As the rumor mill continues to churn about Dawnguard, we’re hearing that the story will focus on a Vampire Lord named Harkon who is attempting to cover the sky to block the sun. This goal is aimed to let his Vampire bothers and sister to run free without consequence in the Northern Lands. According to the rumors we’re hearing, players will get a choice to join up with the blood-sucking Harkon to help the vampires run free, or assist the Dawnguard who are tasked with trying to stop him. It represents a similar fork in the storyline for players that they saw in Skyrim, as players (very minor spoiler) had to choose between the alliance with Ulfric Stormcloak or the Emperor.
Those that choose the side of darkness and embrace life as a vampire will apparently get the added perk of eventually becoming a flying vampire lord. While we’re sure that being a vampire will certainly put you in fancy clothes and on the cover of many of Skyrim’s teenage girl magazines, it’ll also give you a power called Vampiric Grip which will suspend enemies in the air while draining their health. On top of that, another top-tier vampire power will be to morph into a giant could of bats. While you will wield these bad-ass powers you aren’t without risk – apparently if you take any damage you poof back to normal form.
The new Vampire Skill Tree shows off many of the abilities you’ll have as a Vampire. It starts with “Power of the Grave” which ives you a 50 point bonus to health, magicka and stamina. From there you can to go “Detect All Creates” (pretty self explanatory) or Vampiric Grip (already explained). Moving a tier further you can enjoy powers such as Mist Form, Unearthly Will, Blood Healing and Summon Gargoyle. Top tier Vampire abilities include Supernatural Reflexes (you move faster, enemies move slower), Poison Talons (attacks get +20 poison damage), and Corpse Curse (paralyze enemies). The highest tier new power for Vampires will be “Night Cloak” which unleashes a group of bats on enemies which will feed on anyone within melee range.
If you choose to side with the Dawnguard you’ll be allowed to wield new weapons, including crossbows. While they are purportedly much stronger than the bows we’ve seen in Skyrim, they apparently are also slower, taking a greater amount of time to reload. One of the bigger points of hype for Elder Scrolls: Skyrim with the Dawnguard DLC is the ability for those that play on this side to hire armored trolls as followers.
There’s also a new Werewolf talent tree that covers new talents should you remain on this side of the coin. It starts with Bestial Strength (25% bonus damage when a werewolf) and includes Totem of Ice Brothers, Animal Vigor (100 bonus to health and stamina), Totem of the Moon, Gorging (feeding heals 2x), Totem of Terror and Savage Feeding. It ends at the top with “Totem of the Predator.”
Another new power of note is a shout called “Soul Tear” which lets you steal a soul and bring a dead enemy back to life as an undead companion.
According to the rumor mill, however reliable that might be, says that the Dawnguard DLC might be available on console systems as early as at the end of June, 2012 with the PC DLC pack available a month after that.
As more news and details break about Skyrim: Dawnguard breaks, stay tuned to Gaming Illustrated for details.