Ideal Playthrough and Skill Points and Knoxx

OK. I’ve followed that little guide for years. Mostly. But I have a question. Or two.

You get one Skill Point for completing MMUR during PT1, before killing the Destroyer. I don’t understand why the guide doesn’t remind you to do this BEFORE the end of PT1. You don’t get any experience from it, so it’s not an over-leveling concern.

You get another Skill Point for completing MMUR during PT2, before killing the Destroyer. Again, the guide doesn’t remind us to do that.

Now, there are 2 from Claptrap’s Robolution, one for each PT. But, you can’t do it during PT1, or you will be waaay over-leveled for PT2. You have to wait until you’ve maxed out, then go back and play it in PT1? Is that right?

And Knox will be level 52 during PT2, period?

1 Like

This is wrong. You get the points whenever you finish all three arenas and turn the mission in. It doesn’t matter when you do it.

the Knoxx DLC will not scale in PT2 or 2.5 until you finish the main quest for that DLC, including the legit armory run.

You can do it whenever. I would do it in PT1 anyways just to get the Skill point and the Backpack SDU.

The way I have been doing it has been using the speedrun strats for my ideal playthrough. I complete playthrough 1 at level 31 skipping all sidequests to save time. I do the same in playthrough 2 and end the playthrough at level 48 with all the sidequests ready to be done later. I do the story of DLC1 for both playthroughs to get the SDUs and end up at level 50. I move onto Moxxi for both skillpoints and end at level 51. I only do playthrough 2 of Knoxx and I am no where close to being overleveld. I do all available sidequests in Knoxx until I complete the story, then I move to both playthroughs of Robolution doing all sidequests on playthrough 2 and only story on playthrough 1 for the skill point. I’m usually around level 60ish by the end of it so I go back to clean up all the sidequests I skipped in the main game and DLCs until I’m at 69. Once everything is wrapped up it’s pretty much Farmory and Craw for gear and the 20 rounders at Moxxi to put that gear and build to the test. Not only do I get to do all the DLC in canon order, I also save a ton of time. I made a Lilith at 2PM my time and by the end of the night was level 46 about to fight Rakk Hive on playthrough 2.

1 Like

I had taken a year off, and incorrectly remembered that killing the Destroyer started PT2. You actually have to select PT2 from a menu. It had been a very hectic year, to say the least.

You still have to beat the three 5 × 5 arenas TWICE to get two Skill Points, once in PT1 and once in PT2. That’s correct, isn’t it?

Similarly, you would have to play Robolution TWICE to get two Skill Points, once in PT1 and once in PT2. I imagine we have to wait to do the Robolution PT1 much later, perhaps after already beating the main game in PT2, to keep from over-leveling. I’ll have to find a way to do it so it’s not back-to back PT1 and PT2, because that would be too boring.

And Knoxx will adjust to player level AFTER killing Knoxx AND making the FIRST run at the Armory? So people save the additional Armory runs for later, after maxing out at level 69?


Yes. The bounty board will have a mission called “Prove Yourself.” Once you beat that, you get a skill point.

One thing to note: If you do the PT1 version after you do the PT2 version, the game will bug and you won’t be able to get the backpack SDU from the Claptrap Rescue. Same thing with the Zombie DLC.

No. The DLC scales once you turn in the final story mission to Athena. Sorry I forgot about that bit. But yeah, kill Knoxx, do a legit Armory run, turn in to Athena. You get two more chances at the Armory, so don’t be scared that you’ll be wasting one of them.

Do you think a lot of trouble would be avoided if the game simply stopped you from leveling past 34 during PT1?

1 Like

There’s no problem if you’re like me and don’t care if you get over leveled :p.

It would…like after UHVM was released for BL2, you got some pathetic amount of experience for anything killed in TVHM once you were level 50. A good idea, I think…needs a cap for PT1.


You finish PT2 of the main game. You start SAGK, because it doesn’t automatically adjust to player level. Do you do any of the side missions, or just make a bee line to Knox?

It seems like you need to skip them, but do any disappear after finishing the main storyline?

Feels weird not shooting a single Strider or Midget.

Nope, none disappear. Just run straight to Knoxx.

1 Like

I’ve just killed the Destroyer on pt2 and hit level 54 whilst turning in the vault key to Tannis. Does this mean that if I download Knoxx it will be stuck at level 50?

IIRC the enemies start at 52-ish. They’ll still kill you :slight_smile:

The oldForum link is busted. So here is a copy of the text via wayBackMachine.

The ideal playthrough
So, there are a lot of newer people just getting into the game, and there are still a lot of ways to wind-up over or under-leveled for the area you want to play. I’ve recently gone through a new playthrough, and I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I think would be the best way to access all of the DLCs while staying as close to the surrounding mission level as possible.

This guide assumes the behavior of patch 1.41 is in effect.

Playthrough 1
The only thing you need to worry about here is keeping an eye on the level of the story mission.

Arid Badlands:
In general, do all or most of the side-missions until you defeat Sledge, and then move-on into the Dah Headlands. Level 18-20 by the Headlands.

New Haven/Rust Commons:
Once at New Haven, head out to find Tannis. Be sparing with your side-missions, and only do them if you need to level-up. 23 - 25 by the time you Seek out Tannis, 26 - 27 by the time you make the Secret Rendezvous at Jaynistown.

The goal here is to be done with PT 1 at about level 32 - 35, depending on how many Lance and Guardians you can skirt past at the end.

Playthrough 2
Playthrough 2 is really the keystone to everything subsequent. Think of PT 1 as the introduction, and PT 2 as the real meat of the game. You’ll get a better feel for your character, and start to specialize and make your build distinct.
Plus, completing PT 2 enables the global scaling for the main game, DLC1 and DLC 4.

The same formula used in PT 1 applies here, except that we have Knoxx sitting out there with a hard starting point of level 51.

Dahl Headlands:
I usually do most of the side-missions here, but I try to reach New Haven around level 42.

New Haven/Rust Commons:
I like to reach New Haven at 42, and then make-sure I’m at Jaynistown in Rust Commons East at about level 46 (basically as soon as I’ve killed Krom and handed that piece to Tannis, I head over to do the “Secret Rendezvous” mission.)
Rakk Hive and Taylor Kobb are about 47. Old Haven - Salt Flats and beyond will be around 48-50.

The goal, then, will be to finish PT 2 as close to level 50 as possible.

My last run left me at level 52 after defeating the Destroyer. I skipped nearly all side-missions after the Headlands, and dodged as many fights in the Descent and Eridian Promontory as I could, since Lance and Guardians give a ton of XP.

This actually put me at a good level for the bosses and encounters along the way. I was matched-level with the Rakk Hive and nearly everything afterward, and the Destroyer fight was long despite the 2 level difference. Update: Since the real-time scaling for the Main Game now kicks in when you reach the Vault, the Destroyer will adjust relative to your level, and due to the way this adjustment works, he will actually be two levels above you, now, rather than being stuck at 50 like the olden days.

Moxxie PT 2.
The way Moxxie acts toward you and some of the things she says in Knoxx imply that the player has gone through her trials prior to starting Knoxx. This also gives a little reprieve from the story-focused structure, and awards a free skill point.

I actually leveled-up from my run of the Prove Yourself mission, leaving me at level 53 going into Knoxx. This was mostly due to challenges I completed while in the arenas. Leveling up from this a rare occurrence.

Knoxx PT 2
Knoxx PT 2 hard-starts at 50-51, and the initial stages can be very challenging for a level 50 player. Being a level or two above will leave it interesting without it being punishingly difficult for a player who still has the largely hodge-podge gear that comes from minimal farming.

I entered at 53 and found I was on-level for nearly all of the key areas. I may have been a level above the first shock-trooper barricade, but that fight is ridiculous when you’re proper level, so the difficulty felt about normal.

I was 54-55 going through Lockdown, which is on-par with the enemies there, and 56 when I got to General Knoxx, which was on-par with him.

The Gen. Knoxx fight was a good challenge with my mediocre gear, and the level I was at.
I should note that I sharply avoided doing almost any side-missions.

Killing Knoxx leveled me up to 57.

Loot Larceny
With the main story mission of Knoxx done, (and the patch 1.41 in effect) there are no more hard level starts left to worry about.

The only concern now is that there are elements of DLC 4 that reference DLC 1, so to keep the story consistent, do Zombie Island PT 2 before you do Robolution PT 2.

My first playthrough post-scaling-patch left me at level 66 when the last Clap Trap had fallen and all was said and done.

Robolution gives us a nice bookend to stop on, and from here we have the entire main game and all DLCs in real-time scaling, and we can go back and do all the side-missions we left behind, and have fun farming for uber-1337 gear, as well as return to PT 1 for skillpoints and backpack SDUs.

|Main Game PT 1| --> |Main Game PT 2| --> |Moxxie PT 2| --> |Knoxx PT 2| --> |ZI PT 2| --> |Robolution PT 2| --> |scaled PT 2.5 free-play everywhere!|


List of main-game story and side-missions, to help prevent confusion:

I would do:

Arid Badlands
Basically everything until you kill Sledge, then head into the Dahl Headlands.
Do Shock Crystal Harvest and Moe and Marley for the artifacts; you’ll want them.

Dahl Headlands
I usually skip the Ludicrous Speedway and Skagzilla, the former because Scythids freak me out, and the latter because I usually don’t have the ammo.
I make sure to do Ghosts of the Vault for the artifact.

New Haven
I’ll do Corrosive Crystal Harvest and King Tossing on PT 1, because the artifact is important and the Spy can be a very nice SMG if it spawns with good stats.
I’ll sometimes skip it in PT 2 depending on what my level is.

Rust Commons West / Crazy Earl
Seek out Tannis, then find Crazy Earl. Do Get off My Lawn for Earl and then Hair of the Dog in Treacher’s Landing. Once you come back he’ll send you off to Krom’s Canyon. You don’t need to do the Explosives Lesson mission. Go ahead and do it if you’re under-leveled for Krom’s Canyon, though Treacher’s Landing will probably take care of that.

Krom’s Canyon
I do all the side-missions here: Two Wrongs Make a Right is the Reaver mission, which is the second half of that zone, and you find a Claptrap rescue mission and can get all the dog food for Earl Needs Food… Badly, while making your way to Reaver.

Rust Commons East
I tend to skip the Middle of Nowhere missions entirely, and head straight to Jaynistown once I get the Secret Rendezvous mission. If you’re hurting for levels, the Middle of Nowhere missions will open-up about this time (starting with: Middle of Nowhere No More from Helena Pierce,) so do a few of those until you’re on-level again.

Trash Coast
I head here as soon as I’m done with Taylor Kobb. I go in, fight the Rakk Hive and then I leave. This place can over-level you quickly. There are a lot of missions in here, most from the Middle of Nowhere, but there will be plenty of time to do them later.

Old Haven
You’ll usually be a little under-leveled for this mission when you get it, so wait until you have Not Without my Claptrap from Tannis before you head here. This will let you do it in one trip, and get the Claptrap rescue while you’re at it. I usually do the Bandit Brothers: 3 Keys mission for the heck of it; since I pass through the needed areas, anyway, and a brief sojourn back to the Headlands is always fun.

Salt Flats-beyond
From here it’s largely plot-missions. Avoid killing too many enemies if you can avoid them, as it’s easy to over-level off of Guardians and Lance.


Build the Monster, fight the Assassins, and get going to the Tollway.

Drop the roadblock.

Go find Moxxie and get the Racer

Drop the two roadblocks and reach the Sunken Sea.

Sunken Sea
Enter Lockdown Palace. Feel free to look around a little for some chests on the way to it, but be warned, Drifters give a ton of XP.

Rescue Athena and get back out.

Athena’s missions
Once you’ve rescued Athena and gotten back to T-Bone, she’ll send you back to Ridgeway, which will then send you back to Sunken Sea.
You can hit-up Kyros and Typhon now, but killing both of them on the same character will cause them to stop spawning. Not killing them will prevent you from being able to fight Ajax as a side-mission later, so make your choice. If you join a player who has This Bitch is Payback Part 2 active (the Ajax mission,) you can get Ajax spawning in your game without having to complete Part 1 (the Kyros / Typhon mission.)

Once you have the code, return to T-Bone and she’ll send you to the Fathoms, which will then take you to Road’s End.
Kill Knoxx, raid the armory and return to T-Bone.

You’re free to do it as you like, but this is the formula I’ve had the most success with in terms of staying on level as much as possible.

Special note: While in a vehicle, you will receive substantially less experience than you would otherwise.
Special notes on dealing with over-leveling:…6&postcount=16
New Special Note: Jaredhite’s tool for fixing glitches and adding replayability:…d.php?t=114222 – This can allow you to reset your level to your current main-game mission, which can be handy if you’ve accidentally over-leveled too far.

This linky gives details of levelling triggers and DLC hard-set starting levels.

(182 * P / 2) = Yummy
Nothing is ever finished.
Nothing is ever finished.
Nothing is ever finished.
Goddess-elemental // Mr. Stabby // Puncho and Lefty // ODST //|RED TEXT BONUS LIST||The Ideal Playthrough||Starting Levels and Triggers
Last edited by Psychichazard; September 7th, 2012 at 10:31 AM. Reason: starting levels linky