This mission starts as Lilith attempts to teleport you away from her lair at the end of "Hunting the Firehawk."
|Normal||True Vault Hunter|
The attempt fizzles though, as she is too weak and only able to move you about ten feet onto another platform within her lair. Essentially, the mechanics of all this is to point you towards the exit. If you wish, you can now backtrack into her lair by jumping onto the platform where you and her were previously and then walking back if you have unfinished business (unopened loot boxes, etc) worth attending to.
Otherwise, take the stairs down and follow the tunnel to find the exit; a point above the ice field adjacent to the Incinerator Camp where the first nailed Psycho was found. Restock ammo and sell off loot at the vendors as needed.
When you leave, you'll be dropped in that first Fire Bandit Camp from earlier and the enemies have respawned. You can try and work your way through them but this side doesn't have the kind of cover that the front end has so it might be best to just hop by. At the same time, however, you've likely leveled up a little and upgraded a good amount of your gear so it might not be so bad. If you want to run by, start by going to the right and you can hop across the rooves to get closer to the exit.
When you are outside of the base, find a "Catch-a-Ride" station and use it to get to the Three Horns Valley. You'll follow the path past the Happy Pig Motel (or you can do the two side missions here if you'd like) and come to a walled Bandit enclosure called Bloodshot Slums, the front of which is secured with a Large Metal Gate. This small town essentially guards the drawbridge entrance of the Bloodshot Stronghold. Honk the horn and the town gate will start to lower. However, the bandits inside will quickly realize that you're not one of them, and they will open fire on you, primarily with a turret positioned on the right side of the walls; high tail out of there. At this point, you have two options; you can snipe at and kill as many of the enemy as you can (taking out the turret now is a wise move), or you can just leave and deal with them all later after you've gained access.
To the right and just before the Bloodshot Slums gate, is a Catch-a-Ride and New-U station adjoining a shack containing a few loot lockers. Further right and just a bit more to the rear of that is another travel point, a bridge that will lead you to Dust; you need to go and complete a mission there in order to gain access to the Bloodshot Slums.
Upon arrival to Dust, you'll spawn adjacent to another Catch-a-Ride and New-U station, this one being grimly decorated with a nailed Psycho. Follow linearly down the road; you'll be accosted by a new villian type, the Buzzard. These airborne enemies will shoot at you from Bandit Manned Ultralights armed with machine guns and rockets. Inividually, they're not particularly worrisome as they're none too sturdy; if you line up a few rocket or just use your machine guns well, they'll come down rather quickly. You can also take them out with repeated Sniper Rifle shots and they're especially susceptible to corrosive weapons. Just one word of caution however. Singularly, they're not much to contend with; but a swarm of them in the air around you can quickly become quite lethal. Later in the game (eg. Tundra area) they will drop down low and disgorge ground troops who close with you; just like real combat air assault. Hence, one shouldn't be totally dismissive of the danger in their overall offensive potential.
After driving a short distance, you'll notice a junk yard (with a Giant Blinking Letter L) to your right. This is Ellie's Garage. Ellie will assist you in disguising a truck so that you can sham your way into the Slum's gate. She'll need some bandit truck parts so you'll have to drive around the dunes and destroy Five Bandit 'Technicals' (modified armored pickup trucks) and collect items they drop. Their approximate locations (they will be constantly moving) will be highlighted on your Active Mission Map in the upper right corner of your screen. An easy way to kill the first Technical is to stand just inside Ellie's entrance and look to the left of the gap created by the overhang of a leaning shipping container; the Technicals will repeatedly use the spot behind it to turn in part of a circuitous loop just in front of the junk yard, making for a perfect shot set up. A Sniper Rifle, along with a bit of patience, is all you need to kill the first one. Just go out to collect the mission drop item after you've blown their truck to pieces.
Ellie's Garage has vendor machines (so ammo and selling loot should not be an issue) and its own travel point. There are Spiderants in the area (a few by the front entrance, and more in Bug Gulch just behind her compound) that may have elemental attacks though they are pretty slow compared to the bandit vehicles. If you're in a vehicle you can easily shoot, run them over, or just ignore them by speeding past.
When you've destroyed the Technicals and collected all five of the required parts, return to Ellie and she'll build a Bloodshot Technical for you. This effectively unlocks a new player game vehicle; you'll be able to use this vehicle in other areas of the game world. The primary difference of it being instead of a Machine Gun or Rockets choice of arms, you choose between ejected Spinning Dual Saw Blades or Catapulted Explosive Drums. This vehicle is also capable of carrying up to four cooperative players simultaneously. Before departing back to the Bloodshot Slums, you can opt for two side missions (Too Close for Missiles or Positive Self Image). When you're ready, spawn your new Bandit Technical from the Catch-A-Ride station.
Once you're back at the Slums Gate, honk your horn again and this time, they'll fully lower the gate for you. When it completely opens, hop out as you won't be allowed to drive your vehicle into the Slums. You can try to engage them from here (which is safest, as one can get back into the Technical and use its weapons too). There are quite a few Nomads and Suicide Psychos in this area; if you stay outside the gate, they'll only have the one way of getting to you, ie. through a bottlenecked kill zone. First eliminate any enemies that approach the gate in order to decrease their numbers. You may have to step through the gate a few feet to induce the game to spawn all of this level's planned bandits. Then after you've cleared the bulk of the Slum's bandits, make your way toward the back. A bandit voice will shout for Bad Maw to take you. At that point, a mini-boss will drop from the Stronghold to engage.
The first thing you'll notice about Bad Maw are the Merry Midgets (the game pointedly highlights them to you) tied to the front of his shield in order to block a small hole in its center. If you kill or dislodge the midgets, you can then shoot right through the small hole. However, if you shoot the ropes that are holding the midgets in place, they will escape and attack Bad Maw too. This can be an important help because they will distract Bad Maw, making him swat at them with the shield, allowing a few seconds opportunity to get a completely open unblocked shot at him. Of course, once Bad Maw is down, the Merry Midgets will attack you; but in the mean time, they would have been a big help. It is recommended that you use a non-elemental weapon to free the midgets because elemental weapons can do splash damage that will kill the midgets before they are free.
The best place to fight Bad Maw is also from beyond the gate. Retreat back outside, and use the edge of the gate as cover from which to occasionally side step out and snipe. Bad Maw will tire of this and hide back behind the center building. Entice him out again by stepping back into the Slums a few steps. When he resumes his attack, back out again and continue to snipe. In this way, he is never able to get close enough to you or do any serious damage. Just keep luring him from behind the building and whittling him down a little at a time. Once you've mastered this, your only real concern will be ammo since he can really soak up a lot. The best thing you can do is use fire weapons. This will maximize the damage you do to him for the ammo that you use.
With Bad Maw down, he will drop a key that you need to lower the drawbridge. Take the key and use it on the Glowing Green Wheel located on the left side of the moat. There is also a Vault Logo that can be discovered if you climb behind the buildings just to the left of where you used the Draw Bridge Wheel. If you also climb the buildings to the right, there is a treasure box behind those structures, in addition to the one on the second level of the buildings on the left. If your backpack is full, you can wait until you enter the Stronghold to sell off some loot first and then come back out to open those boxes. Walk across the dropped drawbridge to access the travel point into the Stronghold.
Inside Bloodshot Stronghold
You'll immediately see Vending Machines and a Fast Travel point when you enter the Stronghold proper. When you go up the stairs to the right, there are two different paths that you can take and both will lead to the same room. If you're going alone, the rightward path is going to offer you the best cover but if there are two or more of you, split up so you can flank the enemy. The combat should start with anybody on the right side to draw attention to the side with better cover. For this reason, it would also be wise to send one of the tougher classes to that side (Axton, Salvadore).
|This particular area immediately inside the Bloodshot Stronghold is an ideal leveling up spot for those that wish to return later to get more XP and money. By spawning into this spot, one can fight part way into the stronghold, then backtrack and travel point through to return outside and battle Big Maw again. Furthermore, because of the proximty of the vendors, one can ammo up easily. There will also be a variety of good sellable loot with an occasional eridium bar dropped by these bad guys. This can be done almost repeatedly.|
This area is going to have a few Psychos, Marauders, and Bruisers which are new but nothing particularly unique. They are like Badass Marauders except that they use shotguns instead of longer range weapons. From the right side, if you're getting swamped, you can always back up around the corner and you'll be safe from their attacks. I'd definitely start with the Bruisers who are going to be closest to you. Whittle them down and retreat as needed. After you've cleared the room, be sure to explore and find loot.
When you go through the back of this room, you'll enter a triangular room with a bunch of loot. On one of the tables in the room will be a Lost ECHO. Grab this to listen to Marcus' sales pitch. To the left of this is the First Sofa that you must jump on to initiate a challenge. Otherwise advance into the next room and you'll encounter more Bandits.
Be ready for all manner of Bandits (from Midgets to Bruisers and Nomads). Scattered around the room are quite a few Slag Barrels which can really help a lot with the tougher enemies. It's pretty important to hang back in this room because when you make it part way across the room, you could be attacked from Badass Psychos from the next room. Work your way up to the middle slowly and clear the back of the room. Search the small room on the left side for some loot and ammo before proceeding. Head up to the door and if you haven't already been attacked by a Badass, you will. Lure them back into this same room and use the Slag Barrels and the loop on the catwalks around the center of the room to create some room to fight. This is kind of a long, tough battle so don't be surprised if you go down a few times.
Stock up on supplies and leave this room into the next hallway. The hall will split into an upper level and a lower level just to the right with a giant chunk of ice rock coming through the wall. If you're quiet, you can get the drop on the Bandits below who may just be sitting around on the various large rocks in the room. Kill them and make your way up to the edge of the next room. Just before entering, take cover behind the metal railings.
This is a long room with lots of cover scattered around up the middle. On the left is an upper tier, the beginning of which contains the Second Sofa you must jump on for a challenge; the right continues on the same floor level; down the middle is a lower floor section that comprises the main thoroughfare. You'll encounter several Psychos, Nomads and Badass Nomads. The Badass Nomads are going to be using shields to protect themselves. If you hit their shield with a high powered round (such as from a shotgun or sniper rifle), you'll knock him off balance and be able to get behind his shield. There's also a Slag Barrel or two scattered around, which is a good method of stunning him as well as dealing extra damage. There's also a large Bandit Turret on the upper level at the far end to the left. If you want, you can try and snipe the Bandit from the seat but he'll quickly be replaced so it's probably more effective to just go after the gun itself, especially if you have Corrosive weapons. It's pretty important not to die, particularly if you are playing co-op because the New-U that you will respawn at is at the very beginning of the level (further than you think).
Collect all the loot and go to the back of the room. At the back of the room will be a toilet with another Lost ECHO in it. In the hallway beyond will be some ammo and the next checkpoint. Adjacent to, and above the right of the stairs leading up to the next New-U station, is a tiny alcove on top of a pipe that you must jump up into to activate a challenge.
The New-U station is in a hallway that further joins a broken corridor, which opens to a large rotunda with a giant swirling whirlpool in its center. If you can successfully knock an enemy into this swirling water, you'll complete a challenge. You are going to face mostly Bruisers and Psychos in this room with a couple of Marauders scattered around. From the hallway, you should be able to get a good start on the lower level while still being protected from any enemies above. Kill who you can down here and make your way into the room. Immediately to your left, is the exit door from the Splinter Group side quest. If you've already done this quest, you can go back through this door to return to that location and loot the area. If you go to the right, around the outside of the rotunda, there will be a ramp comprised of partially collapsed flooring that leads up to the next level. Falling into the water (if you try to jump the platform gap just above the middle of the whirlpool) is instant death.
Try not to drop off the edge as you clear the Psychos and Bruisers off of the top level. You'll work your way around the outside of the room until you come to a platform with a large door. The door will open and two enemies will come out, a Psycho and Mad Mike. Retreat a little onto the edge behind you. This will put you behind a corner and protect you from Mike's powerful weapons and likely draw the Psycho out to be killed from relative safety. When that's done, creep up to the edge and snipe at Mike. With persistence and a bit of ammo, he should go down. There are a few loot boxes at the point where Mad Mike emerged.
Behind Mad Mike will be a triangular arcade which funnels into a long corridor that further opens to the left behind some columns. Stop just before the corridor turn lefts use this position as your starting offensive point. You should have noticed a few Bruisers already walking around in the background; the columns and corridor can be used as cover. Fire a few time to entice them, then as they try to rush you, back up into the arcade while they run into the bottlenecked defile; this essentially becomes a perfect kill zone for you to shoot or grenade them. The Psychos especially, can be easily lured into this corridor. Eliminate as many enemies as quickly as possible. A bit after that, you'll be engaged by a Nomad Taskmaster. They're similar to the Badass Nomads as they have a shield to take damage whilst they advance on you. Your methods of dealing with them are likewise similar; knock him off balance either with a powerful shot or with an explosion of some kind. Like the Badass Nomads, they're also susceptible to blast damage from explosive shells targeted at the ground around their feet, getting them to briefly blow aside their shield for your open shot. There is also an energy barrier protected room on your right that contains goodies. You need to first turn off the power supplying the barrier before you can enter unharmed.
The corridor opens into a large room; note the outhouse loot box on the right. Otherwise move towards the back of the room and turns left into another narrow corridor. From this point, you can now see that the far end has some damaged structures. You'll fight a bunch of bad guys here. After defeating them, before crossing into the next room, take the stairs on the left up. Immediately upon your entry onto the top of the stairs, from the opposite end of the room, a spawn door will open and a random badguy will spawn. On varying trips through here, I've had Badass Nomads, Suicide or Badass Psychos run out at me. Afterwards, continue up into the room, walk towards the window and and turn off the power to the energy barrier. Now you can backtrack and loot the treasure boxes downstairs.
Now continue your foward movement towards the wreaked passageways that is streaming water. To the right just before that, is the Third Sofa that you must jump on if you need to complete that challenge (the final two sofas are available only after you get the Splinter Group Quest). Advance into the wrecked corridors. There will be a few enemies in this room but in a little twist, the enemies will appear mostly through two different holes in the wall on the far side. There is a lower hole on the left side and a large hole on the right that leads up a watery ramp. Most of the enemies will be Marauder type enemies but there will be a couple of Nomad and Nomad Taskmasters on the left path. If you happen to have a sniper rifle, it'll prove very useful here as there's not a whole lot of cover in the middle of the room. Safely fight from your side of the room until it's safe to cross over.
When you cross, either path will lead you to the same room but I would take the right path since that will lead you up much more quickly and elimate any height disadvantage from stragglers in the next room. In the next hallway, you'll bump into a Nomad Taskmaster. He is the lone enemy between you and Roland. Take him down and you're about home free.
If you look around, you'll notice that there are quite a few cells around, all have loot and one has a treasure box. To unlock the cell doors, there is an access ladder dirctly in front of Rolands cell that will lead up to the catwalk above; climb up the ladder and then follow the catwalk until it intersects with three utility pipes. At that point, hop over the railing and carefully walk along the pipes towards the enclosed control booth. Inside you'll find a panel of controls on the wall. Two of the cells would have been already opened and will indicate red. You need to flip all the other switches from green to red, opening the remainder. On the way out, note the Vault Symbol in order to complete a challenge. Back out and onto the catwalk, continue to follow the catwalk to access another treasure box. When you are done looting, go up to Roland's cell door to talk to him and complete the mission.
Note: At this point, it may be more than likely that you've already collected enough loot to completely fill your backpack. Be aware that after a short bit more of story development with Roland, you'll only have to progress through an additional easy room before your next vendor access. Thus, it may be worthwhile to wait and than backtrack for these loot boxes if you want to maximize their potential.
Well that didn't go so well. After the cutscene, an EXP Loader will come into the cell and blow open the door for you. This also introduces a new enemy type. The Loader is a mechanical enemy with armor instead of health (so Corrosive weapons work well) that can be shot to pieces. The EXP Loader is similar to a Suicide Psycho in that it will charge at you and explode after releasing an electric shock that will sap your shields.
Walk outside and you'll find a giant crater in the ground. Enemies will be fighting on the far side. The GUN Loaders will have guns for arms. You can shoot these right off if you'd light. To get across the crater, you'll have to go to the left side and cross. This means that you have a good amount of distance between you and there's plenty of cover over here. If there are two of you, it's best if you split up and have one provide cover from this side while the other works their way up. Some Bandits will appear including Nomad Taskmasters, Midgets and Marauders.
After you cross to the far side, you'll be attacked by a huge number of Loaders. Kill them, go past them and then exit out to the Bloodshot Ramparts.
You'll see Bandits and Loaders fighting. Keep this in mind because you can use this to your advantage later. Just to your right will be some vending machines that you can use to unload your likely full backpack. When you are stocked up on ammo and light in the backpack, head out onto the nearby road.
Basically, you're going to fight an army of GUN and EXP Loaders. It can definitely be to your benefit to shoot the legs off of them to slow them down. After every group, be sure to search around for more ammo because you are going to shoot through it like it's nothing. I highly recommend that you bring as many different weapons as possible (corrosive weapons would be ideal) so that you can use multiple types of ammo.
As you go through the Loaders, you'll notice that sometimes they will have a screw driver/wrench symbol above their heads. This is them requesting a repair. If you see any drones flying above your head, be sure to shoot these down so that they can't repair the Loaders. Also be sure to watch out for their Grenade icon so you know when to dodge.
There's not a whole lot of information to give about this section except that you need to just keep shooting. This is really just a straight forward gauntlet. There is a point where you need to cross a gap and there will be a Loader on the far side that you can't kill. This is intentional as he is part of a small animation involving an unlucky bandit. Once he's killed the bandit, he can be killed in turn.
Keep working your way through the area until you pass a Fast Travel Station. Just around the corner is your kidnapper and Roland.
The Warden is a tough cookie. He's got shields and under the shields is a pretty thick layer of armor. He can shoot a powerful laser, spawn multiple Loaders at once and even spawn repair drones if he's damaged. The key is that his eye is very weak. If you can get a couple of good shots on his eye, you can start bringing him down rather quickly.
The best spot to be is right by the front gate. You can stick to the corner for good cover and pop out to shoot him. When he spawns minions, back around the corner and let them come to you to kill them. When they are dead, resume attacking the Warden until he's dead.
After he's down, you'll be attacked by reinforcements. This time, Roland is going to help you out. If you stick near Roland, his turret will give you all sorts of regeneration benefits. With his help, you should have no trouble with most of the reinforcements. Make sure to watch out for the Badass Loaders however since they pack some serious firepower and can take hell of a beating. It is ok to let Roland handle them alone if you need to retreat and heal.
Talk to Roland again and this time you will actually finish the mission. Before you leave, feel free to investage the sacrifice tube at the top of the alter. There is a switch just to the side to activate it. I'm unsure what it does though I suspect something may happen if you sacrifice a player.
It is possible for you to fail this mission. The W4R-D3N will then take Roland back to Dust, and hold him prisnoner in more secure surroundings, a prison called the Friendship Gulag. If you didn't free Roland, don't lose heart. Collect whatever loot you haven't taken before taking the Exit Only Fast Travel Point to the Dust. You'll have access to vendors to sell and re-arm. The rescue mission is more of the same, gaunlet past the mechanical loaders. The caveat here is to go slow and to immediately take out any airborne surveyors as they repair other damaged robots. Also, the glowing read dot on one side of the loader's head is the most vulnerable spot for critical hits, especially with corrosive weapons. When you finally confront the W4R-D3N, aim for his central Glowing Red Eye in the middle of his head. Whatever you do, don't get too close if you don't have to. Similar to the first attempt, once freed, Roland will assist you in beating the remainder of the Loaders.