New Skill Trees, Epic Mounts, and Lots of Real Vampires in Dawnguard DLC
Skyrim. It’s huge, and it’s easy to get lost in. With incoming Dawnguard, the first massive (and expansive) DLC for the world, Bethesda is going to make the world even bigger. With new quests, items, epic mounts, and a hell of a lot more stuff to do, you’re going to find yourself either getting lost all over again in the wonders of the snowy north. Or you know, you could blot out the sun, but not with a thousand arrows.
Comparable to Oblivion’s Shivering Isles DLC, the sheer size of Dawnguard won’t be bringing just new stuff to the table. It brings a new story, and also actions that will end up influencing the rest of the world of Skyrim.
In an E3 preview, CVG revealed that during the first few hours of the DLC, the Dragonborn is given two choices: either fight against the vampires, or become one of them. Your actions will ultimately determine whether the sun will ever rise again, and if you’ll end up randomly encountering vampire hunters.
The bulk of Dawnguard takes place in an area called Valkihar, which is on an island way out in the middle of Nowhere in Skyrim’s already-massive map. A portal to Oblivion awaits the player here — and entering will begin the campaign. Entitled “Beyond Death,” the world is shrouded in deep violet lights and incredibly aggressive enemies. We’re going to safely bet that you’ll have to be at a decent level before you can go exploring, otherwise you can kiss your HP meter goodbye.
Joining the vampires will enable you to unlock the Vampire Lord skill tree. You won’t sparkle like a discoteque ball in the middle of a dance floor, but you’ll gain the ability to morph into a powerful flying monstrosity. Players will be granted incredible strength, flight, and vampire magic in this form. Obviously, much like becoming a werewolf in Skyrim, turning into the Vampire Lord will give you a lot of abilities but will also take away everything else.
Of course, if you choose to fight against the vampires, this will unlock the brand new werewolf skills tree. Ripping your shirt off is not included on that skill tree, and we’d really rather not see that.
The DLC will also introduce the game’s first epic mount, named Arvak. A spectral horse from Oblivion, you’ll be able to summon him to your side at any time allowing for quick getaways. The rides into the sunset aren’t included with that deal, but it will help get you out of a bind if two dragons decide to come calling at once.
Along with introducing all of those goodies, Dawnguard will also bring with it a rewriting of Skyrim to give all vampires a new visual makeover (sans glittering), a new shout for the Dragonborn, a new weapon, and new magic. Priced at 1,600 MSP, we’d say that’s a neat tag to stick to such an expansive piece of DLC.
Excited? Bethesda has said that Dawnguard will arrive on Xbox Live, tentatively, June 26th. That’s about two and a half weeks away.