Start a new game on Very Hard difficulty with Iron Mutant enabled.
The Metal Bird (I)
When you gain control of your character, turn around and head north into a tiny swamp alcove. Hug the right wall and walk around the tree on the right to collect the first of the Elder's posters (1/5).
Turn around and head south towards the quest marker until you see a glowing pile of scrap. Collect it and continue down the stairs on your right for your first combat encounter. Switch to Dux using and turn off your flashlight with . Get as close as you can to the Butcher without alerting him and press to ambush him. Use your walk ability to get close enough to the Butcher so that you have a 100% chance of hitting with the crossbow. Proceed to attack him with the crossbow and silently kill him. Repeat these steps with the nearby Marauder. Press after each combat encounter to regroup your squad. Make sure to collect the loot from the killed enemies to get a weapon mod.
Continue to explore the nearby plane for some more scrap (be sure to turn on your flashlight again to make spotting the scrap easier). Follow the trail to find more scrap laying in the trunk of a rusty truck and follow the quest marker. You will come across two enemies who are too high of a level for us to deal with right now. Turn off your flashlight and sneak past them on the right side. There is broken gun lying right past them that you can pick up for 5 weapon parts. Continue towards the quest marker and into the next area.
While I point out where a majority of the scrap and weapons parts are in each area, I am sure there are other pieces of loot that I missed during my play through. Make sure to fully explore the regions to collect all the scrap and weapons parts you can before heading into the next area. These loot items help make the game easier in the long run (plus we need at least 270 weapon parts for one of the achievements anyway). To give you a baseline for you to compare with how much loot found in a particular map area, I will list the amount of loot I found in each area during my play through.
Scrap collected: 20
Weapons parts collected: 5
From the entrance, turn left to find some scrap underneath a broken down house roof. Follow the trail towards the quest marker to find a medkit laying next to a tent, some scrap near a broken boat and more scrap laying next to a broken down car and camper. Follow the trail north until you pass through some wooden posts with skulls on them. After a cutscene, head left to collect some more scrap and head down the stairs. Do not engage the enemies yet. First, head all the way to the southwest corner of the map to find some scrap along a spiky vine wall, then turn around back towards the group of enemies. You should see a lone butcher walking along the back of the house. Use Dux to kill him silently with the crossbow.
At this point you will level up and gain a skill point. Use Dux's skill point to earn the Skull Splitter mutation (it will automatically equip onto him). This mutation lets you deal critical damage with 100% chance but at the expense of -25% accuracy. We will use this ability a lot during the play through to help take down larger isolated enemies before they have a chance to alert other enemies on the map. However, we don't want to rely on the 75% shooting accuracy we get when using that mutation. When we get 7 more skill points, we will learn the Moth Wings mutation which allows us to fly giving us +25% accuracy. Using Skull Splitter and Moth Wings together then will allow us to deal critical damage with 100% chance and 100% accuracy. After using the mutation though, we will need to kill 3 enemies before it is recharged. So we cannot abuse this mutation pairing all of the time. Nevertheless it will help us significantly during the play through. Do not spend Bormin's skill point yet.
Walk over to the sparkling chest near the car to get the Gaper weapon. Give it to Bormin and equip the Scattergun onto Dux. Collect the scrap laying next to the car. Press to split up your group and move Dux to just outside the Marauder's detection radius is and move Bormin just outside of the Hunter's detection radius. Use Dux to kill the Marauder and Bormin to kill the Hunter during the first combat turn. Afterwards, do a sweep around and inside the building to collect weapons parts, scrap, a hand grenade, and the Boom Box artifact (1/12). Equip the hand grenade to Dux. Continue southwest towards the quest marker and collect the weapons parts along the way. Follow the path out of the area. If you wish, you can do a sweep of the map area again to check for any missed scrap or weapons parts.
Scrap collected: 39
Weapons parts collected: 15
After a cutscene head towards the quest marker. You'll encounter a Butcher and Hunter talking. Do not engage them. Head north towards the back of the building and pick up some scrap near a broken radio tower. Proceed west and go inside the building through the broken wall. Pick up the all the loot including a Molotov, scrap, the Snazzy Visor hat (DLC: 1/14), and the Stalker Clara note (DLC: 1/37). Equip the Snazzy Visor and Molotov on Dux. Go outside the building and pick up the scrap by the red car. You should notice another Marauder enemy patrolling on the right. Make sure the patrolling Marauder is outside of the detection radius of the other Marauder positioned behind him, and then ambush the patrolling Marauder. Use Dux to take him out silently with the crossbow.
Go behind the two tanks nearby to find some weapons parts. Head towards the quest marker towards the other Marauder and take him out silently with your crossbow. Now head back to the two enemies we skipped early and use Dux to take out the Butcher and Bormin to take out the Hunter. Collect the enemy loot (which includes a weapon mod) and the scrap lying against the semi truck. Head towards the south end of the map to find a chest with the Stalker Vest. Equip it on Bormin. At this point, you can use Bormin's skill points to learn his Run 'N' Gun mutation. Move towards the quest marker and find some scrap in the trunk of a car along the way. Enter the elevator to return to the Ark which will unlock
Scrap collected: 34
Weapons parts collected: 8
Welcome to the Ark! Here we can use scrap to buy helpful items for our journey at Iridia's shop, chat with the Elder, trade our Artifacts to Pripp, and upgrade our weapons at Delta's Fix Pit. To start, go to Pripp's and buy the Tough Guy artifact skill. This will extend the bleedout time for a crew member by 2 turns during combat. While our initial encounters have been straightforward and easy, some later combat encounters will be a lot tougher. It is possible that you might miss during combat and a crew member may get downed during combat and "bleed out." As long as you apply a medkit before they bleed out or finish the combat encounter before then, your crew member will not die permanently. You can then heal them to full HP using a medkit once combat is completed. I like having the Tough Guy skill as early as possible because it grants some leeway for yourself during combat in case things go south. If things go south and you can't afford to spend the action points during combat to heal your squad member, then you still have 2-3 turns to finish off the enemy before you crewmate dies.
Leave Pripp's and go to Delta's now. Dismantle the Stinger that is not equipped by anyone and then upgrade your Crossbow to level II. Go and also add the Broiler 50 mod to the crossbow as well. Lastly, equip the Ancient Sight to Bormin's Gaper gun he has equipped. Unless you somehow needed to use medkits during the earlier encounters, there is no need for us to visit Iridia's. Return to the Zone and travel to Hammon's Cabin.
When you load into the area, head north towards the quest marker. You'll pass by a run down house with some scrap lying next to it right before you head down some stairs. Head west at the base of the stairs to find a Zone Dog patrolling the area near a broken down truck. Wait for the zone dog to be as far south of the truck before ambushing him. There is a second Zone Dog patrolling nearby, but we are far enough away so that we can use loud weapons on this Zone Dog without alerting the other. Even if the other Zone Dog happens to be close enough so that it is alerted when you use your loud weapons, it will be far enough away where it can't attack you during it's turn and you can still kill it before it gets any attacks off on you. If the second Zone Dog is not alerted, head slightly east to find it patrolling the area. Ambush and then kill it with your loud weapons. After both dogs are dead, head back to the broken down truck and collect the scrap and hand grenade. Head north to find 2 sets of weapons parts and some scrap in the remnants of a building. Move northwest to find more scrap next to a boat.
Head east to find a broken down MIMIR Z800 you can investigate and circle behind it to find scrap. Follow the quest marker to find Hammon's cabin. Before we engage any enemies there is scrap lying along the fence that you can pick up. Approach the enemies, and let the enemies chat for a bit until the Marauder wanders off by himself to the west side of the cabin. Here, use Dux to silently kill the Marauder with the crossbow. Next, head back to the front of the cabin and kill the Shaman with your loud weapons. Shaman's are always a priority during combat because they can summon extra units for support during their turn. If this ever happens, it is difficult for us to regain the upper hand in the combat encounter. Killing the Shaman will alert the Hunter inside the house. Make sure you are behind some cover and kill the Hunter during your next turn. It is likely you will take some damage here. That is ok, as it will not actually kill any of our squad members. Just remember to not use any medkits during combat if you can avoid it. Always save them until after combat is completed so that your character can be fully healed.
After combat, circle around the cabin and collect all the loot including the Far Looker artifact (2/12), the Zone Dog Camp note (DLC: 2/37), a med-kit, a weapon mod, some scrap and weapons parts. Inside the cabin is more scrap. Collect the pile of notes to get your next quest. After the cutscene, follow the quest marker to the next area.
Scrap collected: 40
Weapons parts collected: 15
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