PC Gamer
Dawnguard


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.
PC Gamer
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Dawnguard - the return of surprised skeleton


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.

Kotaku

Skyrim: Dawnguard 30-Day Xbox 360 Exclusivity Has Now Exceeded 30 Days Wondering when you can get Skyrim's downloadable content Dawnguard for your PlayStation 3 or PC? So is Bethesda.


"We have not announced Dawnguard for any other platform, nor given a timeline for any such news. If we have news, I promise I'd tell you," Bethesda vice president of marketing Pete Hines wrote on Twitter yesterday.


But in May, Bethesda told me that the Xbox 360 would have a 30-day exclusive on the DLC. Dawnguard was first released on June 26. Today is July 27.


I've reached out to Bethesda to ask why the Xbox's exclusivity period has exceeded 30 days. I'll update if they respond.


Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Jim Rossignol)

That’s not to say that it’s not coming out, just that there’s no announcement, and that we should therefore not expect its imminent release – which was something we wondered about with the advent of the recent patch. Pete Hines, who tweeted the news of the non-announcement, followed up by saying “I was simply stating that expecting/demanding something today is unfounded. Not that news is never coming.” SO MAYBE IT WILL BE ANNOUNCED. IT’S ANYONE’S GUESS.

Oh well, anyway, that’s a shame. We’d just imagined it had been announced. I’m going to pass the time waiting for announcement by installing one bajillion mods from Skyrim’s Steam Workshop and seeing what happens. Crabs wearing monocles, probably.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

I still haven't finished the main quest, actually

It’s odd to look back to the many frustrations of Skyrim’s launch, all those PC-specific oversights and technical flaws that drove us spare, and how so many (but not all, I know – modding the UI is still all but vital, for instance) of them have since been addressed. New textures, 2GB RAM cap lifted, sound quality bug sorted, mounted combat added… What seemed to be a fairly perfunctory PC version has been nurtured to fuller health in the days since launch, and that continues with patch 1.7, now in beta on Steam. There isn’t much in the way of big revelations, but “General memory and stability optimizations” is the kind of thing that’s always good to hear. I wish someone would optimise my> stability. (more…)

PC Gamer
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim


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.

Update 1.7
Accessible through the beta participation section of the account tab of your Steam settings.

BUG FIXES

General memory and stability optimizations
Fixed crash related to new water shaders
Fixed rare crash related to dragon landings

 





PC Gamer
Skyrim Minecraft


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.

Kotaku

Thanks to a Daily Deal over at the Steam Summer Sale, popular role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is $30 for the next half-day. You can also get a ton of Bethesda games for only $50. [Steam]


Kotaku


There's nothing quite like a bard in a tavern, strumming his medieval proto-guitar of choice (here a mandolin, there a lute, sometimes a harp) and humming dulcet tones.


Then there's this bard. He's a little more 21st century than those other minstrels and troubadours. As he says: "You see, I bear some rare amazing information / and you look like someone who's used to strange situations." Because he's the rapping bard. And his Skyrim-wide rhymes are funnier than they have any business being.


PC Gamer
1_skyrim_dawnguard_vampirelord


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.
6. Crossbows
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.
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