Dawnguard Details Revealed By Beta Testers

Dawnguard Details Revealed By Beta Testers

The official closed beta of Skyrim Dawnguard has started, and brings forth new info about vampires and all sorts.

It’s hard not to be excited about Skyrim’s DLC. Bethesda’s well known to be one of those companies who nails downloadable content right on the head (we’ll forgive them for Oblivion’s Horse Armor), and the many, many people who bought the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim last year are awaiting the first official expansion – Dawnguard – with eager-beaver faces. I’m one of them.

Outside of a trailer, we don’t really know that much about Skyrim: Dawnguard yet. We do know that it’ll involve vampires, an organisation called Dawnguard and – gasp – crossbows, but other than that we don’t really know that much about the content of the DLC itself.

Well that’s all changed thanks to a select group of closed beta testers who’ve been getting some hands-on time with the much-anticipated expansion, telling us more about new perks, the quest structure and all kinds of other good stuff.

There may be spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned.

Dawnguard, or Vampiric Lord?Dawnguard Vampire Lord

Dawnguard is set to tell a narrative tale around both vampires and an organisation that really doesn’t like undead bloodsuckers known as the Dawnguard.  The vampiric group is apparently led by an ancient vampire named Harkon, a chap who’s sick of not being able to go out into the sun and plans to use an Elder Scroll to stop the sun from shining altogether.

If you choose to be a vampire, you can turn (as shown in the trailer) into a vampire lord who can then turn into a cloud of bats (probably speedier than climbing cliffs vertically on a horse) and you also gain access to a unique electrical power known as the Vampiric Grip, capable of suspending your target in mid-air like some creepy marionette while you suck them of their life.

If you choose instead to be part of the Dawnguard, you’ll be struggling against Harkon’s regime and putting a stop to their nonsense. Being a member of this organisation will net you a unique weapon – the crossbow – which is said to have extensive staggering capabilities but takes significantly longer to reload than other ranged weapons. You’ll also be able to craft new Dragonbone weapons.

The report doesn’t actually specify whether these next new inclusions are specific to either group, but Skyrim: Dawnguard will also include a new Dragon Shout and the ability to gain an armored troll as a follower! The new shout is called Soul Tear, and apparently lets you to steal someone’s soul and then raise them as a handy undead companion.

New Skill Trees

In addition, Skyrim: Dawnguard also adds two brand new skill trees, one each for a Vampire and one for a werewolf.

The Vampire skill tree includes:

Skyrim Vampire Skilltree

  • Power of the Grave – 50 point bonus to health, magicka and stamina as a Vampire Lord.
  • Detect All Creatures – Requirement: Power of the Grave
  • Mist Form – Turn yourself into an invulnerable cloud of mist while regenerating your health, magicka, and stamina. Requirement: Detect All Creatures
  • Supernatural Reflexes -You move quicker, while enemies move slower. Requirement: Mist Form
  • Blood Healing – Killing a person with a power attack bite restores all your health. Requirement: Power of the Grave
  • Unearthly Will – Night powers and Blood Magic cost 33% less. Requirement: Power of the Grave
  • Poison Talons – Melee attacks deal 20 points of poison damage. Requirement: Unearthly Will/Blood Healing
  • Night Cloak – A shroud of bats feed on enemies within melee range. Requirement: Poison Talons
  • Vampiric Grip – Blood Magic: Can pull a creature to you from a distance, and do choking damage once it’s close. Requirement: Power of the Grave
  • Summon Gargoyle – Summons a Gargoyle. Requirement: Vampiric Grip
  • Corpse Curse – Paralyze your foes with this magical blast. Requirement: Summon Gargoyle 
The Werewolf skill tree includes:
    • Bestial Strength – Do 25% more damage as a werewolf.
    • Totem of Ice Brothers
    • Totem of the Predator
    • Totem of Terror – Werewolf Howl of Terror affects even higher level creatures.
    • Totem of the Moon – Summon an ally werewolf with a howl.
    • Animal Vigor – 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form.
    • Gorging – Feeding heals twice as much health.
Dawnguard’s release date is currently set at June 26th for Xbox 360 owners. PS3/PC players have to wait another 30 days to get their hands on the DLC, unfortunately.
Amazingly, the new content is said to be 10-20 hours long!”It’ll take between 10 and 20 hours to beat,” Skyrim lead artist Matt Carofano said to Game Front. “It’s about as long as a faction line.”

“Dawnguard will be significantly bigger than any Fallout DLC,” Carofano added. “We wanted to do something more in depth than that. It’s not as big as Shivering Isles, but there’s still a lot of content there.”

Count me in.

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