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ALWAYS fast travel to outside of town.
That way, if it's still night or early in the morning, you can wait and don't risk an attack. You don't want to arrive before at least 8 am, or there's a risk of a vamp attack.
It's one of the challenges of Dawnguard's presence, the spreading vampire issue, and the danger it poses to innocent bystanders. Weather it be by your own hand, or the vamp attack.
If you have a character that you do not wish to have the Dawnguard events effecting the world, start the main story until you pick up Serana, then just tell her to wait somewhere.
For some illogical reason, from the point you get her until the point you deliver her to her initial destination, the vamp presence nearly completely stops. Just leave her somewhere during that window and you stay in that safe window.
Thanks, Springer, that's good to know. I wasn't yet convinced I wanted to drop the summoner yet, though I trending in that direction. I did take my mage to Fort Dawnguard. It is pretty impressive and doesn't look like a ruin to me. I wonder why it is so very different in architecture than anything else in Tamriel? It looks like it should be in Dragon Age.
Also, keep in mind that while what Springer mentioned does work about 95% of the time, there will always be slight chances of daylight attacks. I've had this happen in both Whiterun and Markarth, resulting in the death of the main blacksmith merchant. The piece of advice I would add is, if this happens, drop your difficulty to Novice right away, so that the fight ends quickly without you having to even get involved. Both times when it happened to me, I was on Legendary, and the fact that the fight dragged on is what led to NPC deaths.
I do have one quick question. I'm a werewolf still from the companions quests. If I plan on not being either Werewolf or Vampire? do I have to cure myself first or will I get a clean bill when I choose later on how I want to continue? I'll probably get back to Skyrim late tonight or tomorrow. Since DG is loaded I know I'm going to have to choose right away. I plan on playing this as my present character at level 80.
Guess I should get into Dawnguard soon too. Downloaded it but still haven't got round to playing any of it.
If you are a werewolf and go to the vampire castle, if you accept the Lord's offer, it will take away your werewolf nature and turn you full vampire.
Also if you were a Vampire Lord, and hadn't joined the faction and quest that turns you werewolf, than doing so should make the change as well.
You don't have to choose right away. You get to a point in Dawnguard where you decide to be a vampire or not, but the werewolf stuff has nothing to do with any of it, other than the added werewolf perk tree in wolf form. If you are one or the other, and want to be fully human, you need to fins the appropriate cure.
Also, it's true that vamps still do early attacks in the sun, so if you want to be more careful, enter towns even later.
Even though I said 8 am before, I usually give it till at least 10 am.
I killed a innocent in Whiterun as well while trying to kill a vampire lord and now the guards chase me out of town. I kind of like the added challenge of vampires attacking though. Going to have to restart at an earlier checkpoint however because I still have quests in Whiterun haha.
There are some advantages of having DG I have found that prove to be useful. But that mainly depends on which character you are playing as. If you have an Assassin char and choose to be a vampire you get extra boost to sneak as vampires move silently.
As far as the attacks go either side will come after you at any given time. I quick traveled to WR and arrived in the middle of the night and was attacked. Then several days later did the same thing and arrived during the middle of the day and again was attacked. That one was quite funny as all the towns people went after my attacker and killed him.
One extra advantage to being a vampire is anything you kill, be it wolf, hooker, or w/e counts to your vampire skill tree.