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My First Murder - Impressions of The Dark Brotherhood

Ryan Getchell Posted:
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You can hear the faint sounds of hundreds of conversations happening at once in the town square. It a busy day for the vendors in Wayrest. A dog barks as a person walks pass, a strong breeze whisks through the alleyway, it’s as if the city fell silent for a fraction of a second and all that was heard was the blood bubbling from the throat of your victim, his lifeless body falling to the cobble path and the clamor of the city begins again. Unseen, unheard, you assassinate your targets without hesitation, without remorse, you are a member of The Dark Brotherhood.

That’s right, The Dark Brotherhood DLC is now live on the PTS as of Monday April 25th. It has just finished downloading and I am about to jump into it and give it a first look. I thought instead of playing it and then doing an impression article, why not write it as I play. So fair warning, this article might have some weird flow to it as I will write about my impressions of the DLC as I experience them. Of course I won’t cover everything but I will do my best to cover the first initial content and will follow up with an additional article later on as I get to experience more and more of The Dark Brotherhood.

First thing I noticed was the character selection screen changes and boy does it ever look good. The changes are incredibly simple but that doesn’t mean they’re small. You can now see your total champion points, your active pet and active mount.  You can also now unlock additional character slots, four to be exact. To unlock these you’ll need to purchase them through the crown store.

Now let’s load into the game, the first thing I want to look at is Nameplates. I personally dislike the fact that Zenimax opted to put Nameplates in. Zenimax has stated from the beginning that they didn’t like the idea of nameplates because they clutter up the screen and take away from the beauty that is Tamriel. As a caveat, Nameplates are optional. They are off by default and turned on in the settings menu.

They’re not horrible. I have seen worse nameplates. Enabling all the nameplates will definitely clutter up the screen especially in a busy part of the game, a major city, or hub. Luckily we don’t need to enable all nameplates. Zenimax has given us a plethora of options for nameplates. This is going to make it easier for groups to locate individuals in smaller group situations such as 4 or 12 man. In larger group situations like Cyrodiil it’s going to be a clutter and incredibly hard to locate a specific person. The nameplates really do give this game a MMORPG vibe. Is that a good thing?

Personally, having the ability to mark individual characters or locations would have been a more useful addition than nameplates. Marking a player or person allows anyone to be able to see it versus trying to find a specific person by name in a crowd of people.

With the removal of the veteran ranks the tooltips on gear has changed. Instead of seeing veteran rank requirement you’ll now see a champion level requirement “Champion 90” for example. I’m currently playing Sneezes-When-Sneaking who wasn’t VR16 but is now level 50, Champion 211. Seeing gear with “Champion 20” as a requirement really makes me feel extremely underpowered. I suppose with the highest currently available being 160 Champion this character isn’t too far off, at least he’s more than half way to top. But since I don’t need to level anymore and all my level 50 characters are Champion 211 it’s just a matter of crafting the gear I need and I’m set.

Removal of the Veteran Ranks is by far the best thing to happen this DLC, at least so far. Let’s take the wayshrine and get into the thick of this DLC.

Upon zoning into Gold Coast I am presented with this notification, “Assassin has been added to personalities” Hmm, what’s this? Interesting, it appears that this is something along the lines of a costume except that it alters the way your character stands and portrays themselves. Assassin places sinister looking dagger in your hand. As you run you run with the dagger slightly at your back and if you walk it’s closer to your side as if trying to keep it out of view from other people. The idle animation is also changed. If you remain still for a short time your character will begin brandishing the dagger by flipping it around between his hands. Have to admit, this new Personalities option could go far into making the character more customizable. Role Players are going to thoroughly enjoy this feature, once you’re able to obtain more than just one option.

Just finished my first quest. A captain was having trouble with the Dock Master so we decided to pay his fees with his own money. Was a great plan! The reward was a random blue item, it was Champion 100. That would make it equivalent to a VR10 item. Since there are no Veteran ranks, and I am level 50 Champion 211, should the item not be a blue champion 160 or at the very least a 140? Seems strange that the item would be 100.

On to the next quest, maybe the rewards vary.

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Ryan Getchell