Well, it’s finally here. You know you’re playing an RPG when you are sent to find object A, and when you get to it, someone says “I’ll give you A, but first you have to go to B and do C to the D.” When you get to B, someone else tells you to go to E and find the F that you can use at G to kill the H so you can get B, take it back to the first guy who will then say he was mistaken! A was stolen by I and now you have to undertake a spiritual journey to find five pieces of J so you can defeat K to finally receive A just to finish the first quest of ten!
Yeah, Dawnguard seems to do this quite a bit. On the other hand, the DLC is 10-20 hours long which longer than the main campaign of a whole lot of games out there right now. I guess you can’t really complain.
So about the game… like I said, there’s a lot to it, so I haven’t gotten through it all just yet. I started with my level 50 paladin character, joining the Dawnguard. I’m a little irritated that I’ve gotten the option to turn into a vampire twice and I am being forced to team up with one when all I want to do is stick a stake in her.
“A New You” Head on down to the Ratway in Riften (where the Thieves Guild is) and you’ll find a new hooded character in the Ragged Flagon. She’ll offer to remake your face. It costs coin, and you don’t have to actually change anything, but it’s the easiest 20GS you’ll find in the DLC.
“Soul Tear” is a new shout that rips the soul from a creature (if it has less than X hp) and instantly creates a zombie that will follow you as if summoned. Not particularly impressive, especially since you have to spend 6 dragon souls to fully unlock it. If you were one to summon undead anyway, you can probably summon better yourself. I couldn’t tear the minions I was facing without hitting them first anyway. The only benefit is that it instantly turns an enemy into an ally and you don’t have to fully kill it first. Once you get into the Soul Cairn, you will kill some keepers and find a vampire. Eventually a soul trapped dragon will attack you. Defeat him in battle, and he will tell you his name and ask you to bring him back out to Tamriel a couple times. You’ll have to purchase all three words of the summon shout. Once out, find an open space (he’ll be summoned on the ground, so if there are trees or cliffs in the way, the summon will fizzle). When he pops out, he’ll teach you a word of the Soul Tear shout. Keep summoning him until he teaches you all three. The cooldown is pretty long, so just wait or fast travel after getting the word to do it again. Three times total, three souls spent, and you can now create your zombie. 20GS
Undead horse: This one took forever. In the Soul Cairn, a man runs up to you, asking you to find his “good horse” who is too good for this evil place. You have to travel all the way into the area, to the person you are trying to find, then head east. There will be a little temple with the blue glowing horse’s skull on a pedestal, guarded by Mistmen/Bonemen/Wrathmen, depending on level. Head back to the man who will now be close by, and he’ll teach you a spell to summon the horse in the Soul Cairn or out in Tamriel. The horse itself is skeletal, its bones dark blue, mane and tail of blue fire.
Other than that, so far everything has been very self-explanatory as far as the quests go. Obviously for Werewolf Mastered you have to first BE a werewolf (How do you become a werewolf in Skyrim? Complete Companions quests in Whiterun.) To become a vampire lord, you have to choose to ally yourself with Harkon when he offers. I can’t verify this right now, but I’m pretty sure the perk tree is not for “normal vampires” but vampire lords only. More information when I do my vampire run.