also warn you that outside these walls is a fearsome creature that has slaughtered any who fight it. It appears when you rest. Do not fight it, you are not ready. Run." Personally, I wouldn't mind riding one of these into battle, but who knows what Bethesda has in store for this creature. I just hope I see its appearance in Skyrim's Dawnguard!
Dragons and Flaming Horses could be other possibilities for new Skyrim mounts, based on some of the ideas presented at the DICE 2012 game convention.
"Watch the Skies Traveler" -- Skyrim Guard.
Hopefully this article sheds some light on the possibilities of what could be seen in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's DLC "Dawnguard." Nothing is absolute of course, and Enthir isn't necessarily the most forthright elf, but at least you'll be able to chew on a large helping of theoretical cud while you wait. Now if you'll excuse me, Enthir is wildly shouting in my ear, and Skyrim is beckoning me home.