The past few weeks have seen a plethora of information become available for the now-released Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim DLC, Dawnguard, which gives players even more to do in the already massive open-world RPG. Since its release yesterday morning, we have posted a quick guide on how to get started, and now look to the future to see what Bethesda has in store for their award-winning series.
Skyrim‘s Lead Artist, Matt Carofano sat down with gaming blogger I.Eat.Games yesterday to discuss what’s new in Dawnguard, what Bethesda Game Studios is looking forward to in next-gen consoles, and much more.
According to Carofano, production began on Dawnguard shortly after Skyrim was released, when a small group of developers got together and created a working prototype for the Vampire Lord, who can be seen in the DLC. After realizing the potential for expansion, the vampire storyline became the focus for the project.
“Vampires were something that we really hadn’t told a good story with–hadn’t really developed much–so we wanted to focus the DLC on that.”
The path from concept to completion is also something Carofano remembers fondly, as the team took the design process very seriously, and understood that the expansion would have to fit well within the context of the storyline Skyrim had worked hard to create. As far as content goes, there are plenty of new missions, items — even a whole skill tree to explore. High-level dragon encounters will also keep players on their toes, rewarding the player with additional high-level items such as forgeable Dragon Bone weapons.
“We give you a lot of gear on the Dawnguard side. That helps balance out the Vampire Lord’s abilities. The Dawnguard stuff has new light and heavy armor, new weapons, you can have a new type of dog companion, [and] an armored troll to come fight with you. On the Vampire Lord side you have a whole new perk tree and we also added a whole new perk tree for Werewolves too.”
So with Dawnguard finally released, does Bethesda have its sights set on additional content, or entirely new games? Carofano explained that to begin production on another DLC pack for Skyrim, the team would need to feel the same way about it that they have with Dawnguard. While nothing seems to be in the works quite yet, that could very well change.
As for next-generation consoles and the possibility of creating id Tech-powered titles, Carofano insists that Bethesda is very happy with the Creation engine, which has been completely re-done since Fallout 3 released several years ago. Instead, the art and design teams look forward to the graphical possibilities of future consoles — specifically the looser memory restrictions and ability to create more detailed models and textures.
“Every system was rewritten when we went from Fallout 3 to Skyrim so we could develop it further if we needed to… It is going to look tremendously better because of the jump, but we’re really really happy with the current generation consoles with what we’ve been able to push and get out of them.”
While Dawnguard itself doesn’t bring any technical improvements to Skyrim, it is packed full of awesome new content that any Elder Scrolls fan would be remiss not to try.
Ranters, what are your thoughts on The Elder Scrolls: Dawnguard — is there anything you would like to see in upcoming DLC releases, or are you looking forward to something else entirely?
The Dawngard DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is now available for the Xbox 360, and has yet to be given a release date for the PS3 and PC.
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