After helping Aria by giving her a datapad recovered during Garrus' recruitment mission and helping her handle the Patriarch she will give you the location of the smuggling depot.
The assignment can also be acquired by scanning the planet. These mission notes are displayed after scanning the planet:
“The planet Daratar in the Faryar system is a suspected Eclipse smuggling site. Cerberus is interested in obtaining the materials kept at this site. Operatives will be paid handsomely for any intact crates retrieved from the site. Be aware that Eclipse would rather see the cargo destroyed than lose it to a rival organization.
Payment will be made once the acquisition of undamaged crates is verified.”
Scanning will also result in a radio broadcast from an Eclipse operative:
“Enemy ship detected. All units, prepare to burn down the house. Repeat, prepare to burn down the house!”
After Normandy SR-2 is detected in orbit, the Eclipse mercs flee the depot in A-61 Mantis Gunships, leaving behind the three YMIR Mechs guarding the cargo. The mechs will then try to destroy the crates before the squad can recover them. There are 20 crates in the depot. You have to destroy all the mechs before all crates have been destroyed. You will get paid based on how many crates survive. You can shoot at a mech to get its attention (and therefore stop it from destroying crates). This option, though, should probably be reserved only for the easier difficulties, as YMIR Mechs are aggressive and you may find that cover will be difficult to find as they flank you. When all mechs have been destroyed, the mission is completed.
It is recommended you bring the M-100 Grenade Launcher, the ML-77 Missile Launcher, or the M-920 Cain. They are long range and can make the job go faster, especially with the YMIR armor. If you happen to have the Collector Particle Beam, then that is not a bad choice, either. Recommended squadmates are Miranda and Garrus due to their overload abilities. If you have the DLC, then Kasumi (with her own Overload ability), the Arc Projector, or Zaeed's Disruptor Ammo are also useful choices.
Note: Once a YMIR finishes off the crates that it is assigned to destroy, it will then focus on the squad, even if there are still crates left.
The safest way to complete this mission is to use the M-920 Cain on the first mech (which will either destroy it outright or heavily damage it, depending on the difficulty), use your heaviest ordnance and abilities on the second closest mech, and use what remains of your heavy ordnance on the third mech before switching to lower-impact weapons. This approach sacrifices crates for the sake of less risk. If one moves quickly, however, there is a small chance that all 20 crates can be salvaged.
It is possible to destroy (or severely damage) all 3 mechs with one shot from the Cain, but you must hurry before they get too far apart and aim between them. An easier and safer solution (mainly to use at Insanity) is to simply get 200% Cain ammo (attainable via 6 Heavy Ammo Upgrades, plus using the Ordinance Packs from Harrot's Emporium on Omega or Cerberus Assault Armor from the Cerberus Weapon and Armor DLC pack), and fire two consecutive shots at the mechs.
There are two strategies for "pulling" the mechs without initialize the crate destruction script; these methods allow the player to salvage all 20 crates.
The first approach is to stay back at the landing zone and send your squad in to do the damage. If you don't trigger the gunships, and don't shoot the mechs yourself, your squad will take them all down without the mechs even moving, allowing you to save all 20 crates. Note: On the PC and Xbox versions, sending in your squad while remaining back yourself has triggered the crate destruction script.
A more effective strategy requires the ML-77 Missile Launcher. Note: Shepard and all squadmates need to remain out of line-of-sight of the out-of-combat mechs and gunships for this strategy to work correctly. First, position Shepard's squadmates defensively on the left and right corners of the UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle. Next, position Shepard in the middle of the landing zone and fire either wide of the rock wall or directly into the air. The rockets will track and hit the nearest mech, "pulling" them to the mission starting area. After engaging a mech, relocate Shepard behind the UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle, using it for cover from the mech's heavy attacks. Kill each mech in this fashion and all 20 crates will easily be spared, even on the hardest difficulties.
Note that only fire from the mechs can damage the crates, so you don't need to worry about Shepard or teammates inadvertently destroying crates from inaccurate weapons fire or the Cain's explosion. There are some typical fragile crates used for cover props that can be destroyed — but these are not part of the 20 crates you need to save.
Before leaving, grab the element zero and the med-kit off to the right of the clearing, near the computer terminal, and the power cells on the rear landing platform.
Computer Terminal Edit
E-Mail (Nice Work on Daratar) Edit
Mission Summary Edit
X of the 20 crates were saved. (Where X is equal to the number of crates saved.)
- Experience reward: 125 (156)
- Credits: 3,750-7,500
- Cerberus Funding: 3,750
- Credits Found: 3,750 - (190 per crate lost); minimum = 0
- Element Zero: 500
Either gunship can be shot down by the Cain and will crash to the ground in flames. This, however, is very difficult and requires precise timing. If one ship is destroyed the other will freeze in place and can no longer be damaged by any means.