Updated Wed, Dec 16, 2009 by RadarX
The Retread Caves are a series of naturally formed caverns that are the current home of a group of Cormans known as the Retreads. The Retreads have abandoned their pacifist heritage in order to fight against the Bane. They share the caverns with the dangerous Mox and the Miasma. The enemy in this instance are level 32-36.
Looking at the map of the Retread Caves you might get the idea that this is a sprawling Atta-like instance. Actually, the instance is pretty easy to navigate. It’s basically in the shape of a dumbbell with a couple of side rooms. There is the initial room of the instance that is connected via the main passage to the Retread Camp. This is the dumbbell shape: the initial room, the main passage, and the Retread Camp. The Western Grotto is accessible via two paths from the main passage, and you’ll become very familiar with that room. The Eastern Fringe is also accessible from the main passage. Lastly, the Mox Lair is accessible from the Retread Camp.
Lightsticks but No People
Please note that there is also a Retread Camp in the Pools zone/battlefield, so there is an opportunity for confusion over this name. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this guide will refer to the Retread Camp within the Retread Caves instance.
The Retread Camp is the temporary home of the splinter group of Cormans known as the Retreads. Their camp has armor, weapon, and medical vendors, and there is also a crafting station. What it really needed was a useable AFS footlocker, but we will get to that in a moment.
The Retread Caves instance was popular with folks looking to level up quickly by repeatedly killing bad guys (the practice known as grinding). However, a patch to the game reduced the spawn rate of the miasmas in this instance, and they are spaced further apart to discourage that practice. The Caves also had a bugged mission early in the mission sequence, but that was repaired in the 1.4 patch.
If you have the “Stick Your Neck Out” mission from Amee Corman, you can turn it in while you are running this instance. If you don’t have that mission, it’s not a big deal. You can easily turn it in later without having to rerun the whole instance. That mission is not required to unlock any missions in this instance. If you do have it, turn it in with Kaethi Rose at the Retread Camp.
The first mission you get inside the instance is from Ellen Lenee. It is the formerly bugged “Mox Clearing” mission where you need to kill twelve Mox. Head to the Western Grotto, and clear the main room. We recommend not going into the tunnel at the bottom of that room for now, as you need to save the mox in there for a later mission.
The next mission is “Mox Shouldn’t Smoke”. That mission will introduce you to Dr. Donius who will send you on an errand. Follow the mission marker to the AFS Supply Crate (-3.6, -12.3) to pick up the carton of smokes.
Next is the “A Mox On Both Our Houses” mission where Dr. Donius wants you to kill the Alpha Mox. Here’s where we could have used an AFS footlocker in the Retread Camp. The level 36 Alpha Mox has a really high health regeneration rate. If you run this instance solo, you will need a weapon with high damage per second (DPS) like turrets, a couple of pistols or a polarity gun, or you will need a weapon with big hit points like a blade or a staff. We had to leave the instance and transfer a couple of blue level 35 pistols from one character to another via the footlocker to use on the Alpha Mox. [We needed two pistols, because having only one caused it to overheat several times before the fight was over.] The beast is not hard to dodge as long as you keep moving, he is just really hard to kill. Once we had the pistols, we used almost 1,000 rounds of high grade power cells at 16 credits each. In return for our 16,000 credit kill, we were rewarded with 1,800 credits. Quite the money-losing venture on this mission! Of course, running this mission in a squad will make much shorter work of the Alpha Mox, and running the mission solo as a spy or guardian is much cheaper.
Next up is the “Deadly Moxins, er-Toxins” mission. You will place three flares where the flashing markers are in the Western Grotto. Then you need to kill the remaining mox (you only need to kill three more). If you didn’t enter the tunnel at the bottom of the Western Grotto room, there are plenty of Mox left in there. If you, or a squad-mate, got trigger happy earlier, then you’ll need to head into the Mox Lair, take the left passageway, and shoot three mox in there. There is a typo in the “Deadly Moxins, er-Toxins” mission. It states that you should turn in the mission to Amee Corman. You actually turn in the mission to Ellen Lenee.
Dr. Donius will then give you the “Miasma Mutations” mission. After you accept the mission, two mutated miasma will spring forth from the ground. Dr. Donius is no wimp. For fun we stood back and watched him box with both of them. He needed only two punches for each of them. Speaking of Cormans packing a punch, we lured a mox into the Retread Camp and Ellen Lenee gave it the ol’ one-two a couple of times for a quick lights out.
Since you will now be heading into the Mox Lair, here’s a tip for finding your way out. The exit point is at 63, 192, but it is also distinguished by a large pile of glowing blue rocks. Also of note is the shortcut from Ellen Lenee to the entrance of the Mox Lair. It only works when going to the Mox Lair from Ellenn Lenee, but it does save you the round-about trip through the Retread Camp. The shortcut is a walkway over the fire pit that connects one side of the cavern to the other. Also, of note: Mox Lair is also called Miasma Lair.
There are three different types of miasma in the Mox Lair: Actinium Miasma, Thorium Miasma, and Mutated Miasma. Of the three, the mutated miasmas required the lowest number of hit points even when they were at the same level as the actinium or thorium miasmas. Follow the mission marker from the “Miasma Mutations” mission into the Mox Lair and kill ten mutated miasmas. When you are finished Dr. Donius will give you the “Miasma Testing” mission. Follow the mission markers as provided. H.P. Miles is next to Gun Dealer Doris (the lowest level of the Retread Camp next to the fire pit). The radio marker over H.P. Miles’ head doesn’t appear until your escort is close to him.
After the failed testing, you will get the “Total Slaughter” mission from H.P. Miles. Basically, you need to turn on a water pump and then kill all remaining miasmas. You can also clear out the remaining mox in the Mox Lair. There is a nice AFS supply crate at 137, -214. It provides three pieces of loot, so be sure you find it. It is close to the two dead soldiers after you’ve finished the mox.
The last mission in the instance is “The Mad Bomber”. After picking up the mission from Ellen Lenee, look at the lights in the ceiling in the main passage. At the second light, go right (-34, -134). This winding passage will take you to the Eastern Fringe. There are both mox and miasma to clear in this winding passage. As beneficial as the ability scourge is on the mox, especially during fights in tight spaces, it is terrible on miasmas. It causes them to continually phase so you cannot hit them. Keep this in mind if you have this ability or a similar ability in your repertoire.
Advanced Juggernaut Beats on the AFS
Once you are in the Eastern Fringe, notice that the Mad Bomber has left little explosive presents for his guests. They don’t do much damage, but it is best to avoid them just the same.
The Mad Bomber is a level 36 polarity gunner. His armor strips off pretty quickly, but his health takes a bit longer (although no where near as long as the Alpha Mox). You can press “T” to talk to him during the fight, but all he is says is “I’m not crazy.” His polarity gun packs a bit of a sting, so it’s best to avoid the chit-chat and finish the job.
After turning in the last mission, be sure and talk to all of the Retreads in the Retread Camp. Their conversations add a bit to the lore of the Retreads. One funny bit comes from Allie Marie: “Did you notice the Mox sort of smell like window cleaner mixed with gym socks? And onions?”
If you don’t have the two logos How and Question, make sure you pick them up after you exit the instance. Go left and make your way to the Eloh Hologram. The hallway to your right leads to How, and the hallway to your left leads to Question. The logos Question has a doorway that requires the Knowledge, Will Be, and Yours logos before you can enter.
A List of the Rewards Per Mission
Stick Your Neck Out: Class VII Advanced Med Pack, Class VII Adrenaline Booster, Class VII EMP Grenade, Class VII Concussion Grenade.
Mox Clearing: ChiTech Laser Chaingun, Shinobi Electric Net Gun, Vextronics Laser Pistol, ChiTech Endothermic Polarity Gun.
Mox Shouldn’t Smoke: Astra Hazmat Armor Legs, ChiTech Mech Armor Vest, Teleract Motor Assist Armor Legs, Titan Reflective Armor Legs.
A Mox On Both Our Houses: Phoenix Radial Repair Tool, AccuMax Sonic Disperser, AccuMax Rifle, Eclipse Sonic Torqueshell Rifle.
Deadly Moxins, er-Toxins: Prodigy Bio Armor Boots, Teleract Graviton Armor Boots, Phoenix Mech Armor Boots, Teleract Stealth Armor Boots.
Miasma Mutations: Teleract Pulse RPG Launcher, AccuMax Virulent Leech Gun, Shinobi Incendiary Net Gun, ChiTech Photonic Shotgun.
Miasma Testing: Astra Bio Armor Vest, Titan Graviton Armor Vest, Astra Mech Armor Legs, Phoenix Stealth Armor Vest.
Total Slaughter: Teleract Electric Injector Gun, Vitalius Electric Chaingun, Teleract Sonic Cannon, Teleract Sonic Shotgun.
The Mad Bomber: Prodigy Hazmat Armor Gloves, Tital Motor Assist Armor Gloves, Astra Reflective Armor Gloves, Teleract Stealth Armor Legs.