8 Things the Dawnguard Trailer Tells Us

The trailer for Skyrim's formerly mysterious Dawnguard add-on is here. Catch the essential reveals and some wild rumour-mongering on the DLC below.

The Dawnguard add-on will be the ideal excuse to dust off your Dragonborn and wade back into Skyrim. But this first slice of downloadable content for Elder Scrolls V, due this summer, has been an enigma wrapped in a riddle surrounded by a mystery and stuffed inside a conundrum. Until now.

Now, the secrets of Dawnguard are secrets no more. The first trailer for the DLC is rich with revelations, and here are the essentials, with rumour-mongering and wishful thinking thrown in for good measure:

1. Vampires, Not Snow Elves

Though speculation initially linked the Dawnguard DLC to Snow Elves, the race that came before the Nords in the land of Skyrim, the trailer reveals it is potentially a lot less about them and a lot more (or entirely) about vampires. Not the sickly blood-drinkers of the main game, but a new fraternity of vampiric badasses.

They have a vampire fortress, they throw a swinging vampire party (corpses on the tables, blood in the kegs), and they feed on fully awake humans that are standing up and everything. No more sneaking around and nibbling on sleeping NPCs for this Dragonborn.

You discover these nightwalkers when you escort their leader's daughter home, in what is most likely the quest that sets you on the path to this new content. They are also a faction with which you can ally yourself. "What is it you seek?" asks Vampire Dad. "Is it to be one of us?"

To which the correct answer is:

2. Yes, Please, I Would Like to Be a Demonic Man-Bat

Throwing in your lot with Team Vampire scores you sweet powers of transformation. In the trailer, a Dragonborn in a circle of blood morphs into a Nosferatu-like, leathery-winged horror. In this beast form, you hover eerily and strike fear into the hearts of your enemies, who are:

3. The Dawnguard, At Last

The titular Dawnguard, then, is a faction of vampire hunters. You can ally yourself with Team Dawnguard but, really, why would you. They might have a fortress, as seen in the trailer, but have no awesome powers of man-bat transfiguration and no ornamental blood fountains. At least they do have:

4. Crossbows!

Though these are most likely available to both sides, since the crossbow is a whole new weapon type--and one of the early Dawnguard rumours that turned out to be on the money. We see a female Nord Dawnguardian firing bolts from one such weapon in the trailer.

How will they handle as compared to conventional bows? GameSpot's staff armourer* advises us crossbows are more powerful than regular bows, but heavier and less precise. So, look out for that, and also for:

5. Mounted Combat!

Finally, you can cut fools from the comfort of your saddle. In the trailer, we see a Dragonborn swinging an axe while trotting along. The word is both ranged and melee combat will be possible on horseback, so you might be firing a crossbow or waving an axe while astride your magnificent:

6. Spectral Horse!

Look upon Dawnguard's spectral mount, ye mighty, and despair. This is a skeletal stallion made of mystical energy wisps. Get out of my dreams and into my Skyrim.

..I'm sorry. I was thinking about spectral ponies. Where were we? Right, yes:

7. New Locations!

Though the trailer does revisit Whiterun and Dragonsreach (with a vampire-induced eclipse looming overhead), Dawnguard also adds new locations to the world of Skyrim. As well as each faction's fortress base, there is a graveyard of sorts under a gloomy purplish sky, possibly accessed via the magic portal staircase glimpsed in the trailer.

After a flash of an Elder Scroll, there's a peek at a map, too: a river runs from the lower left to an ocean or lake in the upper right. The red sigil on the left of the map looks like the horned symbol for the city of Markath. Could the Dawnguard content be centred near there? Could it? We don't know. Hey, look:

8. Capes!

Cloaks, capes, and all kinds of flappy apparel are excitingly confirmed for Dawnguard by the saucy red number on the vampire leader.

There you have it: the Dawnguard essentials, and that's without even dwelling on the frost giant, ice dragon, and vampire transforming into a cloud of bats, as also spotted in the trailer. What else could this first wodge of Skyrim DLC have in store? A certain Electronic Entertainment Expo will reveal all next week.

*Wikipedia

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

131 comments
XM8LonePineXM8
XM8LonePineXM8

i beat all side mistions and every thing and i got scared that i had to do nothing

alphaneko
alphaneko

Oh good, I was running out of dragons to kill..

nlg0405
nlg0405

Too bad it didn't tell us how buggy the 360 version is...

toshineon
toshineon

Thank you! I've been missing classic vampires, horrible monsters that kills people and are not accepted by general society, not the crap excuses for vampires that are present in many television series and movies today *cough* Twilight *cough*. Horribly, scary, slayer vampires FTW :D

Johnny-n-Roger
Johnny-n-Roger

"You can ally yourself with Team Dawnguard but, really, why would you."

 

Because someone who hunts vampires for a living is someone you don't want to **** with.

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

I wonder if they are raising the level cap.  If they don't, how am I going to level up in my Werewolf skill tree? 

dnguyen3
dnguyen3

I hope that Demonic, Man-Bat thingy is going to be good because the Werewolf mode wasn't that great. 

Hunterjuggz
Hunterjuggz

Anyone who has played anything done by these guys should know that the DLC's will come thick and fast, they reward the masses for playing the life outta their games. Thanks! And going off the back of @zhaffy comment in regards to "werewolves vs vampires DLC", with this add on I guess you would have it already. No direct opposition but the existance of both none the less. I wonder if you could be a member of the Companions and the "Demonic bat creatures" at the same time? .... OMG!! A flying wolf!!

Tri-Soft
Tri-Soft

1:02 - Telekinesis type effect!? Almost looked like a mix between that and health drain, I think I just came. Could they have actually made telekenisis effective on npc's?

DeanG642
DeanG642

Words cannot explain how excited I am for this.

 

I'll have my slightly more bad, heavy armor wearing character join the Vamps, and my female, light armor wearing, heroic character join the Dawnguard.

ODST-516
ODST-516

Looks great and siding with the vampires seems like it'll be a blast, I just wish I had more incentive to side with the Dawnguard

LordCronog
LordCronog

And so across the lands of Skyrim. Dragons everywhere sulked in their caves as something else was added to the "more baddass than us" list.

Metalnoid
Metalnoid

The vampire stuff is totally a most wanted since the old days in Morrowind. Everything looks great, it's a pretty shocking trailer (clap clap :D ).

 

 And my guess about the elder scroll is that maybe "is going to relocate us back in time  in Skyrim"

LessThanMike
LessThanMike

Crossbows sound sweet, I'd pick one up just for the awesome kill cam

Pox_
Pox_

Finally DLC worthy of a purchase

SkylerX
SkylerX

Ozymandias reference, very nice!

williebazerka
williebazerka

Skyrimis already better than any other open world game and now it gets better.The other games don't even have a chance.

Marder-I
Marder-I

Will this be download only? Hope not but probably so.... Cheers Tom

powlord
powlord

Do you HAVE to play as a vampire for this DLC?

 

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Oh man, I'm still at 220hours into the main game, and still nowhere near done with it, what with the endless awesome mods and stuff out there..... I don't think I'll need to look at this DLC for a while, but glad to know it's there when I can finally get to it.

HardcoreX360
HardcoreX360

If  there's any dlc  worth buying it's this

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

To avoid confusion you may want to remove mounted combat from the features list since its part of the 1.6 patch (already in beta on steam) which should be out long before this DLC. Great article all the same and can't wait for this to be released.

zhaffy
zhaffy

They should also do a Vampire vs. Werewolves add-on. 

zhaffy
zhaffy

I think gamespot will do a Re-review of Skyrim after 1 or 2 years, just to tell us how awesome Bethesda improved Skyrim

YSDG
YSDG

Hang on, does that mean 1.6 patch will arrive along with Dawnguard...? That sounds kinda cheating...

Ricochet93
Ricochet93

So wait, this is exclusive to the 360??? :(

ThatWhiskyKid
ThatWhiskyKid

you are wrong about the "fanged sigil" in the upper right... if u flip the map its just markarth and solitude... and in your video, you couldnt even identify the elder scroll... you have no place interpreting skyrim trailers, so just stop trying

00J
00J

ahhh, a real Nasty Vampire, just like from UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION.

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Just watching the trailer again, I noticed that the Vampire stronghold is off the coast on it's own island somewhere. I wonder how we will get there.

 

I also noticed new armour for both the Dawnguard and the Vampires. And I think that guy attacking from horse-back is wearing something new too. Maybe new clothes in addition to those capes.

 

And a new bow and arrow (the arrow head is split into 3 prongs for maximum shredding damage - albeit an arrowhead like that wouldn't have very good piercing power versus armour, in real life). Arrow seen at 50-seconds into the trailer.

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

I can't wait to hunt me some vampires. The most dangerous game, as it were. 

Scorpion1813
Scorpion1813

Wow, this expansion seems more amazing than I initially imagined. Can't wait to get my hands on it. Hopefully some of the bugs will be fixed by the time it's out for PS3.

 

Also, I barely noticed half the things on this list when I watched the trailer.

 @janedouglas Thanks Jane.

Neomaniac15
Neomaniac15

...Is it bad the only reason i'm watching E3 this year is to catch all the details for this? I hope I get surprised with something awesome this year, i've found the last couple E3's a bit dry. 

Wolfenoshadow
Wolfenoshadow

Now this is a conflict of interest on my end... I'm a werewolf in my game and I love being one... But I really want to be on the Vampire side too... hope I don't loose my werewolf powers

ztg360
ztg360

for every dollar spent on dlc/expansions I expect a minimal of 1 hr worth of gameplay (more than that the better)

gill117
gill117

when is patch 1.6 coming out for xbox

LordSaulot
LordSaulot

"Though speculation initially linked the Dawnguard DLC to Snow Elves, the race that came before the Nords in the land of Skyrim, the trailer reveals it is a lot less (not at all) about them and a lot more (entirely) about vampires. Not the sickly blood-drinkers of the main game, but a new fraternity of vampiric badasses."

 

Sorry, but this doesn't follow.  We expected, from DLC01 files included in Patch 1.5 and Beta Patch 1.6, that both vampires and snow elves would be present in the DLC.  Bethesda's trailer confirms the presence of vampires.  But that does not imply that the snow elves' role is "not at all."  Trailers do not show everything in a product, and Bethesda is likely saving some information for release at E3, since they have been saying for weeks now that Dawnguard information will come at E3.  Since they have confirmed aspects of the patch files (vampires, crossbows), it seems like a sounder inference that snow elves will play some role as well.  Just not a central one.

MrNWatson
MrNWatson

This is looking fantastic, although some of these facts are a little off.  The mounted combat is coming in the 1.6 update, and crossbows are not less accurate than a regular bow--they're basically the medieval equivalent to a sniper rifle: precise, hits hard, slow rate of fire, and cumbersome (and therefore inaccurate) in close range combat.

 

Quoted from Wikipedia: "With a crossbow, archers could release a draw force far in excess of what they could have handled with a bow. The disadvantage is the greater weight and clumsiness compared to a bow, as well as the slower rate of fire and the lower efficiency of the acceleration system, but there would be reduced elastic hysteresis, making the crossbow a more accurate weapon."

LegendaryEpoch
LegendaryEpoch

So Bethesda actually implemented the badass looking vampire from their showcase? Currently my expectations for Skyrim DLC are at an all time high.

Bethesda: "Good evening sir. What will you be having today?"

Me: "Ah yes, Bethesda. I'll have a bottle of your finest champagne and a heaping helping of Werebear and Endgame Mudcrab, please! Don't skimp on the melted butter either... I'll be needing all I can get!"

Laughing_God
Laughing_God

Like others said, this is how a DLC should be! and it looks awesome! 10/10 from the trailer alone.