STORY 05 - Queen's Ransom
Recommended Level: 28+
Objective: Storm the Vex citadel
And here we are at the final battle for the second expansion's story. The goal for this mission is to capture Skolas. Yeah, capture him. I see no problems with this plan at all. Really. When you get boots on Venus, you'll need to cross the overworld a fair way until you reach the approach to the vex citadel and arrive at a darkness zone. The zone appears very early in the mission, so you should keep in mind that from this point onwards, death will send you back to a checkpoint (so consider playing more defensively).
Objective: Eliminate the Fallen
When you enter the Juncture area, you'll encounter your first mission level enemies. Vex forces (harpies and goblins) will be battling against fallen dreg along the path in front of you. At which point you will likely lob a grenade into their midst and leg it to the nearest cover. Start working your way through the small groups of scrapping enemies until you arrive at a large room with beams of energy emanating from a device in the middle of it.
A few seconds later, more vex forces (goblins and a yellow health bar hydra - spire lord) will spawn in and engage the yellow health captain and his squad (melee vandals, sniper vandals, dreg and shanks). Leave the two yellows for last and start getting rid of the weaker enemies surrounding them, paying special attention to the sniper vandal on the right side of the room. Once the minions have been dealt with, you can concentrate your fire on the two remaining leaders.
Objective: Override the lift controls
Walk over to the strange device with a red light and interact with it to trigger the elevator (the beam of light nearby).
Objective: Enter the lift
Step onto to the elevator. Apparently you are taking the express.
Objective: Cross the chasm
When you arrive at the end of the elevator ride, you will be faced with a real test of your jumping prowess. Multiple vanishing platforms may give some players terrifying flashbacks to games like Megaman 2. It really boils down to your pattern observation skills and timing to get past this successfully. Or failing that, a decent amount of persistence and several controllers. Watch the platform pattern carefully a few times before attempting the crossing and try to land on the upper area of the platforms if you can as that will give you more height and therefore more distance in your next jump.
Objective: Find Skolas, Kell of Kells
After reaching solid ground once more, you will immediately be attacked by a melee vandal and dreg. Dispose of them quickly and then take special note of the small alcove here. This alcove acts as a perfect safe spot to retreat to if you are in danger during the battle with Skolas. So make sure to memorize it's location. Unless you are over-leveled, you will likely be glad you did. When you are ready, start crossing the walkways, eliminating the fallen resistance in your path (mostly ranged vandals and dreg). Along the path to the back of this area, you'll encounter two captains and a scattering of melee vandals as well.
It will seem like a never-ending tide of new enemies as you get close to Skolas' vessel, but be patient and continue wasting fallen as you push forward. At the rear of the area, you'll spot vex gates. Immediately begin closing these with a ranged weapon to reduce the number of enemies you have to deal with. There will be three on the left side, one at the back and another two to the right to close. You will also see a couple of yellow health high servitors in front of the rear gate that you cannot damage. So avoid their blasts and continue closing down the portals. Once the final gate is closed, Skolas himself will appear.
Objective: Capture Skolas, Kell of Kells
Think of Skolas as an archon priest on steroids. Skolas will instantly call in a large amount of fallen reinforcements, so back up the way you came to avoid being clustered to death. The supporting forces consist of cloaked melee vandals, ranged vandals, dreg and shanks. All this combined with support from Skolas means it is easy to become overwhelmed as the small army chases you along the path. Remember that alcove I mentioned earlier? Now is the time to take advantage of it!
Due to the number of and continual respawning of the fallen forces, you cannot engage Skolas one on one (at least not for long before the next wave appears). So the general idea here is to kill your way back to the area that Skolas is in (reducing the number of enemies) and then deal as much damage as you can to him before having to retreat due to damage or enemy reinforcements appearing. While slow and annoying as a strategy, it is effective and will result in you eventually bringing the kell to heel. Watch the capture scene play out when the kell finally falls and your mission will be over. To the victor go the spoils, return to hand in the quest and the story is over.