Expanding Skyrim

Skyrim will have DLC; that's a given. However, this time the DLC will look more like mini-expansions if I'm paraphrasing Todd Howard correctly. That's great, and I'll be looking forward to playing the new content when it arrives (goes on sale in Steam). But I believe that things should be different this time around.

Recent expansions/DLC in Bethesda titles created completely new lands for players to explore. Oblivion's one and only expansion led the player to a surreal land known as The Shivering Isles. Fallout 3 also pushed the player outside the boundaries of The Capital Wasteland, such as The Pitt and Point Lookout. While new sights are fine and dandy, they turned out to be standalone stories that had no ties to the original storyline of either game. This won't be acceptable if the same mindset for DLC is shoehorned into Skyrim, and here's why:

The lore in Skyrim is thicker than ever. There are characters in play that affect the world, and if you traveled around Skyrim, then you know what I mean: Maven Black-Briar, the Thalmor, and more. What I hope for with the coming DLC is content that revolves around these big players that have a major grasp on Skyrim, similar to the end-game DLC in Fallout 3 that was Broken Steel. Personally, I would love to put a dent into the plans of the Black-Briars. Even more so, I would like delve into content that centers around the Thalmor, seeing that the player has little quarrel with them aside from a main quest, and that wasn't even much of an interaction. If the player sided with the Imperials, why not have a say in electing the new high king?

How about quest lines with specific companions, Mass Effect 2 style? The people that can follow you have enough personality to give more background story. It's kind of silly to have done a favor with them and then they decide to follow you around to each end of the earth.

And perhaps most importantly, as mentioned in the Bombcast, there should be content that would make the different factions in the game interact with each other, seeing that the player would eventually be the leader of all them. The idea of characters from the The Companions, The College of Winterhold, The Thieves Guild, and The Dark Brotherhood working together is teeming with endless possibilities.

The point is that it would be foolish to not expand upon what Skyrim already has, and Skyrim has a lot. The standalone content I already mentioned with Oblivion and Fallout 3 has you start out as a pawn in many ways, and with a level 30-50 player that has already affected the world in one form or another, I find that quite ridiculous. What DLC should do this time around is to bring back that epic level of world changing events, as the player already felt with the main quest.