Helldivers 2 tries to further explain recent balancing as players push back against nerfs


The days after a balance patch are never usually ones that are full of celebration and excitement, so in that regard the reaction from the wider Helldivers 2 community isn’t that surprising. Even with that in mind, the balance adjustments that went out earlier this week have seen some significant levels of resistance from fans even as Arrowhead Game Studios tries to explain its rationale.

In a dev blog that was published shortly after the balance patch went out, head of product testing Patrik Lasota explained that primary weapons were never meant to replace strategems and support weapons as the main offensive tool against foes, which meant that primary weapons that were overperforming had to be taken down a peg while also appreciating the tightrope walk of encouraging weapon fun and fantasy against meta builds.

“I have since the game released seen many who say ‘Don’t Nerf, only Buff’ and other similar ideas. However as a designer I can tell you this is not a great idea, but I understand where the sentiment comes from. All too often in the games industry the core fantasy, and what makes a weapon feel good and fun, is ignored for the sake of Balance. I believe players are scared of Nerfs, because it will ruin the fantasy of a weapon, ruin their fun. It is extra important to us to tread carefully so that we don’t ruin fantasy and fun when we do nerfs. We hope you, our players, will tell us when we cross that line inadvertently.”

Players have absolutely raised their voices in saying that lines were crossed. Reactions to the post on the Twitter accounts of the game and Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt as well as on Reddit have come fast and thick, with most arguing that nerfs shouldn’t be the first move in a PvE-only game and even more claiming that nerfs to specific weapons have made higher difficulty missions needlessly challenging.

The crux of most arguments comes from the number of highly armored enemies that spawn at some of the higher difficulties in the game, as multiple bull-like Charger bugs and enormous Titan bugs overwhelm players who don’t have many counters against armor.

Players further argue that the studio’s vision of strategems as a primary tool is untenable at these difficulties because strategems have longer cooldowns or limit their number. Others are suggesting the devs play their own game at higher difficulties to demonstrate how things are meant to be done, while others posit that the nerfs are being done to make farming harder.

“You know what other game which focused on shooting things had guns that felt useless? Anthem,” one Redditor summarizes. “Think long and hard about this one.”

sources: Arrowhead site, Twitter (1, 2), Reddit
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