Bethesda announced on Tuesday morning that Dragonborn, the next official DLC for the highly-addictive RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is now rolling out. As always, Bethesda has released the content first for the Xbox 360 junkies, costing 1600 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. PC gamers and PlayStation 3 owners will likely be required to wait another month before the new content is dumped on Steam and the PlayStation Network.
"With Dragonborn, journey off the coast of Morrowind, to the island of Solstheim. Encounter new towns, dungeons, and quests, as you traverse the ash wastes and glacial valleys of this new land," the studio said in an email this morning. "Become more powerful with shouts that bend the will of your enemies and even tame dragons. Your fate, and the fate of Solstheim, hangs in the balance as you face off against your deadliest adversary – the first Dragonborn."
On Monday a beta tester revealed that Skyrim players won't need to complete the main quest in order to visit Solstheim, but different dialogue options will be available if the player has completed the game. Solstheim, which players previously visited in the Bloodmoon expansion for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, is a little different this time around. The island is reportedly the size of the Reach near Markarth, and provides a discreet map.
As expected with the introduction of a new area, the DLC will add new weapons, spells, shouts, armor, locations and enemies like werebears and new dragon types. There will be new factions like the Morag Tong, an assassin's guild from Morrowind, and a werewolf pack camped near Frostmoon Crag.
Kotaku reports that Dragonborn adds the toughest enemy yet, the Ebony Warrior. Players have swarmed to the Bethesda forums reporting that it will actually track down players that have reached level 81. This beast reportedly has "a 15-second paralyse ability, a resistance to fire, a powerful self-healing spell, and a sword that sucks your health and restores his."
One player claims that it took four attempts before he was able to defeat this new enemy. "He's like 15 legendary dragons in one," writes user ScoobyDoo. Others are reporting that The Ebony Warrior cannot be beaten in the first encounter, that he is definitely the hardest enemy in the game thus far.
Although Dragonborn may set back Skyrim gamers another $20, there's supposedly enough content to provide an additional 30 hours for the exploring type. To access the island, players reportedly will need to be up to the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller stage in the main campaign at the very least. The player will be attacked by a cultist whose eventual corpse will leave behind a note that sends the player on a quest to the new island. Qualified characters can also simply pay a visit to Gjalund Salt-Sage on Windhelm's docks.
Ready for some Dragonborn DLC? We definitely are. For those with an Xbox 360 copy, the new content is ready to purchase and download. We've reached out to Bethesda to find out when exactly we'll see the DLC hit Steam (and the PlayStation Network). As previously mentioned, typically the PC release is a month behind the Xbox 360 launch, so expect it around the beginning of January unless Bethesda is feeling festive and in a giving mood this holiday season. Of course, that would mean breaking its Xbox 360 exclusivity deal with Microsoft, so don't count on it.
Bummer, we know.