Been playing the Dawnguard DLC for the past week now in Skyrim, it’s nice to be back bitch slapping dragons and learning new shouts to illicit fear in my virtual foes. But by the Nines it’s very buggy and crashes my 360 often.
I’m trying to do as many achievements as I can in one run though. I already have the initial 1000 gamerpoints from the original game, which did require roughly two complete replays of the game as well as many reloads going back about 20 levels to complete missions that for whatever reason couldn’t be completed when I had progressed more in the game. So for instance, I do have the Attachments for “One with the Shadows” where you have to complete all the Thieves guild missions, yet i still have the Skeleton Key which if I did finish this properly I would no longer have. I had to use a much older savegame to complete the Thieves guild/Nightingale missions since it glitched out.
I could probably do that again in a single playthough now that I know the game better, but even then the game is so flakey and bugs cause missions to be un-finishable that you have to start over to redo those missions that some how get broken.
The nice thing about this DLC is that it dosen’t isolate you from the main world map. So Dawnguard just comes up as another side mission compared to Fallout 3/NV DLCs where you’re often isolated main map so you can’t return to your home(s) to rest, nor visit vendors to sell off your loot. Also these DLCs often force you to discard the majority of your inventory, ditch any companions you had tagging along with you (and their inventory) and forces you to finish the DLC missions before you can return the main world map.
Also for those of you trying to figure out how to start the Dawnguard story line you simply listen to any guard passing by and he may mention Dawnguard and the mission will pop up on screen. You can also try talking to a guard directly about it, but mine appeared from a guard passing by me. You can also find Fort Dawnguard at the far southeast corner of the map (Southeast of Riften) but you’ll have to enter a cave first to get to it. I also believe you have to be at level 10 for it to trigger as a mission.
This new DLC brings in two new perk trees for both Vampire lord, and Warewolf with 11 perks each that give you an achievement for both. Basically all you have to do is kill things while as a vampire lord, or a warewolf that adds experiance points over time you can spend on perks. This remains separate from training your skills and character. Which is probably a good thing since I’m sure many players already have maxed out characters at level 100 and can’t earn more XP anyway.
I didn’t feel that playing the DLC story line would give you much experance to level both perk trees so I decided to just go on rampages and killing as much as I can to gain experience and ignoring the Dawnguard missions. The problem is that they didn’t play test Vampire Lord mode much since there are issues fitting under low ceilings in caves, mine shafts, and other places in doors. Plus you’re forced in 3rd person mode so the walls get in the way of the camera view and makes everything even more claustrophobic. Even when you’re “on foot” as a vampire lord my i didn’t have the headroom to get past some areas. I was forced to revert back to normal human form to get around.
After leveling Vampire Lord, I switched over too Warewolf (just head back to the Companions to switch) and it only took me a few sessions to quickly run though on a rampage to level up on warewolf. If you have Serana as a companion (which she joins you early in the story line) she can’t die so she can help make kills you can feed on but she IS a necromancer so if you’re not quick about it she will revive a body before you can feed. Also once you’re done leveling your warewolf she can make you a vampire again right on the spot. Problem is that after spending all day warewolf rampaging, you’ll say in warewolf mode for a good while (unless your health is low).
BTW avoid dragons while in either vampire lord, or warewolf form since the dragon (especially fire breathers) will fuck you up good. So anyway I found the game to lock up often, and repeatedly in particular locations, while exploring skyrim as a warewolf attempting to level up. Fortunately i was able to level up both warewolf and vampire lord, and now I can get back to the Dawnguard story line and see if i can get the last four achievements with out having to restart the the mission and join the Dawngaurd.
Also one last gripe I think the devs kina fucked up on. Why do I have to level Smithing to 100 to work on Dragon bone/scale armor and weapons when Daedric armor and weapons (which is at level 90) is BETTER rated? The ONLY exception to this is dragonbone arrows which has a damage of 25 vs Daedric arrows at 24.
The only other good thing about the dragon smith skill is Daedric dosen’t have light armor option, but dragon scale does, so I believe dragon scale armor is the best light armor you can get. However Daedric heavy armor is still better than heavy dragon bone armor.
I think I found a sort of glitch while playing as a Vampire. As a vampire lord, you cast this life sucking spell which works towards your vampire experience for it’s perk tree. But I really didn’t like being in this awkward form all the time. This one time I revered back to human form while still a Vampire Lord in hover mode, and I noticed I had my sword in my left hand (I usually dual weld one-handed swords) but I STILL had the Vampire Lord Life absorb spell in my right hand. I still functioned and let me gain experience for my Vampire perk tree! Sure I had a smaller magic pool to use this spell but it much nicer to run around in human form (not bumping my head on everything) and still being able to use other weapons or spells in my left hand, plus still have access to my inventory and take potions to get more magic power. But the moment i equipped anything in my right hand it went away, except for any two-handed weapons, bows or crossbows, once you unequipped them the life absorb spell came back.