Todd Howard's been chatting to G4TV about many of the new features we can look forward to in Skyrim's upcoming expansion, Dawnguard. It'll give you the choice to become a vampire lord and side with vampire leader Harkan, or join the fight against unambiguous evil by siding with the Dawnguard. Howard dropped details on the perks and abilities we'll get to use on both sides, and talked a bit about some other extra stuff we can look forward to, including a magical mount that can be summoned from the plane of the dead, and your very own armoured troll.
- You turn into this dude .
- You can then turn into a swarm of bats to dodge attacks.
- You can fly. And hover.
- You can "bite people and suck their health and kill them" to open up new perks.
- You can summon gargoyles.
- You get a "vampiric gripping-people-and-throwing-through-the-air" move
- New dragon shout: Soul Tear. This "lets you rip the souls out of other people, then you collect their soul, and then they become your undead minion."
- You'll do more "crafting and exploring" on the Dawnguard side of things.
- You can wield crossbows . TWHUNK!
- You can wear really sweet armour .
- You can "have your own armoured troll." Howard sadly did not elaborate on this, except to say "'scool."
You get a new perk tree that revolves around mauling enemies. The more you maul, the more you move up the tree. Howard explained that Bethesda have added the tree to help werewolves keep up with high level characters. Here are some abilities spotted on the tech tree.
- Bestial Strength: do 25% more damage as a werewolf
- Totem of Terror: Werewolf Howl of Terror affects even higher level enemies.
- Animal Vigor: 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form.
- Gorging: Feeding heals twice as much health.
Here are some other abilities that are named but not detailed.
- Totem of Ice Brothers
- Totem of the mace
- Totem of the Predator
- Savage Feeding
- You can return to Oblivion to explore the "Soul Cairn." That's a big, glowing purple dimension that we've seen in recent screenshots.
- Dawnguard will add "ten to 20 hours of new content."
- There will be new crafting recipes for Dragonbone weapons, which will be more powerful than Daedric ones. "You can craft crossbow bolts."
- Many of the ideas for Dawnguard came about during the Skyrim game jam that Todd Howard highlighted at DICE 2012.
- There will probably be Snow Elves. Some files for these were spotted hidden away in recent Skyrim patches . "Errrrrrm," said Todd Howard when asked about them. "There's a lot of things in the DLC. We don't want to spoil anything"
Dawnguard is coming out on June 26 on Xbox 360 and will cost $20. Todd Howard has "no idea right now" when it'll come out on other platforms so it looks like we'll just have to wait, and perhaps brood in the moonlight for a bit to get into the spirit of things.