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- Category: Giskard's Blog
- Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 22:59
- Written by Giskard
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I finished playing through Dawnguard as the Dawnguard and have some thoughts to share with you. This does contain spoilers btw.
First, I saw no issues what so ever, it worked fine, no a single glitch, crash or bug. Though seeing one standard game quest start a little early did give me a scare but it appears that was intentional.
Dawnguard is mostly fighting for none lore fans, lots of combat, some good baddies some cheesy cheap variants on standard stuff, especially early on, later things get interesting though with brand new baddies.
I think their was too much combat in it of the do these 3 things, do those 5 things, do those 4 things sort. Could have used more dialog.
But the dialogue that did exist was pure lore, for example did you know souls used in soul gems go to the cairn where I think the ideal masters or what ever they are called feed on them. Since its mostly necromancers that use that sort of soul, its mostly necromancers that deal with cairn. So the Cairn becomes a boost to the necromancer lore in the Elder Scrolls games that has been neglected for so long.
Saint Juid, the guy who wiped out the Cliff Races from Morrowind turned up in the Cairn to tell his story, turns out he died in Kvatch fighting Daedra :)
Good to see.
The Falmer store is expanded upon, you even get to meet a Snow Elf and they have some cool armour too. The Snow Elf explains what happened to his race, calling the Falmer "the betrayed". You even get to visit one of their temples to get a special bow that does less damage than a skeletons bow found in the Cairn and the special bow is supposed to be some godlike bow.
The only standard bow that comes close to being as powerful as this ancient bow is the Forlorn bow.
The Falmer NPCs also seem to have been updated, I saw one that looked very different from the standard ones and without Dawnguard installed, I seem to remember most Falmer looked the same. There is also more Falmer clutter and ingredients too, again something the game needed badly.
Vampire lore centres around clans and in Dawnguard you get a close look at Lord Harkons Clan, I think thats his name. You also an expanded version of the Opusculus Lamae Bal ta Mezzamortie book that explains how Molag Ball created the first vampire.
In fact there is alot more lore about that now thanks to Dawnguard. So some of those grey bits just become full colour affairs.
Bethesda have in the past been easy to accuse of making their lore thing with lots of holes but one thing Skyrim does and does will is fill in many lore wholes. The DLCs look like they do that too.
The Vigilants of Stendarr get a mention too, if briefly when their hall in Skyrim gets attacked. But its not the end of the group, they have branches all over Tamriel and some other locations in Skyrim. But the DLC explains the Dawnguard was formed by ex Vigilants of Stendarr members.
One focused too much on Daedra (Vigilants of Stendarr), the other focuses solely on Vampires (Dawnguard).
On the whole from a lore perspective the Dawnguard DLC is pretty good, from an interesting quest perspective it tends to have too many similar quests or large areas where a less than interesting quest has to be performed in a long winded way, but has a lot of interesting locations with some rewards for those who take the time to explore them.
The biggest rewards in the DLC in fact come from exploring, not from finishing quests.
I would ask "why are the Darkguard there" though, they didnt do a lot of vampire hunting and except for the final battle, I thought they where kind of pointless. Also I got the impression the same quest could be played either way with very few changes.
I did get to see a vampire necromancer in action, that was an effective character, might be worth trying that sometime.
From a modders point of view, there is an attempt here to add more of ingredients, creatures and other stuff skyrim needs. Modders that make Dawnguard a base requirement will have a lot more to work with than modders who do not. So it might be worth starting to use the esm as a requirement in future mods just to get access to some of the new stuff.
Anyway thats my thoughts about Dawnguard having played it through as Dawn guard.
Final question, is it good value for money ?
I applied my £1 per hour rule to this, it cost about £14 and I got about 10 hours out of the Dawnguard side of the DLC and still have to play the Vampire side, so I would say this is a 20 hour DLC if you play both sides, so yes its good value for money too.
Believe me, if there was anything wrong, I would say so. But in all honestly, it is a good DLC.
To be honest, given the consoley nature of Skyrim and its stripped down feel, not to mention the bugs, I was not excited about Dawnguard at all. I thought it is just more of the same, but it is actually more of a return to the old TES games than Skyrim, whilst keeping the lore heavy side that Skyrim embraced.
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