My Time With The Dawnguard--Skyrim's New Expansion

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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My Time With The Dawnguard--Skyrim's New Expansion

Well, folks, today was the big day, and for those of you who laid down your 1600 points and got signed in, Skyrim's newest expansion Dawnguard awaited you. So far, this has been quite a trip indeed.

First, a bit of background. My character, a gent by the shockingly simple name of Tongs (who will become a character in a book should I finally manage to get the time to write it), is a level 57 character, a master smith with a passion for the Daedric War Axe. It's packing a dual enchantment of setting things on fire and simultaneously stealing souls, and with his free hand, Tongs likes to toss fire around with the Flames spell. Considering that Tongs will be going up against vampires, this should make him more than ready.

When the Dawnguard handed over the crossbow, an old friend I thought long gone from the Elder Scrolls lineup, I was very happy indeed. So happy, in fact, that I didn't actually put enchantments on it right away, an oversight I did correct in rapid fashion, putting the flame and drain health enchantments in play because a vampire crossbow against vampires tickled me. One steel ingot brought it to legendary status, and Tongs and I were ready to rock the Dimhallow Crypt.

Right away I had discovered one primary problem with Dawnguard: the Bethesda tendency to put huge mountains around a target location except for one path--the path they want you to take--to find a location. This annoys me about Bethesda games, and it's not the first time they've done this, either. The games are often wide-open, with lots of places to explore, so why put this one path to the goal, and worse yet, give me absolutely no idea where the path is supposed to be?  I'm stumbling around mountain passes looking for this one little spot to climb to my goal, and frankly, it's annoying.

Indeed, the crossbow surpassed expectations, taking out a wounded Draugr Deathlord in two shots and most of my enemies dropping in one. Finding bolts for it, however, was a much less pleasant task.

The rest of the plot, meanwhile, was pretty exciting; the thought of killing vampires in general was interesting enough, but discovering that some of them may not have been so bad, well, that had Bethesda all over it. It put me in mind of The Pitt, from Fallout 3, in which even the jerks had good reason to do what they did, even if their methods weren't the most upright.

Though there's plenty yet I haven't seen in Dawnguard, I have all the reason I need, and then some, to keep right on playing. Hopefully the Dawnguard expansion will be every bit as expansive as the Fallout:New Vegas stuff was.
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