Dawnguard is new downloadable content available for Elder Scrolls Skyrim. It was released at the end of June 2012 for the Xbox 360 console. The Dawnguard DLC will eventually be released for PS3 and PC owners, however, there may be a delay due to the number of glitches that were reported on the Xbox 360 version. PS3 and PC owners can expect the Dawnguard DLC to be available within the next couple of months (most likely September unless Bethesda decides to release it much earlier).
In Dawnguard, you will have two choices that you will have to make. You can either side with the Dawnguard vampires hunters or join Lord Harkon and the vampire faction. Note, however, you must join the Dawnguard first by default, but you can later betray them by joining the vampire faction.
Benefits of Joining Dawnguard vampire hunters in Elder Scrolls Skyrim
- New weapons and armor to fight the vampires, including crossbows.
- Able to hire Armored Trolls that serve as followers (you can still have a regular follower too)
- Access to Fort Dawnguard
- Access to new Werewolf perks
- See the Dawnguard side of the story (many locations the same as vampire missions, though)
Benefits of Joining Vampire Faction in Elder Scrolls Skyrim
- Can become a powerful Vampire Lord with access to perks for upgrading powers and acquiring new skills
- Access to a large vampire castle called Castle Volkihar
- Can get a Blood Hound dog to serve as a follower (can also have another follower)
- Access to blood potions for vampires in Castle Volkihar. This means you do not have to sneak into houses in Skyrim to feed on people.
- See the Vampire side of the story (many locations same as Dawnguard, though)
Which is the best faction? Dawnguard or Volkihar Vampries?
Regardless of which faction you choose in the Skyrim Dawnguard DLC, you still get Serana as a follower. Serana is the best, if not one of the best followers in all of Skyrim! She has powerful magic and uses conjuration magic to summon dead enemies to help you fight! You also get a powerful bow called Auriel's bow no matter what faction you side with. Auriel's bow is able to block out the sun for a day in Skyrim and does sun damage when shot at enemies!
While neither faction is the best, many players may find the vampire faction to be a bit more interesting story wise -- especially considering you have access to a huge castle! However, the Blood Hound dog follower is not nearly as good as the Armored Trolls that you can hire from the Dawnguard. If your looking for a second follower, then it might be a good idea to join the Dawnguard vampire hunters instead. Armored Trolls are much more effective in combat than the Blood Hound dogs that you get from the vampire castle.
Another major thing to consider is if you want to be a vampire or not. Remember, vampires can not regenerate health, stamina, and magica while in the daylight hours (even if it is cloudy). If you are not to fond of the idea of being weaker in the daylight or having to wait till nightfall, then it may be better off to join the Dawnguard. However, you will not be able to become an awesome Vampire Lord with cool powers until later on in the Dawnguard quest line. Serana can turn you into one.
Note becoming a vampire in Skyrim does not have to be permanent. There is a quest to heal the curse. So you could technically stay a vampire for a while then cure the curse later. I believe that Serana can turn you back into a vampire if you wish to have the Vampire Lord power again.
David 470 (author) from Pennsylvania, United States on July 14, 2012:
Oh thanks for the pointing that out! I heard she could turn you into a vampire before you go into the Soul Cairin area.
Choxy on July 14, 2012:
I joined Dawnguard, but you can ask Serena to turn you even after the quest is complete. So it is possible to choose Dawnguard and be a vampire. :-) Best of both worlds?! Nice hub!