[Guide] Borderlands 2 Basics for New Players

oh, cool stuff joey, thanks for the pin!


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Would it be worth putting in there somewhere something about advice on not getting a power level until you’ve played through uvhm at least one time? (I’m pretty sure you guys understand why but new folks may not. A lot of my experience with these requests comes from the handsome collection ps4-xone).


I think it’s worth putting in a general comment about power-levelling. The guide is really aimed at the new player going through NVHM with their first character, but that’s probably an even worse time to get power-levelled!

Edit: done, and also completed part 2. Onwards to part 3!


Very nice! A few comments about the most recent section:

  1. You’re missing a ] to close the \color after Catch-A-Ride in the No Vacancy paragraph.
  2. I didn’t find Neither Rain Nor Sleet Nor Skags to be that bad on NVHM. But skipping it is no loss either.
  3. Medical Mystery - for Vault Hunters not named Krieg, there are effectively three entrances. You can geyser up to the rock next to where Doc Mercy appears and fight him alone. Though there’s not much room to maneuver, and he can introduce new players to the existence of transfusion grenades in a rather unpleasant way. I didn’t understand how he was killing me when I was in cover and well outside of grenade blast radius until I checked the wiki afterwards. :stuck_out_tongue: On the plus side, if one does take him out this way, the spawns for the Blaster part of the quest plus all the guys who are still alive in the main cavern (since you didn’t go in that way and kill everyone) should be enough to finish the quest without further travel.
  4. I share your ambivalence about Assassinate the Assassins. Like many side quests, I did it on my first playthrough and have ignored it ever since.
  5. Thank you for including a note about the Gwen’s Head! I didn’t know that gun existed until my second character was in TVHM, too far along to use it herself by then.
  6. Is Too Close for Missiles to be in part 3? That’s one of my favorite quests in any game ever. :grinning: But this guide is already incredibly detailed so I completely understand if you need to dial back and start focusing primarily on the main story quests for the rest of it.

Keep up the good work!


I gotta say you’re doing an amazing job with this. I wish I had something like this when I first started playing the game. It’s well written, well thought out and well organized. Bravo, friend!

I have just a couple of observations I’d like to make:

You can go back to the vendors any time you like after handing in the mission and being teleported to the platform. Some debris collapses after you-know-who teleports to Sanctuary, making a bridge for you to cross the gap back and forth. You gotta be somewhat careful when jumping back to the platform, so yeah, I agree that it would be better to finish looting and hit the vendors before handing in the mission, but you made it sound like you couldn’t get back to that area after being teleported. That’s not really the case.

I hate all the timed delivery missions in the game as much as the next guy, but I think this one is actually the easiest and least annoying to do in all three modes. You can take a few minutes to quickly clear that area from enemies while you’re working on the other missions and then just go back after taking the packages to stroll around freely and deliver them all without having to deal with anybody shooting at you. Even in UVHM, it’s ridiculously easy to do. It takes me a total of 15 minutes tops to do it. Also, there are five weapon chests in that area - one Dahl, three port-a-pottys and one of those cool looking car trunk chests. That’s a lot of free loot for such an easy mission, so I certainly wouldn’t tell new players to skip it.

Ooh, that is a nice trick! Worth using on any character since you don’t have to get the geyser timing right. Thanks!

You’re welcome.

Good point. I’ve jumped that gap to get out on subsequent visits to Incinerator Clayton, but it never occurred to me to go back in! My biggest concern is being teleported while you’re actually in the vending machine inventory, just in case that might be a potential cause of save corruption. I’ll reword later - there’s a batch of small fixes.

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My problem with the mail delivery is that even after pre-clearing the bandits, I kept getting stuck/lost and missing a delivery. I did complete the mission once by religiously following a video guide, but it was a pain.

I agree that “Missiles” is fun, but it doesn’t really help with gear, and the guide is getting to be a lot longer than I’d realised. I should probably mention that you need to take it to complete the Cult of the Vault map challenge, though…

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If you go in to the cult of the vault that will easily add another page or 2 if you actually explain where they are.

I know, which is why I’m not actually going to do that! Besides, there’s already a ton of videos and guides on all the challenges. I’ll just mention it when you have to take a specific side quest to unlock an area containing parts of map challenges.

Vault Hunting 101: Borderlands 2 Basics for New Players

Part 3 of your spoiler-free guide to characters, gear, loot, quests, and skills for your first play-through, covering Bloodshot Ramparts to End of the Line.

Continuing the Normal Vault Hunter Mode (NVHM) play-through from part 1 and part 2 of this guide. As before, cyan headings denote missions, while other colours denote main sections, gear and weapons, or skills entries. If you find any errors, parts that are unclear, or just have a question, highlight the relevant bit and hit the “quote reply” button to post a message; I’ll try and respond to everything in a timely manner.


Bloodshot Stronghold & Ramparts

The Bloodshot Stronghold map leads to the secondary map, Bloodshot Ramparts; you can only fast-travel to the first of these. Bloodshot Ramparts is one of four maps in the main game to contain a one-way fast travel station. They are indicatated by a yellow-orange color and a sign above them that features a U-turn symbol with a diagonal line through it. As the name suggests, you can only leave from one of these stations. For the main story, this means that if you leave before completing the mission, you must return via the Bloodshot Stronghold fast travel station and work your way back through both maps. I therefore recommend that you don’t start the next main mission until you are fully geared up and ready to tackle a run similar in length to the one from Liar’s Berg to Three Horns Divide from part 1. Once you are ready, have at it!

Golden Keys

One way to gear up is through the Golden Chest in Sanctuary, which is located inside Pierce Station at the opposite end to the fast travel. To use this, you will first need a SHiFT account and the code for at least one Golden Key.

  • If you haven’t already done so, create a SHiFT account (this also lets you sign in to post in these forums!)
  • Login to your SHiFT account, and link your account to your PSN, Steam, or XBL (gold subscrption not required) account .
  • Check either @Gulfwulf’s post here or one of the links on that page to obtain currently valid SHiFT codes.
  • In the main game menu, choose Extras > SHiFT Code and enter the codes one at a time to redeem them (some may be expired, but new ones are posted periodically.)

Now when you continue your game, go to Sanctuary and put your cross-hairs on the Golden Chest; you should see an icon showing how many keys you have to spend. Each key opens the chest one time, and the loot inside will be e-tech or purple, and will always be your current level. Spend a few keys every time you feel your gear isn’t up to the task. If you don’t like what you get, or it doesn’t meet your needs, you can either trade it, pass it down to another character, or sell it for cash so you can buy that awesome “Item of the Day”. Happy looting!

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Rescue Roland (1)

For the first half of this fight, you’ll want fire and shock weapons; for the second half (across the Bloodshot Ramparts), you’ll definitely want at least one good corrosive weapon. You have several options for the latter:

  • The Hornet from Knuckledragger in Windshear Wastes (part 1)
  • The Bad Touch from Moxxi in Sanctuary (Plan B in part 1)
  • A corrosive Fastball from Boll (In Memorian in part 2)
  • A corrosive Emperor or other unique drop from one of the Assassins (part 2)
  • A corrosive e-tech or purple weapon from the Golden Chest in Sanctuary (see above)

Once you are ready, take the Fast Travel to Bloodshot Ramparts. The map itself is fairly linear, but you will meet a lot of enemies along the way, including several badass nomads and psychos. Take your time, don’t rush and, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, back-track to catch a breather and search for ammo. If you’re doing the map challenges, keep your eye out for couches and vault symbols! (There’s one whole branch of the map that you can’t get to until you take the subsequent side quest, Splinter Group, but you’ll need that area to complete two of the challenges.) There are also a bunch of echo logs along the way that are quite entertaining (and tell you more about Marcus)!

The first major fight is in an area with a large whirlpool at the bottom, and a ramp up to a balcony around the other level.

There’s an area by a large shuttered door where the map marker is pointing on the upper level; if you get too close to this (or eliminate all the other bandits in the area first), a badass nomad called Mad Mike will appear, along with some buddies. He can be a real pain, especially on subesequent play-throughs, as he wields a rocket launcher. If you find he’s hitting you hard you can either (1) stay down in the lower level and try to snipe him from cover or (2) get behind one of the pillars in the upper balcony so he can’t hit you directly, and take pot-shots at him while he’s reloading. Although Mad Mike reappears every time you play through this map, he doesn’t have a designated drop. (Probably just as well, since his loot often goes straight into the whirlpool…) Incidentally, if you’re wondering how in the world you’re supposed to complete the whirlpool challenge, use a short-fuse singularity grenade tossed just to the side of the bridge. Fortunately, you don’t need to complete that challenge during the story mission!

Once past Mad Mike, you’ll fight your way through another room where an electric fence is protecting a red loot chest. The switch to deactivate this is in a small room off to the left of the corridor leading out of this area to the next one. The room after that can be very chaotic if you rush right in, but is a good spot to work on your sniper and grenade skills. There’s a hard-to-spot echo log in this room, but you should spot it fairly easily if you turn back once you’ve cleared everyone out.

Finally, you reach the cell block and Roland, leader of the Crimson Raiders. (If you’re wanting the vault symbol, head up the ladder and across the pipes to the upper room.) Activate the lock on his cell to trigger a cut-scene, then stand back so you don’t get blown up! Follow Roland through the remains of the map, clearing both the bandits and the Hyperion robots in front of you, and take the map transition to the Bloodshot Ramparts.

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Combat Basics (3)

At this point, you’ll run across your first Hyperion robot enemies. These all have a common critical hit location - their “eye”. The classes that walk upright (various types of loader) are also vulnerable at their joints - it’s possible to shoot their arms and legs off! They all take reduced fire damage, but are more susceptible to corrosive. Quite a few also have shields, requiring a shock weapon. Tesla and singularity grenades are really helpful, especially laid down between you and your targets. Here are some other hints and tips:

  • EXP Loaders: painted with black and yellow diagonal stripes, these do what the name suggests. They’ll chase you down, release a series of shock novas, and detonate. Take out their legs ASAP.
  • BUL Loaders: carry a bullet-reflecting shield; they will also transform into a bulldozer and try to crush you. You can either aim for the eye or their legs in the first form (or use a weapon with high splash damage). For the second form, it is possible to jump over them or sideways if you do it early enough; you CANNOT out-run them back-pedalling, so don’t even try it.
  • PWR Loaders: their arms become spinning, bullet-reflecting blades; they can also unleash a powerful rotating melee attack. Use similar tactics to BUL Loaders.
  • WAR Loaders: much larger, with cannons/launchers instead of arms. Badass variants have multiple cannons/launchers on each side. These can still be shot off, but it takes longer.
  • Surveyors: Fast flying shielded robots that can be hard to hit. Besides the general tactics for flying enemies mentioned in part 1, damaging a nearby loader to the point it requests repairs (a hammer and wrench icon will appear over one shoulder) puts nearby Surveyors into repair mode. This “tethers” them to the loader, making them much easier to hit.
  • Constructors: a large, stationary, armless robot that can construct other robots! They’re not defenseless either, since they can launch a variety of rockets, and fire highly damaging laser beams from their eyes that eat shields and quickly set you on fire. If you get behind or beside them, they also have a ground-pound that launches a nasty, powerful nova. Take their shield down ASAP, and land as many hits as possible in their eye. Since they can’t take evasive action, planting a bunch of Tesla grenades (or their corrosive equivalents) on top of them helps too.

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Rescue Roland (2)

Once you’re ready to proceed, make your way down to the road way and start following the path of destruction. You’ll come across numerous groups of bandits and robots duking it out along the way; either let them wear one another down and them mop up, or take them all out while they’re distracted (more XP that way.) There are plenty of ammo sources along the way, and you can always double-back to the vending machines if you want to unload gear or get more ammo.

You’ll encounter more than a few surveyors and at least one badass WAR loader along the way, but there’s plenty of cover to be found. Eventually, after much fighting, you’ll emerge into an open area with a One-way Fast Travel and a large, open gate. STOP HERE!


  • Do NOT take the One-way Fast Travel unless you want to repeat the entire fight through both maps!
  • Do NOT round the corner through the gate until you are ready (action skill off cool-down, all weapons reloaded, appropriate weapons equipped.)

Once you go through the gateway to the Shrine of the Gun-bringer, a timer will start. If you do not manage to free Roland in that time, he will be taken to the Friendship Gulag, which is located off The Dust. There are also “lunar reinforcements” that arrive at set times, so the faster you can take down the constructor, W4R-D3N, the better. There are generally two approaches you can take:

  • Cautious - stay off to the side so you can duck into cover easily. Avoids novas, lasers and missiles. Downside - you’ll get charged by a LOT of robots, and may fail to free Roland before the timer runs out.
  • Moderate - get behind W4R-D3N, and whittle his health down. Avoids lasers. Downside - suicidal bots and ground slams. Depending on your character, build, and gear, you may also fail.
  • Murdertime - take down the shields from the side, then get in W4R-D3N’s face and blow his eye out. Downside - you may end up in FFYL a few times, although there are usually robots or turrets you can second-wind off.

My fastest times have been with the last method…

Assuming you freed Roland in time, he will also help. A nice touch for Borderlands 1 players is that Roland will also deploy his Scorpio Turret: stand in the blue-and-red circle, and you’ll get both health and ammo resupply! When it’s all over, talk to Roland to turn in and advance the story mission to A Train to Catch. This also unlocks the following side missions:

  • Splinter Group (lvl.14) from Tannis, returns to Bloodshot Stronghold
  • Mighty Morphin’ from Hammerlock, takes you to Tundra Express
  • Out of Body Experience, found when you return to Bloodshot Stronghold

If you didn’t manage to free Roland, take the One-way Fast Travel to The Dust, and grab your vehicle of choice from Ellie’s Garage. Peel out to the right, blast through the gap between the rock and the cliff, and keep going more-or-less straight to the Catch-A-Ride just outside Dahliwell Oasis (the Hyperion settlement mentioned in one of the Helena Pierce echo logs). You’ll see a ramp up the cliffs just to the right of the Catch-A-Ride. You’ll need to dismount and run up the last part to the Friendship Gulag map transition.

Once inside the Gulag, the first area is relatively safe and contains a couple of vending machines. Going past those into the main compound, you have two choices: cut up the left side along the wall, making a right at the top; or go straight across and up the middle, putting you on the opposite side of W4R-D3N. Get ready for the fight of your life! There will be tons of robots and Hyperion soldiers and engineers and, when those are depleted, you’ll find W4R-D3N busily making more. The tactics are pretty much the same. If you’re having difficulty, you can always head back to Ellie’s Garage and take the side quest from Loggins so you can level up a bit, as well as scavange better gear.

Either way, once Roland is free, it’s time to head back to Sanctuary before continuing to Tundra Express

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Splinter Group

This optional side-quest has the blue unique shotgun, the [color=steelblue]RokSalt[/color] as a reward. It also provides an opportunity to get the legendary grenade mod, the [color=orange]Storm Front[/color]. While the RokSalt isn’t one of the better blue unique shotguns, it’s not a bad close-range freebie for this stage of the game. So, I recommend taking this partcular side quest.

Talk to Tannis, then get the pizza from Moxxi’s. Return to Bloodshot Stronghold, and go the same way as the Roland mission. In the second room, you’ll find a loader needs your help. Grab the Loader #1340 AI Core, then reset your current mission to Splinter Group.

Clear the next room (with two spinning turbines) plus the next if neccessary. Drop down to the bottom of the turbine room; the door at end of first corridor should now be open. Head through, trigger the New-U save point, then head up the ladder and follow the markers.

Press through until Tannis tells you to communicate - check this & the previous room for incomplete map challenge items. Once you’re ready, hit the buzzer. Drop down to the Rat’s Nest, place pizza, and fight! Watch out, as these enemiess can cloak completely. Afterwards, take the only available exit to a room with a series of obvious switches (I recommend you don’t open red chest yet.) Click the switches in the correct sequence to get all the overhead indicator lights green to unlock a further surprise! If you’re having difficulty figuring the puzzle out, Floor, wall, TV, TV. Exit up the ladder, and switch to:

Out of Body Experience

Fight your way out to the Bloodshot Ramparts; pause after the map transition and restock at the nearby vending machines. Clear the bandits from the area and follow instructions; try not to die! Repeat in the next area, then fight your way on to the one-way Fast Travel at the far end of the map.

When ready, return to Sanctuary and head to Moxxi’s. Follow instructions until you get the option to turn in to either Marcus for a blue unique shotgun or Zed for a blue unique shield; if you’re also running Splinter Group, I’d suggest handing in to Zed since you get a shotgun from Tannis anyway.

Finally, turn Splinter Group into Tannis and profit!

Quest Reward Farming

For quest rewards like the RokSalt which can come as any element or no element at all, it is possible to farm the reward to get the one you want. First, before turning the mission in, make sure you force a save (pass a save point, use a Quick Change, or save-quit/restart). Hand in the mission and examine the reward being offered. If it’s not the element you want, you can dashboard (on console, hit the centre button and either sign out or exit to dashboard without saving progress); this preserves the ability to hand in the mission so can try again. In this case, you could hold out for an acid, fire, shock, or slag version of the RokSalt shotgun.

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Tundra Express

  • Main Story:
    • A Train To Catch
  • Side Quests:
    • Mighty Morphin’
    • No Hard Feelings
    • You Are Cordially Invited

Before heading out to Tundra Express to catch a train, you have the option of picking up a side quest from Sir Hammerlock. There’s no unique reward for this quest, and it won’t take you anywhere you wouldn’t travel for the main story, so it’s up to you. One reason for taking it would be if you’re still feeling yourself a little under-levelled for the game, since it’s very easy to do both side quest and main story at the same time. For that reason, I’ll give a short outline.

Either way, grab everything you need in Sanctuary before you head out, then Fast Travel to Three Horns Divide and grab a vehicle; head to the Tundra Express exit in the north-west corner of map. Along the way, critters/bandits will now be much lower level than you so you can rack up challenges as you go. Once in Tundra Express, head to the Fast Travel station and get a fire gun from the Snowman (you’ll figure it out) - a freshly-levelled Tinderbox.

Mighty Morphin

Start by heading left and igniting a couple of the varkids. You’re looking to injure one enough that it screams and “pods up”. The latter makes a very distinctive sound; once you hear it,hit the pod with the injector and quickly kill off any remaining varkids. Let it hatch, kill it, pick up the pieces, and keep going. Once you’ve exhausted that area, head back towards Varkid Ranch across the other side of the path to/from the Fast Travel for more varkids.

A Train To Catch (1)

You’ll need to wake Roland’s spy. Either just shoot as many as possible with your fire gun, take advantage of the Firemelon plants around each varkid areas, or activate the fire poles to scorch a wider area. Enough screaming gets your contact awake, triggering a cut-scene. Note that your contact slags whatever he hits without killing, which makes it easier for you to finish the job. (He can aso steal you kills, but you don’t really have much choice!)

During this mission, you will sooner or later meet a member of the Tundra Patrol, which will unlock the side-quest No Hard Feelings. I suggest taking it, as it’s pretty straight-forward. Just pay attention to the hints from the dialogue! Eventually, you should be done with both Mighty Morphin AND No Hard Feelings, and can find you way to Tiny Tina’s workshop. Be sure to say hi! Once the initial dialogue ends, she’ll open the actual workshop, which contains an ammo vending machine.

Next, you’ll head over to the Buzzard Academy on the west side of the map to retrieve some… things… that Tina needs. You can go to either the front or back doors: one item is very near the back door, but the New-U save point is right beside the front door. If you go to the back door and hear the train coming when you’re close to or on the tracks, MOVE!

Once inside the Buzzard Academy, note that whenever you aggro a bunch of bandits, you’ll get some Buzzards attacking you. These are vulnerable to corrosion, while the engines and pilot are critical hit locations. If you’re playing solo as Axton or Gaige, your turret/robot will be able to help out considerably; if you find your action skill on cooldown once you’ve cleared one area, wait for it to become ready again before running on to the next.

Once you’ve got the goods, return to Tina and wait for her to finish preparations. As soon as you pick up the explosives, she’ll have a side quest available for you - You Are Cordially Invited. My suggestion would be to take it now, as the end of the mission nets you a levelled blue unique corrosive pistol (The Teapot ) that will come in handy for the main story mission afterwards.

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You Are Cordially Invited

There are several parts to this mission, which starts when you talk to Tina.

Party Prep: You need to pick up the party guests. The first is back behind the large mountain that is to the left of the path when you come down from the Fast Travel station. First, you have to take care of Madame von Bartelsby, a repeating boss with a chance to drop the legendary Tediore SMG, the [color=orange]Baby Maker[/color].

Once you get the first guest, Tina asks you to collect the second guest and shoot down some Buzzards for scrap metal. She also suggests that you pick up some crumpets (delicious toasted, buttered, and covered in Golden Syrup. Yummy!) Drop back down to the main path and get the second gues from the hut near the crossroads, then head to the Buzzard Academy for the crumpets and plenty of Buzzards. Once you have everything, return to Tiny Tina.

RSVP: After seating the first two guests, Tina sends you to get the guest of honour from a nearby bandit camp. Conveniently, this is the same location you need for the next part of the main story. Clearing the camp without killing the guest of honour is tricky, but can be done: clear the area to the right first, then double-back to clear the rest. The guest of honour emerges from a hut at the far end of the camp, and is easily identified by his distinctive mohawk. If you should accidentally kill him (or your turret or Deathtrap decides he’s a really good target), don’t worry; just kill everyone else and talk to Tina to restart the mission.

Getting the guest of honour to start following you is pretty easy - just run up to him. Getting him to keep following you is another matter. I’ve found that the most effective way is to go backwards as much as possible so you don’t outpace him. He has a tendancy to turn back just before the camp entrance, especially if you break line-of-sight with him. To get his attention, reduce your distance and shoot into the ground near him (but not so close that deflected bullets hit him!) Roland’s spy will also snipe at him, knocking his health down; your best bet is to simply keep him moving, as the spy is a surprisingly lousy shot against moving targets.

Tea Party: Once back at Tina’s, gear up and restock before turning in to advance the quest. Things are going to get a little hairy, so you’ll want your best gear equipped (rocket launcher, SMG, shotgun, grenades…). After a few minor errands, you’ll need to stop three waves of bandits from crashing the party and destroying a generator. (Yup, it’s a generator defense mission…)

Your best bet is to take up station at the front entrance; bandits will come from both sides, so keep an eye on your minimap as you mow them down. Save your rockets for the Nomads and Goliaths. If you have Tesla grenades, drop them in front of the attackers so they have to run through them to get to you. If any get closer enough, they will tend to rush past you to attack the generator; take them out as fast as possible, then resume your position at the gate. Once all three waves are done, Tina will summon you back; talk to her and complete the last few tasks, then claim your reward.

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A Train To Catch (2)

Once you’re ready to resume the main story, head to the bandit camp (the same one as the the side quest), head to the right, and climb the ladder to the designated spot. Place the rockets, prime them, and watch the fireworks. Once it’s all done, head up the remains to the map transition to The End of the Line.

End of the Line

Once you enter this secondary map, you’ll see some wreckage and a train station. There are scattered ammo crates, and a couple of vending machines at the station. Stock up on ammo, then slowly follow the markers through Snowblind Defile. Keep your rocket launcher for later; mostly, you’ll need corrosive weapons with the odd shock gun or grenade for shield stripping. There are yellow ammo chests and bullymong piles (though no bullymongs) throughout this map.

Your main enemies will be GUN Loaders, EXP Loaders, and Surveyors, but you should know how to deal with all of those by now. Note that if you go to far through the second area (with a bunch of train cars in the middle), you will trigger a wave of EXP Loaders; shoot their legs off or pull them off course with singularity grenades to make your life easier.

After passing under a bridge and along a narrow crevasse, you’ll see a drop ahead, with a grey chest and a one-way Fast Travel further ahead. Feel free to run back and restock before dropping down, as the boss fight you’re about to engage in can be a long one. When you’re read, drop down and continue forward to the final area, Terminus Plateau. Make sure you have a shock and corrosive weapon equipped before you proceed.

Pressing foward triggers an scene that introduces you to Wilhelm, a repeatable boss who has a chance to drop the legendary e-tech-like pistol, [color=orange]Logan’s Gun[/color]. You may notice that when he first appears, Wilhelm’s health bar shows up as blue and yellow, meaning he has a shield and is armoured. This is rapidly replaced by his large “boss” health bar, but that doesn’t change anything: he’s more vulnerable to corrosive than fire damge once you’ve stripped his shield. Tina’s Teapot comes in really handy here!

The main hazards are Wilhelm’s leaping stomp and swinging melee attacks, his laser cannon and homing missiles, and the innumerable surveyors and loaders he will construct. You’ll need to take down Wilhelm’s shield before you can do serious damage to him, but the surveyors will promptly try to regenerate it; this is your opportunity to take them out. Wilhelm himself is also vulnerable when he is constructing robots, since he can’t move while he does this; toss area-of-effect grenades (Tesla, MIRV, etc.) and hit him hard with whatever you’ve got. You’ll notice that he often goes to the same corner of the map to do this, at the edge of a sheer drop; don’t get too close to this edge, or one good melee and you’ll be off the map. Some options for this fight:

  • Cautious: hang back in the crevasse and just take potshots at Wilhelm when he appears in the gap. Downside: makes the fight very long, and you’ll waste lots of ammo on loaders and surveyors; if you go too far back, you risk making the game think you’ve left the area, which will reset Wilhelm’s health. Also a high risk of going into FFYL without anything to second-wind off.
  • Moderate: lurk at the entrance to the crevasse, retreating only when Wilhelm charges you or launches rocket/laser attacks. Head back into the arena whenever Wilhelm heads away to regenerate and construct robots. Downside - still a long fight, and also a good chance of going into FFYL without anything to second-wind off.
  • Murdertime: use the central ice pile and the various train cars as cover, and kite Wilhelm around them. Ignore the loaders as much as possible, and concentrate on taking down Wilhelm’s shields and health; use the surveyors for second winds if needed, since they will likely be recharging Wilhelm’s shields and therefore easier targets.

The last method is the fastest if you can pull it off, which is certainly possible. (If I can do it, anyone can!) Once you’re done, thoroughly loot the area before returning to Sanctuary.

WARNING: Don’t run immediately to the misison marker when you get back to Sanctuary; turn in any out-standing side quests, and sell/buy/store/trade anything you need to before continuing with the main quest. You will also have unlocked the side-quest Mine All Mine, obtainable from Lilith: pick this up now for the eridium and additional side quest; if you don’t accept it now, you will have to wait until much later to get it.

Once you are totally ready, switch to the main mission and go back to the shield generator to talk to Lt. Davies, which automatically advances the story mission to Rising Action. The story gets pretty dramatic, and there’s lots of dialogue that you can easily miss if you rush ahead. Despite the urgency indicated by the NPC dialogue, each step of this mission will wait for you, so feel free to stop and listen each time - it’s worth it. Once everything is done, you’ll be one-quarter the way through the main story, and ready for part 4 of this guide.

Way to go, Vault Hunter!

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Continued in Part 4: [color=lightblue]End of the Line[/color] to [color=lightblue]Wildlife Exploitation Preserve[/color]


Or a white level 13 Caustic SubMalevolent Grace from some random mob drop/chest/whatever. :smiley: That’s worked nicely for all my characters. I guess Axton was a bit lucky to find it while doing Bloodshot Stronghold on that first playthrough. I don’t know if there’s a way one could farm it at this level - I think Sanctuary is level 12 until you get back, and corrosives (aside from the Hornet) only start to appear at 13, right? On the other hand, non-elemental works fine against anything, so Gwen’s Head and Lascaux seem like perfectly viable alternatives.

Would a level 2 Hornet really be worth using on Bloodshot Ramparts? I’d think the damage would be so underleveled as to outweigh the legendary quality and the splash damage. Looking at the variant chart on the wiki, the white Maliwan SMG blows it out of the water.

Re: the whirlpool challenge, I can confidently say that dumb luck can work better than actually trying to complete that one… I’ve tried and failed with phaselock and singularity grenades, and I’ve succeeded for no apparent reason at all. Seriously, I have no clue how my Krieg got it in NVHM. :stuck_out_tongue: My Axton got it through dumb luck the third time around (he did the side quests in NVHM; got it on the story quest in TVHM). My Maya got it with a Converge phaselock in TVHM - that’s the only time I got it when I was actually trying to get it.

If it’s the only corrosive you have…

I actually just did this with Salvador (level 13 going in): farmed an entry-level hornet, then ran the entire dam. The Hornet’s base damage on a single shot is pretty wimpy when it’s only a level 2 (technically a non-levelled weapon!), but the corrosive DoT is still pretty big. Throw in the Dahl burst fire mechanic, which makes it easier to blow the arms and legs of loaders, and you can tank you’re way through pretty well. I actually took out Warden this way, once I’d stripped his shield with a shock launcher I happened to get on my way through the Stronghold.

TL;DR - the boost that legendary items get in NVHM means they remain viable for many more levels than you would reasonably expect!

I don’t know if you want to talk about quest rewards but, the heartbreaker can easily last 15 levels in nvhm.

#Vault Hunting 101: Borderlands 2 Basics for New Players
Part 4 of your spoiler-free guide to characters, gear, loot, quests, and skills for your first play-through, covering End of the Line to Wildlife Exploitation Preserve.

Continuing the Normal Vault Hunter Mode (NVHM) play-through from parts 1-3 of this guide. As before, cyan headings denote missions, while other colours denote main sections, gear and weapons, or skills entries. If you find any errors, parts that are unclear, or just have a question, highlight the relevant bit and hit the “quote reply” button to post a message; I’ll try and respond to everything in a timely manner.

Special thanks to the following for comments and corrections: @Gulfwulf, @anon13808724, @Worblehat, @Carlton_Slayer, @kuhchung


##Rising Action

Big. Deep. Breaths.

OK, so now we’re over that shock, it’s time to move on. Head on out through the map transition back to Three Horns Divide. You might as well beat up the bandits at the gate, then grab a vehicle from the Catch-A-Ride. If you picked up Mine All Mine, make for the Fast Travel at Snowbound Crossroads and head back to Tundra Express. Otherwise, make a beeline for the map transition to Three Horns Valley and the Happy Pig Motel.

##Tundra Express (2)

  • Side quests:
    • Mine All Mine (lvl.14)
    • Pretty Good Train Robbery (lvl.14)

###Mine All Mine

Once back in Tundra Express, make for the map marker and the Mount Molehill Mine. Make sure you trigger the New-U save point just outside the gate. Work your way in, and clear all the miners from the camp. Note that some of them will actually burrow underground and pop-up behind you, so keep one eye on your mini-map! Once you’ve cleared the lower area, you’ll hear from Lilith; time to find your way up the conveyor belt to the upper level, avoiding the mashers! Clear the top, grab the echo log, and then jump over the side wall and make for Tiny Tina’s.

Hand in to Tina for free eridium, who will offer you The Pretty Good Train Robbery. This mission yields the blue unique grenade mod, the Fuster Cluck. Whether you take this mission or not, I suggest going to the north-west corner of the map to explore Old Man Johnson’s Farm. If you’ve been checking your map, you’ll have noticed that there’s a second Fast Travel on this map, right in the middle of a varkid-infested run-down farm. You’ll need to get into the barn to shut off the electric fence around the farm house (fighting off Buzzards and varkids as you go), then go down to the farm house basement. Unlocking this second Fast Travel is convenient if you want to come back later to complete map challenges.

##Three Horns Valley (2)

  • Main story:
    • Rising Action (lvl.17)
    • Bright Lights, Flying City (lvl.18)
  • Side quests:
    • The Ice Man Cometh (lvl.15)

When you get to Happy Pig Motel, there will be a new side quest from Claptrap on the Bulletin Board. This will take you back to clear the last major bandit camp in Three Horns Divide. Only do this side quest if you want to, or want to get the last vault symbol on that map.

When you’re ready to continue the main story, keep going past the Happy Pig Motel and the bandit camp beyond it, then look for a path in the rocks to your right. This will take you to one more bandit camp (surprise!) just outside the map transition to The Fridge. Clear the camp, then go to the gateway. Hand in the mission to advance to Bright Lights, Flying City (lvl.18). There will be some dialogue which you should probably wait for; when it’s all done, take the transition to the next map.

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##The Fridge

When you arrive in The Fridge, you’ll start in a room with the map’s Fast Travel station, and some vending machines. There are two doors out: one takes you into the rest of the map, while the other is a map transition to Fink’s Slaughterhouse (more vending machines). This is one of the sudden-death combat arenas in the game, where you can work your way through five rounds of increasingly difficult waves of enemies. The final round reward for Bandit Slaughter is the blue unique assault rifle, the Hail. If you’re going for mission completion, you could attempt at least the first round now, but it will take you a while to get through all five, and it will level you up further than you are already relative to the main story mission and side quests. Your choice!

Opening the door to the Frigid Cleft will trigger more dialogue, and then it’s rat-fighting time! These are the same enemies that you encountered if you took the Splinter Group mission earlier, but they will be higher level and there will be more types. You’ll find yourself working through an abandoned roadway in a deep, wide crevasse, fighting through both rats and rakk.

When you come to the part that looks like the deck of a ship (!) with a loot chest at the end, take a peek into Ice Maw Grotto below. Your target is the pathway down the left-side of this valley, but you’ll also notice a large three-legged critter on the ice. It’s possible to avoid fighting this thing if you stick to the left and are careful not to get knocked onto the ice. Should you find yourself out there, however…

###Combat Basics (4) - Crystalisks

These beasts have three main attacks:

  • Their bodies deflect bullets, often right back at you
  • The can shoot piles of crystal at you, which explode shortly after landing on the ground
  • If you’re in close, they will stomp each leg in turn, releasing a nova blast

To take them down, you have to completely remove the glowing crystals from all three legs. You can use any explosive weapon or grenade for this - they resist other elements - or a non-elemental high fire rate gun. You can also melee their leg crystals directly (any character can do this but Zer0 has it easiest; it’s also easier if you have a bladed weapon equipped!)

If you do go the melee route, watch out for the novas, which will both damage you and throw you back. You’ll quickly catch on to the signal prior to this, so you can time your approach for after the stomp. Keep moving so as not to get hit by the explosions from the crystals. Finally, note that when one leg is depleted of crystals, they will turn to put another leg towards you; this can be slow and in the opposite direction, though, so be prepared to see the odd FFYL and respawn tunnel.

Continue to work your way down the left side until you come to a closed gate blocking your path; the control is to your left. Once open, take the elevator down (or jump if you prefer!). There’s some vending machines at the bottom, and the map transition to the Highlands Outwash.

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##Highlands Outwash

You’ll emerge from a cave, and there will be a dramatic entrance above your head. Go down the obvious path to the nearest building, where you will find the inevitable Fast Travel and vending machines. You’ll get some additional dialogue, but now you’ll have to fight your way through the Highlands in order to get back to Sanctuary. On the way, you get to meet two new types of enemies: stalkers and threshers.

###Combat Basics (5) - Stalkers and Threshers

These are probably my personal most hated enemies in the game, and the worst of all are the rabid stalkers. We’ll take them one at a time.

Stalkers: These @#$%^&* can cloak, due to a gland on their tail (critical hit location!) They are very fast, jump frequently, and attack you with their claws and teeth. Needless to say, getting hit by one of these things deals damage and throws your aim off. Pestilential stalkers have an odd glide path to their jump-melee, making them hard to predict; when they land, they release a lingering corrosive cloud, then rapidly go invisible and run away. Another type throws explosive balls at you, and has a rapid spinning melee-charge attack. Oh, and did I mention that due to the gland, they almost always have shields too? Rabid stalkers are the absolute worst though, since they will rush and pin you if possible, and often come in 2’s and 3’s. They also have smaller tails.

You can throw their melee attacks off somewhat by jumping sideways (or over them slightly to the left or right). NEVER BACKPEDAL: you will rapidly get pinned by 2 or 3 jumping, snarling beasts. Well-placed area-of-effect grenades (e.g. Tesla or fire burst) rocket lauchers, and high fire-rate fast reload shock incendiary and/or explosive weapons are the order of the day. Note that if they take damage while cloaking, a faint blue shape will persist for a short while. They will also be visible as red dots on your minimap, although both Gaige’s Deathtrap and Axton’s turret will fail to track them while cloaked. (Homing grenades will also buzz around helplessly :frowning: )

Threshers: These multi-tentacled critters live underground, but can easily pop up underneath you, throwing you into the air. They will slap you hard with their tentacles, often dealing corrosive, fire, or slag in the process. One type called Wormhole Threshers will activate a singularity to pull you into their spikes. The worst are the badass Pyro Threshers since they are large, resist fire, and launch a fire nova whenever they erupt from underground right underneath you.

Pretty much all threshers have multiple eyes that are critical hit location; some of the larger ones with more tentacles also have glowing joints that you can knock out for second winds. Tactics are much the same as with stalkers: keep moving, strip any shields, and ***burn them with fire!!!***

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###Bright Lights, Flying City

Resuming the main story, work your way along the river valley and then up between the yellow Hyperion buildings, where you’ll also encounter loaders and surveyors. Loot the stalker goo piles along the way, as well as the various boxes and chests. Once you’re ready, descend to the Hyperion Extraction Plant for more dialogue. You’ll need to clear out the Hyperion personnel and robots but, once you’ve done that, follow the hints to get across to the other side of the water.

There’s a very large gate you are obviously meant to pass through; approaching it will open the gate, but also reveal a Constructor and accompanying loaders. I generally try to run through the gate and go to the right, where the New-U save point is located. Alternatively, double-back to the below the transfer crane and exploit the cover there. If you go through the gate, take out the robots right beside you first. Concentrate fire on the Constructor just as you did when rescuing Roland. If you picked up Tina’s Teapot, you should be able to make fairly quick work of the constructor and avoid most of its combat phases.

The heat-seekers and missiles can be a pain, but you can avoid them if you hug close to the wall beside the gate during the salvo; pop out while the Constructor is reloading and blast away. You can avoide the laser beams in the same way. Once it’s dead, Jim, nip back around the gate and scavange as much ammo as you can before making your way to the map marker inside the Orbital Receiving and Processing centre.

If you think that the beacon looks mighty suspcious, sitting right out in the open like that, you’re obviously getting the hang of this game! Time for the Gluttinous Thresher… Oh, and some loaders, because you’ll want cannon-fodder to second-wind off (or just make your life more complicated.) If you have a fire launcher and a shock weapon, it’s possible to complete this very quickly.

If you’re having trouble, use the buildings and crates to the south for cover; it is possible to avoid the tentacles in certain spots. You can also lure it back to the entrance where you fought the constructor and again use the boxes for cover. Once you’re done, clean up and head to the map transition to The Highlands.

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Once in The Highlands, keep right to hit the nearest Catch-A-Ride. From there, peel out left down the hill, across a bridge, veer right and cross through the river, then turn right onto the main road and follow it through the tunnel. Hang sharp left as you come out of the tunnel: you’ll find The Holy Spirits Bar on your left and the town of Overlook straight ahead. You’ll need to leave your vehicle to get into the town; take your time and explore, and hit the vending machines before you follow the next mission instruation, as this will trigger a long fight. You’ll want primarily corrosive gear equipped, with some shock available.

Once you’re ready, place the beacon and take up position. The first wave will arrive mainly at the gate below you, but some loaders will also come up the rear of the buildings on the left. I usually hang at the corner of the main square and snipe as many as possible before they start closing in. You can also try hiding behind the buildings on the right, but you risk going over the cliff or getting stuck in FFYL without anything in sight. Try and conserve your rockets for the Constructors and WAR loaders (although there is an ammo machine on the south-east side of the square). If the beacon gets damaged, ignore all the dire warnings and clear the wave first. There will be three waves in total.

Once everything is done, take your time to grab all the loot and revist the vending machines. The bulletin board will also have a couple of missions for you at this point:

  • Arms Dealing (lvl.18): relic or shield
  • Stalker of Stalkers (lvl.18): shotgun or shield

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##Sanctuary (3)

Once back in Sanctuary, head upstairs in the Crimson Raider’s HQ for some dialogue between Roland and Lilith, then turn the mission in to Roland. This gets you the Storage Deck Upgrade for your fourth weapon slot and advance the story mission to [color=cyan]Wildlife Preservation. More dialogue! Missions galore! I’ve indicated on the following list which side quests I particularly like on account of specific rewards :blhappy:

  • Sir Hammerlock:
    • Slap-Happy (lvl.20) in Highlands Outwash: blue unique Tediore shotgun the Octo :blhappy:
    • Perfectly Peaceful (lvl.19-30) in Caustic Caverns: eridium :blhappy: DO NOT accept this if you want the Safe & Sound mission reward at a higher level
    • also discoverable: Minecart Mischief (lvl.19)
  • Tannis,
    • Hidden Journals (lvl.16) in The Highlands: eridium :blhappy:
      • unlocks Torture Chairs (lvl.25) (but ignore the level requirement!)
    • Doctor’s Orders (lvl.19) in the WEP: relic or pistol
  • Marcus
    • Safe and Sound (lvl.19-30) in Sanctuary Hole/Caustic Caverns: relic or the unique shotgun, Miss Moxxi’s Heartbreaker :blhappy: DO NOT accept if you want the reward at a higher level.
  • Bulletin board:
    • Ellie’s Clan War: Starting the War (lvl.18) in The Dust: weapon
    • Mordecai’s The Good, the Bad, and the Mordecai (lvl.13) in The Dust: the relic Moxxi’s Endowment :blhappy:
      • also unlocks access to Mobley and Gettle, repeatable spawns who each have a chance to drop a legendary item (the Veruc AR and White Death sniper, respectively.)
  • Marshall Friedmen:
    • Won’t Get Fooled Again (lvl.16) in Sanctuary: unique Jakob’s pistol the Law :blhappy:
  • Claptrap:
    • Claptrap’s Birthday Bash (lvl.16) in Sanctuary: weapon
  • Scooter:
    • Swallowed Whole (lvl.19 in The Fridge: cash & XP
    • The Cold Shoulder (lvl.19) in The Fridge: skin
      • unlocks another discoverable mission: Look for the echo!
    • The Overlooked: Medicine Man (lvl.18) in Overlock: skin
      • unlocks related missions Shields Up (shield or SMG) and This Is Only A Test (Torgue shield the Deadly Bloom) :blhappy:

In addition, if you didn’t take the two side quests in The Dust earlier, these will now be level 19 (although you can let them level up all the way to 30 if you want to.) The missions in Caustic Caverns will also level up if you don’t accept them now, meaning that you can get the quest rewards at a higher level if you wait.

A few additional notes:

  • Perfectly Peaceful, Minecart Mischief, and Safe and Sound can conveniently be done simultaneously; to get the Heartbreaker, turn the mission in to Moxxi, not Marcus.
  • I would only do the mission to get Moxxi’s Endowment if you are really struggling in your first play-through, and feel the need to level up faster.
  • Swallowed Whole and The Cold Shoulder can also be done together easily.
  • Stalker of Stalkers, The Overlooked, and Hidden Journals are convenient to do simultaneously; I often do the map challenges and Slap-Happy with them.

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##Caustic Caverns

Since you’ll probably want to do at least one of the side quests in Caustic Caverns, here’s a short description of one method for doing all three efficiently at the same time. There will be one more side quest that will bring you here, but it won’t unlock until later and you’ll probably want the reward from Perfectly Peaceful sooner rather than later in NVHM because it’s seriously awesome! Make sure you pick up both Safe and Sound and Perfectly Peaceful before leaving Sanctuary for Three Horns Divide.

###Safe and Sound:

Take a vehicle from beside the Fast Travel back to where Sanctuary was, and pass through the map transition to Sanctuary Hole. There’s a New-U save point and vending machines just inside the gate. You’ll need to go left just past these and start threading your way up through the wreckage. The rough terrain and frequent rebar and girders sticking out all over make this hard, since your character will often get stuck on a piece of terrain. This is particularly annoying when under fire! If this happens you’ll have to back up slightly and jump forward or sideways. Eventually, you’ll work your way through an elevator, a building, and another elevator until you reach the map transition for Caustic Caverns. Head on through, where you’ll find yourself inside a chamber with a Fast Travel and more vending machines.

Open the door into Oozing Discharge and take out the varkids. (Yes, those things again; remember that the pod up to evolve, so keep your eays and eyes open!) The first echo for Perfectly Peaceful is past the large dump truck in front of you, just before the footbridge across the corrosive ooze, to the left. You’ll have to detour across the corrosive ooze; jump from island to island, fighting off the crystalisks that spawn along the way. Head towards the waypoint up a hill, through a cave, and out the other side to find Marcus’ safe. You’ll need to defeat the repeatable boss Blue, who has a chance to drop the legendary shield the Fabled Tortoise. Go around the headland and back across the corrosive ooze to the hut you can see on the far side at Rumbling Shore. Make sure you trigger the New-U save point inside the hut and grab the ammo, then switch mission.

###Perfectly Peaceful:

Fight through the threshers and enter the Infested Warehouse (more varkids!)for the second echo; run straight ahead from the entrance and check the second pillar on your right-hand side. Continue straight through and out the far side, and trigger the New-U save point inside a second hut ahead of you, then go to the ! marker downhill to the left to grab the echo that triggers Minecart Mischief. Go back up to the hut (more ammo inside) then turn left and run along the north shore to Guardian Ruins (more crystalisks!). Turn left (south) down towards the rail tracks and work your way along the clifftop to the right until you see a grave below you near the edge of the map. Jump down to grab the third echo, then fight your way up hill under the tracks and bear left to come back up on top of them.

###Minecart Mischief:

Head west along tracks to the minecart waypoint at far end of the tracks. (There’s an easter egg area just to the north-west of this spot). Push the cart along the track until you reach airlock 1, open it, then pass through the tunnel. You’ll have plenty of threshers, crystalisks and varkids along the way. Enter a long tunnel at airlock 2 and keep fighting/pushing your way in. There’s a door on your left just before airlock 3 which opens to a small chamber with lockers and a vending machine.

Pass through airlock 3 into the lower section of the Infested Warehouse. Push the minecart and contents until they drop onto a conveyor belt. Pull the lever to activate the belt and crusher, and defend yourself! Once the process is complete, pick up the pieces and turn in at the ? marker. Note: If you get knocked down onto the conveyor, jump down to the lowest level and head to the right for a ladder to bring you back up again.

Perfectly Peaceful Resumed:

Explore the upper level for loot, then head down to the lowest level. Take the door to a passage that leads into Dahl Deep Core 06. BEFORE you pick up the fourth echo, poke your head ourside into the Nether Hive to complete the optional challenge to kill spiderants. Once you’re done and have the last echo, ascend the ladder all the way up and exit through the gift shop, er, courtyard to get back to the Fast Travel and Sanctuary. Turn in Perfectly Peaceful to Sir Hammerlock. To get the Heartbreaker, turn the Safe and Sound in to Moxxi.

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##Wildlife Exploitation Preserve

Once you’ve taken the map transition from The Highlands (near the Isotope Reclamation Tower) to the Wildlife Exploitation Preserve, you’ll find yourself at the map’s Fast Travel and vending machines. Once you’re ready, start pushing down the path ahead of you. You’ll encounter a bunch of stalkers; once you’ve cleared them out with extreme prejudice, head up the rock ramp to the right of the main path, and follow the trail up and around to Casa de Mordecai. You’ll trigger some dialogue and get a mission update; take a look at the map beside Mordecai, then talk to him to advance the mission.

Jump your way down. If you’re doing the map challenges, you’ll want to head up to the lighthouse; otherwise, just head on down to the shipping yard. You’ll need to hit the door button, but it won’t work and so Mordecai comes up with another plan. At this point, you can either go along with the plan (just injure the loaders without killing them) or simply destroy everything: if you don’t get the door open after a certain time, the event you’re waiting for triggers anyway (plus, you get more XP this way.) If you’re trying the first route, make sure you land your critical hits to take their arms off so you take less damage, and keep moving!

Next, work your way through massive numbers of Hyperion staff and robots in the Preserve Dockyard unti you reach the Preserve proper. You’ll drop down into the first pen, fight your way through a bunch of skags, and then run up a pipe into the first building.

CAUTION: If you have accepted Doctor’s Orders - and particularly if you are trying to complete all the BAR challenges - I strongly recommend that you DO NOT pick up the quest echo recording just inside the entrance, and be very careful to pick up items from the adjacent ammo crate one at a time (rather than as a “collect all”). You’ll see why later… Also note that, should you be in some-one else’s game, it is considered bad form to pick these echoes up without asking them first. This is not actually that important in NVHM, but it becomes very important in subsequent play-throughs!

The next area is infested with stalkers, rakk, loaders, and more skags. There’s a couple of ways to go here: either straight up the middle, or off to the right to climb the rocks and take the road across the top. You’ll end up in a big mob-fight at the top end either way, but taking the road gives you a little more time if you’re working on your sniper skills. If you’re doing the map challenges, you will want to go down to the right first regardless. On your way up through this region, you’ll get an echo message from Tannis that adds an optional objective to collect slag samples along the way. You can pick these up as you go; just make sure they’re the slag samples and not the Doctor’s Orders echo recordins.

POTENTIAL GLITCH: I’ve seen a number of people get this mission glitched because they took a “short-cut” from this area over the top of the waterfall. Do NOT attempt this on the main story quest - you have been warned!

Push the green button to open the door on the second building, and head inside. Depending on which version of the game you have, you may see the map transition to the Natural Selection Annex, which houses the Creature Slaughter (lvl.22) arena. Round 5 of this gives the unique rocket launcher, Miss Moxxi’s Creamer. The lobby also has a full set of vending machines, so it’s a useful area to duck into and restock.

Clear the building of loaders and stalkers, pushing through the building and the wrecked centrifuge to the plateau beyond. You’ll face lots of loaders and stalkers here; once you clear the key waves, the door of the third building will open to allow a super badass loader to emerge. My personal tactic is to immediately run up onto the plateau on the right as I emerge from the centrifuge. This gives a great view of the whole area, allowing you to see EXP Loaders coming. It’s a good spot to pick off enemies as the loaders and stalkers fight each other, and you can back down if you need to take cover. Another tactic is to use the large plants for cover. Use whatever you have to disable and take down the super badass loader, which clears your way to the Specimen Maintenance building with the holding pens.

Head inside and to the right, follow the marker/prompts into the relevant pen, and pick up the mission item. There’ll be more dialogue, and then you’ll have another critter brawl on your hands. Once things are clear, explore the rooms. The one to the left (as you emerge from the story mission pen) contains four boxes, one of which contains the second Doctor’s Orders echo. Once your action skill is ready to go, and your weapons are all reloaded, carefully open the first box to get a Loot Midget. Kill it, pick up the loot ***being careful not to pick up the echo***, and repeat. You will generally get as many Loot Midgets as there are unclaimed Doctor’s Orders echoes (occasionally one less). One of them just coughed up a legendary Pandemic for me while doing this guide! Now you know why we wanted to save those echoes!

Alright, more stalkers, then up and across to some skags and in to building number four. Head on in, and just follow the only route through the mass of Hyperion personnel and robots. Keep an eye out for slag samples along the way - there are some in specific locations, while others can be dropped by the enemies. At one point, you’ll head up a metal stair case to a long corridor. There is a glowing switch on the end of a row of crates just ahead; activating this will release stalkers to fight everyone else - just in case you wanted a few more of them around! When you’re ready, go right to the end of the building and take the elevator down to the Observation Wing

This next bit is, in terms of story, one of my least favourite parts of the game. Frankly, I think the writer spent too much time reading Harry Potter or something… Anyway: when you first drop down there will be some dialogue and, when you move far enough forward, the big-reveal cut-scene. This will be followed by more dialogue: DO NOT trigger your action skill or start firing until the dialogue has completed - it will not hurt your target until Roland has finished speaking to you.

The fight involves four phases (one for each element) with frequent elemental attacks, dive-bombs, etc. You’ll need to either keep moving or find cover. Mordecai gives call-outs periodically so you know what’s coming, so keep an ear open. You can either stay under the elevator you came down, hang out on the large circular doors at the far end, or work your way around the crates. If it takes you a while to get this done, Mordecai will drop supplies at the curved end of the arena. Unfortunately, these tend to glitch slightly below the surface, so you’ll need to pick them up yourself - no auto-pickup here :frowning:

Once the fight is over, grab the mission item, head through the doors that just opened, and beat it back to the Fast Travel to Sanctuary. You’ll need to visit Claptrap before turning the mission in to Roland. This will advance the main story to The Once and Future Slab (lvl.20) as well as unlocking Mordecai’s side quests Rakkaholics Anonymous (lvl.19) and Animal Rights (lvl.19).

Time for another break - phew!

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Continued in Part 5: Thousand Cuts to Control Core Angel


I think you mean throw you back. :dukecheese:

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If you pick up Mine All Mine before Rising Action, the mission will be blocked until you find your way back to Sanctuary again, so you need to do Bright Lights, Flying City first. I honestly don’t remember if you can do it anyway even when it’s blocked, but I don’t think you can.

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