Dawnguard: The Wait is Over
It was a long, long wait, but it seems eight months was well worth it as The Elder Scrolls Skyrim smacked players across the face with its awesomeness. People were asking, practically rioting in the street, downright demanding why there hasn't been a DLC or Skyrim. When the announcement came, people lost their minds. If you're a vampire buff, this is the DLC for you as it centers on vampires and their adversaries, the Dawguard.
There are many new locations in this new expansion. Three of which always come to my mind first. Number one is the new plane of Obivion players get to explore as they move from quest to quest in completing the main story line of this DLC. It's dark and ominous, everything you'd expect a plane of Oblivion to be. The atmosphere is slightly bizarre and there's a feeling of impending doom that works great to solidify what the story is all about, either siding with the vampire to do away with the sun, or working with the dawnguard to preserve it. The second is Castle Volkihar, home of the vampire faction.And third, Fort Dawnguard, home to the Dawnguard faction.
A new Dragon type found on higher levels. Pretty much a typical dragon, if one dragon at 10 other dragons and absorbed their strength. In other words, dragons on steroids. Take it to em, or die trying. Actually, by the time you reach the right level to randomly encounter them you'll be more than powerful enough that even Legendary dragons won't pose much of a threat. Still, it's nice to have even stronger dragons frying you alive.
There's a new, sort of spectral horse players can earn while running around in Oblivion. Arvak can be summoned once the player find the steed's skull and for a mere 120 points of magicka (Well, I guess mere 120 points if you're spell prone in your character build) you can summon it to travel in style. I think Arvak is the fasted horse in Skyrim. Is he as sturdy as Shadowmere, the seemingly invincible horse? A battle for the ages folks, place your bets! Here are some of the pros and cons I could see. Shadowmere has less stamina is seems. Point to Arvak. Arvak is a coward and runs instead of fighting with you. Point to Shadowmere. Shadowmere doesn't require magicka. Point Shadowmere. Arvak can be re-summoned time and again if it dies. Point Arvak. Look, I could go on, it really comes down to player choice. Try both and see which steed is best for you.
Dawnguard Vampire Lord
Dragon Bone Weapons
FINALLY! A big complaint players had was after investing a couple hours sitting there spamming leather bracers to get their smiting to 100, there was only Dragon Armor, which was even weaker than Daedric in the long run. But is that true of weapons? I think the Dragon weapons have a higher base value, but you'll have to check me on that. Also, players can now craft arrows as well, another big complaint players had. We were all thinking, why can't I make a few lousy arrows? I can make legendary Daedric armor and weapons, but for some reason making an arrow is just something beyond my skill..... Crafting arrows, the mark of a true forger.
Dawnguard: Van Helsing
True to the lore of people taking on vampires, Van Helsing comes to mind, at least he did for me. When I think of slaying vampires I think of Van Helsing and when I think of Van Helsing, I think of his crossbow. Crossbows are powerful, never underestimate their value in combat. They ignore armor, I think up to 50%. and packs a punch. It's really fun for those who like to role play. Role playing in a role playing game, who knew?
One big complaint I do have is that the quests are very much the same whether you side with the Vampire faction of the Dawnguard faction. There's a lot of overlap that won't fool anyone. And I guess it's kind of understandable, it's not like Bethesda is making an entirely new game, they have a limited budget for DLC and a deadline to achieve. Still, I couldn't help but notice and was just a little disappointed.
Dawnguard: New Abilities and Skill trees
Vampires: Vampires can FLY. Awesome. They can turn to mist. Awesome. Whirlwind Sprint in the form of bats. Awesome. On top of that the player has access to a cool skill tree to make themselves even stronger. Simply feed on the living by absorbing their health and, well, I'm sure you can imagine the rest, I won't ruin it all for ya. Also, you can get a BAD death hound to follow you. Nice.
Dawnguard: gets the best crossbow. Makes sense. And you can upgrade the Dawguard weapons that are more effective against vampires to their highest potential.You can recruit armored trolls to follow you in addition to your standard follower. SICK. The bolts for your crossbow EXPLODE. BOOM. and the new armor is pretty sick as well.
Thoughts: Though I typically play the good guy in role playing games, the Vampire perks are a bit more fun and add the most twists to game play. But that's just me. Obviously you'll want to try both factions and see which perks you like best.
Dawnguard: Werewolf Skill Tree
Another welcome addition is the skill tree for the werewolf. Bethesda was smart enough to realize that players became stronger just as they are at higher levels than as a werewolf. Also, I think it's fair to say players would have been up in arms had they only included a skill tree for vampires and not werewolves.Can you imagine a Twilight Team Vampire vs. Team Werewolf for Skyrim? No Thank You. Good call Bethesda. I've had enough of that Edward vs Jacob from my lady friends as it is.
Dawnguard: Mounted Combat
This is something I desperatley wanted. Mounted combat. I was late getting into using a horse to get around Skyrim. I just fast traveled everywhere I went. Then I got my hands on Shadowmere and fell in love with getting around on horse. The one gripe I had with it, besides being slow unless sprinting, was that every time we ran into enemies I'd have to dismount. And Shadowmere steals my kills constantly. It takes longer to level up with him kicking my enemies in the head before I can so much as draw my sword. He is useful on harder difficulties, I will give him that. And now, finally, mounted combat is possible. Grab your weapon and ride into battle. I highly suggest you get Shadowmere for this as any normal horse could die easily. Shadowmere is a living tank. The controls are a bit clunky but otherwise it's much better than having to constantly dismount.
Dawnguard Mounted Combat
Dawnguard Final Verdict
Dawnguard was well worth the wait, especially for those who love the game. And I'm definitley among the thousands who do. Almost a year after it's release and I'm still going strong, playing at least several times a week if I have the time. And sometimes I just make time plain and simple. Dawnguard has it's flaws, especially when it comes to a feeling of dejavu while completing the quest, but considering everything else this DLC has to offer, and I didn't mention everything on purpose, it truly is one of the better DLC's I've played in a long time. So while My Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC had a different rating, that was due to the fact that the DLC was more of a fixing of oh so many problems that plagued the gaming community. The Dawnguard DLC adds to the game for the sake of adding something new and exciting for players. Therefore, I will be rating it the same way I rate video games. The Final Verdict of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC earns an 8 out of 10. And I'm hard player to please.
Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC