Jul 30, 2012
Last week Bethesda VP of marketing Pete Hines had us a little bit worried when he said last week that Bethesda "have not announced Dawnguard for any other platform." Follow up messages suggested that the tweet was designed to diffuse expectations of an imminent Dawnguard release on PC and PS3, but it was all a bit vague.
This post on Blue's News suggests that the situation will be resolved shortly. In a response to a twitter question asking if Dawnguard has been cancelled for PC, Hines reiterated that "nothing has been said/announced about it," but added that "we should have info later this week."
"Just sit tight," he tweets in response to another Dawnguard PC cancellation query. "We'll have info soon."
Dawnguard's been out for a month on the Xbox. We exposed Andy to the console build, and he came back with ten reasons be excited about Dawnguard.
It's been a month since Dawnguard arrived on the Xbox 360, which means the typical length of your average Microsoft exclusivity deal has expired, but there's still no news of any further release dates. So ... when can we expect Dawnguard on PC?
"We have not announced Dawnguard for any other platform, nor given a timeline for any such news," says Bethesda maketing VP Pete Hines in a tweet spotted by IGN. "If we have news, I promise I'd tell you." Oh.
Dawnguard is surely coming to PC, though, right? "I was simply stating that expecting/demanding something today is unfounded. Not that news is never coming," said Hines coyly in a follow-up tweet. "Sometimes it's better to say nothing until you can provide solid info than say something before you can," he adds.
Bethesda have been very quiet about the PC and PS3 versions of Dawnguard, but it's hard to imagine them keeping it back for Xbox 360 players when Skyrim is doing so well on PC. It's barely dropped out of the Steam top-ten most played games list since it launched in November last year. Hines' comments suggest that we'll have to wait longer than expected for more Dawnguard PC info, which is sad.
We couldn't stop ourselves from getting a peek at Skyrim's first expansion, we picked out ten reasons to be excited about Dawnguard's eventual arrival on PC. Take a closer look in the Dawnguard trailer from E3.
Skyrim is a much more stable game now than it was on launch. You'll still find the odd horse wedged halfway into a rock, but bar the occasional physics freak out, it all sort of works. That's the result of constant patches since launch, the latest one of which is live now in beta form through Steam. It's a straightforward update that delivers some "general memory and stability optimizations" and fixes some crashes, bringing Skyrim closer to perfect working order.
If you've just picked up Skyrim in the Steam sale, consider augmenting your copy with a few choice picks from our round-up of the 25 best Skyrim mods around, or use this one to go adventuring with Minecraft Steve, a slightly disturbing companion mod that adds Minecraft's block default bloke to Tamriel. If you're more excited about what's coming up next for Skyrim, check out our ten favourite things about the upcoming Dawnguard DLC.
Now for the patch notes. They're brief, so let's take an extra moment or two to remember the Skyrim that was, back when it was full of flying bears, and giants that could punt you into the stratosphere.
Accessible through the beta participation section of the account tab of your Steam settings.
General memory and stability optimizations
Fixed crash related to new water shaders
Fixed rare crash related to dragon landings
Mr. Minecraft aka Steve is a too good an adventurer to stay in one game. The Minecraft man has tunnelled his way out of Minecraft into Skyrim. Look, there he is, eating some bread. It's like meeting a celebrity. He can become a follower and aid you with a Minecraft bow and a diamond pickaxe, all with the help of a series of Skyrim Minecraft mods on the Steam workshop. Read on for a video of the mod in action.
The mods even add a Minecraft pig with a tiny saddle so that you can ride him. You can populate the world with Creepers and Minecraft zombies to fight. No Endermen, yet, thankfully, but it's probably only a matter of time. The mod isn't entirely stable at the moment, but if you fancy doing a bit of dragon slaying with Steve at your side, grab the files from the Minecraft Mods collection page.
Here's Aussie Tech Team's video of the mod in action. It is really quite surreal.
Jul 11, 2012
So, I’ve finished Dawnguard, the first Skyrim DLC, on Xbox 360. Boo! Hiss! But I’m looking forward to playing it again on PC, for two reasons. One, there won’t be a 20 second loading break every time I go through a door, and two, Dawnguard’s main quest has two distinct branching paths. You either join a group of vampire hunters, or become one yourself. Both paths will grant you access to some stupidly powerful weapons and a bunch of new abilities. Here are ten things to look forward to when Dawnguard finally arrives on PC.
1. Enhanced vampirism
“But you could be a vampire in vanilla Skyrim!” I hear you say. Yes, you could, but it was half-baked. Dawnguard fleshes vampirism out and makes it a worthwhile choice. Now you can reach the fourth stage of vampirism without people instantly fleeing or attacking you. Blood potions can be carried around for a quick, fuss-free fix of the red stuff, and you get access to 11 vampire-specific perks, including summoning a gargoyle to help you in battle.
2. Vampire lord form
Joining Harkon’s coven of bloodsuckers grants you the power to transform into a vampire lord. This gruesome alternate form makes people bolt in terror, and you get a powerful primary drain spell, and a secondary raise dead power. You can hover, or land on the ground and slice people up with your claws. It’s loads of fun, but don’t switch forms in an enclosed space: you won’t fit back through the door. Let’s hope they patch that before the PC release.
3. Werewolf skill tree
It’s not just vampires who get their own set of unique perks: werewolves do too. The lycanthropy skill tree offers a selection of interesting powers. Totem of the Moon allows you to summon a fellow werewolf during combat; Animal Vigor gives you a 100% boost to health and stamina while in beast form; and Totem of Terror (sounds like a metal album) makes enemies flee, regardless of their level. Careful, though: becoming a vampire lord will cure your lycanthropy.
4. Auriel’s Bow
This unique weapon is found in one of Dawnguard’s best quests, ‘Touching the Sky’, which Elder Scrolls lore fans will love for reasons too spoilerific to reveal. Auriel’s Bow isn’t just a powerful ranged weapon, but it can launch two special arrows. Bloodcursed arrows, when fired into the sky, block out the sun. Perfect for vampires. Alternatively, Sunhallowed arrows turn the sun into your own personal orbital air strike. It’s well worth seeking out.
5. New side quests
Dawnguard has been eight months in the making(!), so it’s a fairly hefty chunk of new content. It’s not just the Dawnguard vs. vampires quest you’ll get to enjoy; there are some other side ones too, each throwing up new loot, dungeons, story, and characters. At a leisurely pace, it took me almost 30 hours to do everything the DLC has to offer. The only letdown is that some of the dungeons are made up of reused assets from the main game.
When I first heard crossbows were being included in Dawnguard, I didn’t expect much. But then I used one. For stealthy characters, it’s perfection itself. They’re faster and more precise than bows, and lodge in an enemy’s head with a satisfying /thunk/. They’re the preferred weapon of the Dawnguard, but vampires can use them too. There’s also an even more powerful Dwarven variant that you can get the schematics for in a new quest, ‘Ancient Technology’.
7. The Soul Cairn
The most dramatic new area in Dawnguard is the Soul Cairn. This is a plane of Oblivion, and is accessed via a mysterious portal in Castle Volkihar – another new area that appears off the coast near Winterhold. As well as being visually striking, the Soul Cairn is huge, too. It’s full of angry Daedric spirits and cracks in the ground that, when touched, will fill any soul gems you have in your inventory. It’s one of Skyrim’s most surreal environments.
8. Change your appearance
If you’ve played vanilla Skyrim for a hundred hours, you’re probably sick of your character’s face, or regret giving them that stupid scar. Well, the good news is that Dawnguard allows you to change your appearance – but not your race or sex. The DLC makes a woman called Galathil appear in Riften’s Ragged Flagon who will change your appearance in exchange for 1000 gold. You can do this as many times as you like, providing you have the coin.
9. Armoured trolls
So vampires get to transform into bloodsucking demons, but the Dawnguard have some perks too: namely, being able to recruit armoured trolls as AI companions. These hulking brutes are formidable in battle, and will rush head-first into groups of enemies. Sadly, this means they die a lot when facing tougher foes, but don’t fret: you can hire another for 500 gold back at Fort Dawnguard, the vampire hunters’ HQ, as many times as you want.
10. Dragonbone weapons
Crafters will be pleased to know that a whole new set of weapons can be forged in Dawnguard from dragon bones. Dragonbone weapons are the strongest in the game, even more so than Daedric, but you’ll need plenty of ebony ingots, bones, and leather strips to create the whole armoury. They look fairly ridiculous, especially the bulky dragonbone warhammer, but when they cause so much damage, you’ll find it hard to care.
Take a closer look at Dawnguard with these screenshots and learn more in this E3 video interview with art director Matt Carofano.
A gentleman named Lambent Stew has put together a webpage that gathers some of your Steam data and arranges it like little quantitative ducks in a row. How nice.
There are a number of homemade utilities that reconstitute Steam information, like a Steam sales tracker, and a Steam account value calculator. What's unique to this one is it outputs some useful aggregate data, like total hours played, and what percentage of games you've bought you haven't opened, you jerk. Good lord, I haven't played 1,006 games. Tonight, Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships, it's you and me.
Jun 15, 2012
It's here at last! We've recovered from our post-E3 plagues, put the pieces of our lives back together, and took time to meditate in a sacred grove before doing battle in the PCG-awards-debate-ring of death to determine the best games at this year's E3.
Best RPG - The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard
Since Daggerfall, one of the best elements of The Elder Scrolls' sandbox gameplay has been the ability to be a secret monster among the bustling, unaware population of NPC sheep. More than anything, Dawnguard seems tightly focused on improving that experience. We've been teased a story that fleshes out vampires and their society in a way we haven't seen in a TES game since Morrowind. Said story will feature two possible factions to side with—the vampires or the Dawnguard—much like, one of the better quest lines in the base game, the Civil War. Plus, yay replayability!
On top of that, the expansion introduces a totally new creature form (the Vampire Lord) and full skill trees for both werewolves and vampires. Oh, and crossbows! At the end of the day, of course, we'll take any excuse to jump back into one of the best RPGs of the last decade with shiny, new content to explore.
Best Strategy - XCOM: Enemy Unknown
In a market that seems afraid to put out turn-based strategy titles, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is putting all kinds of alien anatomy to the wall, courtesy of heavy machine gun fire. Very much following in the spirit of the XCOM we know and love, every alien kill and every squad member death will be permanent (and all that more poignant realized in close-up, high-res 3D). Even the passive elements of the game, like watching your science teams dutifully experiment on the extraterrestrial scum between missions in the mesmerizing cross-section view of your space base, are filled with grit and flavor which we just can't wait to get our hands on.
The aliens are coming? We say let them come.
Best Update - Rift: Storm Legion
MMO expansion formulas can be simple: add a new continent with five new zones, raise the level cap five levels, add five skills per class, and add another class or race. Oh, and don't forget a large, evil bad guy for the players to kill in six months' time.
Much like the base game, Rift's next expansion does all that's expected of it and then adds an extra scoop of awesome into the mix. It's not just adding a new continent—Storm Legion adds two continents, each just as big as the entire existing game world. It's not just adding five skills per class—Storm Legion is adding two new souls (talent trees) for each class to tinker and play around with, so that you can pick which new skills you want to add to your character.
But the most promising element of the expansion—and what really won us over at E3—is how much experimenting the developers appear to be doing with the design of all that new content.
The demo of an open-world boss fight on one of the new continents showcased it best of all. The boss wasn't just a stack of hit-points. The 60-foot-tall monster had 5 or more different targetable areas. Hack at a specific piece of his body and you could knock off his armor or weaken a limb, and that'll affect the way he fights. Launch platforms around the area will fling your character across the sky at the collosal boss. Land on his shoulder and you can carve into him up close and personal, or crash into the energy well in his chest and you'll gain a temporary ability to blast him for mega-damage.
Best of all, when the boss is severely wounded, he doesn't just get a generic enrage buff—he goes on a rampage tearing down walls in the open world, which will temporarily open up a new part of the zone to everyone, complete with new quests and enemies to fight.
We haven't seen a lot of Storm Legion's content at this point, but what we've seen so far has us very excited about what other tricks the developers at Trion are packing into those two new continents.
Best Action Game - Assassin's Creed 3
Unless their branches are highlighted with a red “grab here” glow, trees are often off-limits in games. They’re tossed around environments to look naturey, bend in the breeze, and trap those who glitch into them. Watching the Animus’ new protagonist squirrel through a forest canopy and flick himself off a branch is almost disorienting.
After giving us grandiose playgrounds like the Coliseum in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Ubisoft could have stuck to its stonework and simply escalated the scope of movement with taller buildings. Instead, Assassin’s Creed III is taking an organic route, which we didn’t know we wanted until we saw Connor’s hunt so smoothly realized.
Pull away from that achievement in animation and there’s still more intrigue. How will Ubisoft handle the story of a half-British, half-Native American assassin caught in the upheaval of the American Revolution? Will the naval battle teased at Sony’s press conference be as fun as it looks, or a clunky side mission?
If any of it falls apart under hands-on scrutiny, it will at least have been a bold decision, and that deserves acknowledgement.
Best Hardware - John Carmack's Duct-Taped VR Headset
There's something very indie rock about coming to the mega marketing-splosion that is E3 with a $500 homebrew VR headset that's "literally held together with duct tape." And legendary Doom creator John Carmack is exactly the kind of guy you would expect to do it. A lot of great things in PC gaming have come out of these kinds of garage projects, and if the tech is as cool as our own David Boddington seemed convinced that it was after a hands-on demo, we could see this kind of thing becoming a pretty big deal among enthusiasts in the near future.
Best Indie Game - Natural Selection 2
“I think we should make our own modern FPS engine.”
“Hey, while we’re doing that, can we make the game look colorful, well-animated, and visually on-par with modern games?”
“So, we’re going to pursue an unthinkably ambitious design concept and make a multiplayer FPS with RTS elements.”
“Hey, you know what’d be a great idea? Left 4 Dead and StarCraft-style asymmetry between our alien and human factions.”
“Oh, and let’s make it an eSport.”
Best Sim - Arma 3
Bohemia Interactive understands the difference between authenticity as an experience and realism for realism’s sake.
But even shrugging off Arma 3’s refined mechanics and accessibility, it’s also the most impressive simulation of a real-world location we’ve ever seen in a game. Limnos (a near-clone of Lemnos, the Greek island) has a completely different feel: hundreds of enterable buildings, variegated terrain, and fine strokes that in 300-some square kilometers of virtual land. Fighting in it will be great and all, we’re sure, but man. Can you just let us walk around for awhile, Bohemia?
Best Shooter, Best MMO, Best of Show, Most Awards Received - PlanetSide 2
PlanetSide 2, on paper, almost seems too good to be true. In action, the "almost" disappears before your eyes and you're left wondering: How can something this ambitious actually exist? And if it can, why did it take this long for somebody to do it?
We didn't hand the same game the award for Best Shooter, Best MMO, and Best of Show lightly, but PlanetSide 2 clearly asserted itself as the top candidate in all of those categories. The shooting is fast, frantic, and fun. As an MMOFPS, it takes nearly every gameplay element that's been attempted in the genre up to 11, without making any compromises in its pursuit of its "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" premise. From what we've seen so far, PS2 has all of the elements PC gamers want in our ideal persistent, massively-multiplayer shooter, and probably a few we didn't know we wanted.
We love that everything you do, from the time your boots hit the ground to that inevitable moment that you're forced to log off by the sun coming in your window and the realization that you have to work, directly affects a world that doesn't go away when a match ends.
E3 hasn't ever really been about the PC, and this year featured a lot of big console titles, but we can say without any caveat that PlanetSide 2 stole the show for us. It's shaping up to be a transcendent experience, both as a shooter and an MMO, in a very "only on PC" kind of way.
Jun 8, 2012
There were a lot of great games at E3 this year, but only one can be the best. PC Gamer's editors pick their favorites from the show floor.
Logan: Watch Dogs
Go ahead and fiddle with your Facebook privacy settings all you want: Aiden Pierce knows exactly who you’re sleeping with and how you feel about them. He can tap your cell phone to listen to what you’re telling somebody or he can jam it so they’ll never hear it. He knows where you work, how much you make, and if you stash your cash in a private account he can plunder it at the nearest ATM. And if you try to get away from him, you better run someplace that isn’t under the domain of ctOS—the central operating system that administers Chicago’s infrastructure—and hope that he doesn’t mess with the traffic signaling system on your way out.
In an unexpected and wonderfully audacious demo, Watch Dogs ruthlessly teased me with the power to take the technological apparatus of an entire city and press it into my service as a tool of surveillance, reconnaissance, or destruction—while also giving me glimpses of what may be the terrible consequences of my actions (such as a hapless bystander desperately trying to resuscitate his dead wife after an accident that Pierce caused).
It’s still an action game—there’s shooting, there’s free-running, there’s bullet-time, and there’s beating a guy with a retractable baton—but throughout an E3 smothered by overbearing, barely differentiated violence in sequelized blockbusters, Watch Dogs feels far more ambitious. It seems to see in gamers not folks who will dutifully respond to more, bigger, and louder, but instead people who want their cunning, skill, and resourcefulness challenged in new and more imaginative ways.
Evan: PlanetSide 2
Fighting against two factions instead of one activates some dormant area of my FPS brain. It's not simply that you have more and differently-colored soldiers to shoot at, but you experience this novel feeling of competition over resources that matter. No other shooter gives me that sensation. Occupying someone else's base means something—just by contending for an outpost, you're earning a tiny trickle of resources. Own it, and that earned-over-time allowance extends to your whole empire (while being denied to the enemy). The magic of that mechanic is apparent even in an hour-long play session with a character I'll never use again in a crowded, loud convention center. Whether you like it or not, you're a part of something.
Beyond that, PlanetSide 2 is better-looking than Tribes, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and (save for Natural Selection 2, which I love the look of) any other multiplayer shooter I can name. The sci-fi context has let SOE's art team run wild with neon and high-contrast player and vehicle skins in a way Battlefield can't. It's a miracle that this will be free.
Runner-ups: Arma 3, Natural Selection 2
Rift never really grabbed my attention at launch. I've dabbled over the past year since its launch, but the game's first expansion, Storm Legion, cannot be ignored. A lot of information was revealed during E3, and everything I've seen has convinced me to re-up my subscription and dive back in headfirst. The expansion adds two continents that are each as large as the entire game world that exists today. That's cool, but it wasn't what had me scrambling for my credit card. What got me was the E3 livestream demo of Storm Legion content that showed a massive open-world boss who, when he's defeated, tears down walls to open new zones of the continent to players. Let me reiterate: this boss doesn't just drop loot when you take him down, he drops ENTIRE ZONES OF CONTENT. That's awesome, and so is everything else I've seen about this expansion so far.
Runner-ups: Planetside 2, SimCity
T.J.: The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard
It's hard to put into words how big a Skyrim fan I am. Three of my favorite things in the world are Vikings, werewolves, and The Elder Scrolls series. Letting me play in the homeland of the Norse-flavored Nords and be a werewolf in an open-world Elder Scrolls game almost gave me a fanboy heart attack. However awesome you think Skyrim is, multiply that by Odin to get how awesome I think it is. The only thing missing was an organized faction of wussy-ass vampires (you heard me, consider the gauntlet thrown!) to tear apart with my Nordic werewolf claws. Dawnguard gives me that, plus a new werewolf-specific perk tree. It may just be an expansion, but with the relatively lackluster showing of PC RPGs at this year's E3, it was the one thing I was most excited to hear more about.
Runner-ups: Assassin's Creed 3, Planetside 2
SimCity is looking more and more like the reboot the series deserves. The new engine is simulation-oriented, and changes the game's underlying processes without mucking with the SimCity mechanics we're used to, such as zoning areas. City specializations, resources, and vertical integration create opportunities for industrious mayors to noodle around with economics. The buildings have been pared down to their identifying features, making them charming and easily readable. The sound design makes crunching buildings into their foundations seem forceful and satisfying. Oh, and you can build cities next to your friends' if you want. It's evolving where it should while keeping the core SimCity concepts in play. If Maxis had asked me what I wanted from a new SimCity before it started on this project, I wouldn't have come up with anything I wanted as much as what it's promising.
Runner-ups: Divinity: Original Sin, PlanetSide 2
Tom Francis: Dishonored
Sipping tea in my rain-lashed manor back here in England, my view of E3 has mainly been the major publisher's press conferences. Their weird blend of family games and relentless, brutal, fetishised ultra-violence left me wondering if there was anything there for gamers like me.
But tucked away from the main stages, there was something for us: Dishonored. An open ended infiltration game with teleportation, possession, Force Push, and no small measure of fetishised ultra-violence. But they showed it in context, and demonstrated that the decision to put a blade through someone's skull was up to the player - that makes it meaningful. The generous 9-minute walkthrough video is hugely entertaining, and it's now the game I'm most excited about playing.
Tom Senior: Watch Dogs
Drab, misguided showings from many of this year's major players at E3 made me wonder what E3 is really for. Most of what was shown this year has been on the radar for a while. We were seeing new footage of largely known entities, but then, in the final moments of the Ubisoft press conference on day one, this appeared. An open world game of assassination and high tech espionage in an interconnected Chicago. Entire minutes passed without anyone being hit with a stick or shot in the face (that came later). There was investigation, conversation, and slow walk through rain slick streets in a flapping trenchcoat. There was a bit of GTA in there, and a bit of Deus Ex. It was beautiful, cool, and most importantly, new. E3 should be about surprises, which makes Watch Dogs my pick of E3 2012.
Runner-ups: John Carmack, Dawnguard
Chris: Assassin's Creed 3
What I'm looking for at an E3 presentation is a sense of the game I'll actually end up playing. It feels like the higher-profile the franchise, the less likely that we'll get to see what we'll actually be doing when the autumn rolls around.
Aside from the fact that Dishonored and Watch Dogs were taken, this is why Assassin's Creed 3 is my pick of the show. The seven minute demonstration at the Ubisoft conference certainly had its (seemingly) impossibly cinematic moments, but it was glued together by sequences that looked very much like an Assassin's Creed game - and a good one at that.
The moment when Connor returns deer meat to the forest encampment, for example, or when a passer-by asks him to fetch some mercury: that's what you're going to be doing come November.
It doesn't really bother me that Connor is the kind of assassin who'll ride a horse right up to the enemy gates, or blow up half a fortress to distract a target. Assassin's Creed has always been more of a gymnastic badassery simulator than a stealth game, and in that regard it's looking really, really slick. Also, their heavy enemy type appears to simply be defined as 'Scotsmen'.
Finally, the E3 screenshots refer to countryside parkour as 'treerunning'. Good work, Ubisoft. Pun of the show.
Runner-ups: Dishonored, Watch Dogs
Dawnguard art director Matt Carofano meets up with one of our E3 colleagues in Bethesda's E3 armoury to talk over the features we can expect from Dawnguard. Here's a summary of many of those new additions, and some Dawnguard screenshots showing the Soul Cairn realm, crossbows and Vampire lords that'll be added in the update. Carofano mentions that it's out later this month, but that's only on Xbox 360, sadly. It'll probably be a few weeks before it turns up on PC, which I greet with a feeling of disappointment that can only be communicated through the infinite sadness of dogs.
Jun 6, 2012
Todd Howard's been chatting to G4TV about many of the new features we can look forward to in Skyrim's upcoming expansion, Dawnguard. It'll give you the choice to become a vampire lord and side with vampire leader Harkan, or join the fight against unambiguous evil by siding with the Dawnguard. Howard dropped details on the perks and abilities we'll get to use on both sides, and talked a bit about some other extra stuff we can look forward to, including a magical mount that can be summoned from the plane of the dead, and your very own armoured troll.
You turn into this dude.
You can then turn into a swarm of bats to dodge attacks.
You can fly. And hover.
You can "bite people and suck their health and kill them" to open up new perks.
You can summon gargoyles.
You get a "vampiric gripping-people-and-throwing-through-the-air" move
New dragon shout: Soul Tear. This "lets you rip the souls out of other people, then you collect their soul, and then they become your undead minion."
You'll do more "crafting and exploring" on the Dawnguard side of things.
You can wield crossbows. TWHUNK!
You can wear really sweet armour.
You can "have your own armoured troll." Howard sadly did not elaborate on this, except to say "'scool."
You get a new perk tree that revolves around mauling enemies. The more you maul, the more you move up the tree. Howard explained that Bethesda have added the tree to help werewolves keep up with high level characters. Here are some abilities spotted on the tech tree.
Bestial Strength: do 25% more damage as a werewolf
Totem of Terror: Werewolf Howl of Terror affects even higher level enemies.
Animal Vigor: 100 point bonus to health and stamina in beast form.
Gorging: Feeding heals twice as much health.
Here are some other abilities that are named but not detailed.
Totem of Ice Brothers
Totem of the mace
Totem of the Predator
You can return to Oblivion to explore the "Soul Cairn." That's a big, glowing purple dimension that we've seen in recent screenshots.
Dawnguard will add "ten to 20 hours of new content."
There will be new crafting recipes for Dragonbone weapons, which will be more powerful than Daedric ones. "You can craft crossbow bolts."
Many of the ideas for Dawnguard came about during the Skyrim game jam that Todd Howard highlighted at DICE 2012.
There will probably be Snow Elves. Some files for these were spotted hidden away in recent Skyrim patches. "Errrrrrm," said Todd Howard when asked about them. "There's a lot of things in the DLC. We don't want to spoil anything"
Dawnguard is coming out on June 26 on Xbox 360 and will cost $20. Todd Howard has "no idea right now" when it'll come out on other platforms so it looks like we'll just have to wait, and perhaps brood in the moonlight for a bit to get into the spirit of things.
For more on Dawnguard, have a watch of the Dawnguard trailer and check out the E3 screenshots.