Helldivers 2’s enormous balance patch means business—weapons are getting buffed, galactic map supply lines are here, solo patrols are sensible again, and the worst mission modifier is gone

Arrowhead Games has said time and time again as of late that, when it comes to Helldivers 2 patches, it’d be slowing down its cadence to deliver more on quality—and assuming there’s not some catastrophic bug lurking in the shadows, it’s clear by this latest patch that the studio meant it.

This morning’s update for Helldivers 2 is absolutely massive—so massive, in fact, that I’m not going to be able to cover everything here, though you can always head to the Steam news page and rifle through it yourself. Until then, here’s your quick debriefing, soldier.

At a glance, the largest change here is an across-the-board set of pseudo-armour penetration buffs to the game’s higher-calibre guns—as explained in a follow-up blog from former CEO, now-CCO Johan Pilestedt.

According to Pilestedt, “durable” body parts (which he characterises as big, chunky bits of the model that nonetheless have “non-vital organs”) were taking roughly the same amount of damage from both small arms fire and heavier calibre rifles. This led to bigger guns such as rifles and machine guns feeling like pea-shooters, which is something that should now be addressed.

Rifles, not pea-shooters

Most of the following weapons have had their damage against durable body parts increased by at least 10%. For example, the MG-206 Heavy Machine Gun’s durable body part damage has increased from 23% to 33%, while the BR-14 Adjudicator has had its damage increased from 10% to 20%. “In general, the higher your calibre of weapon the better the effect is against durable body parts.”

  • AR-23 Liberator
  • M-105 Stalwart
  • AX/AR-23 “Guard dog”
  • AR-23C Liberator Concussive
  • R-63 Diligence
  • BR-14 Adjudicator
  • AR-61 Tenderizer
  • MG-43 Machine Gun
  • A/MG-43 Machine gun Sentry
  • A/G-16 Gatling Sentry
  • EXO-45 Patriot Exosuit’s Gatling

The Eruptor, which received an inadvertent nerf after it was discovered that shrapnel was the cause of some ricochet conspiracy theories, has also had its damage buffed to the tune of “150 more damage per explosion”, a tweak which aims to make it good at taking out moderately-armoured foes while keeping its horde-culling intact.

The Galactic War. The Galactic War sometimes changes.

In terms of general gameplay tweaks, supply lines are going to be visible on the galactic war map, giving players a better idea of which planets are priority targets to hit without resorting to websites like helldivers.io or heading to forums and discord servers. You can see the new UI elements below.

The thing I’m most excited about, however, is that the most annoying mission modifier has been snipped from the game entirely—that is AA-Defences, which used to reduce your available stratagems by 1.

Arrowhead Games says that it’d like to reconsider its operation modifiers across the board in the future, but the AA-Defences modifier was especially egregious since it limited the amount of stratagems you could bring with you who does not, as the studio puts it, “create variety or promote different playstyles.” The Retrieve Essential Personnel mission type, which has given divers a headache since launch, has also been temporarily removed from the game pending changes.

No more sentient fire tornadoes

There’s been a complete overhaul of planetary weather conditions, too. For example, Fire Tornados shouldn’t be sapient anymore—this upsetting weather phenomenon used to seemingly chase players across the battlefield, but its movement should be far less vengeful and more random, now. Fog-dense planets also have had their visibility improved across the board, targeting Desert and Highlands biomes specifically.

You should also be able to hide in shrubbery, now: “Vegetation that’s large enough to slow the player now has an extra function. When inside the vegetation helldivers will be harder to detect, reducing their detection range by enemies. This effect stacks with other detection reducing effects such as nighttime, being crouched or prone, or things such as the scout armour passive.” This is a huge boon to stealth and solo players, one which plays nicely to a reversal in patrol spawning mechanics which made lone wolves’ lives a complete nightmare.

Fixing bugs, bots, and bugs

Heavily-armoured enemies should be spawning less now—but don’t get too excited, because they’ll be replaced with even more mooks. The patch notes quote a 30% decrease in heavily-armoured insects during bug breaches and a lowered amount of Automaton Hulks—the intent being to reduce players’ reliance on Anti-Tank weapons at higher difficulties, which could be so flush with the buggers that a Recoilless Rifle or an Expendable Anti-Tank launcher was basically mandatory kit.

In terms of those heavier enemies, there’ve also been some nerfs—the Bile Titan’s puke and the Hulk Scorcher’s flamethrower shouldn’t melt you in seconds, anymore, and Automaton Tanks have had their front-facing armour adjusted to better match the “visual language” of the model.

There’ve also been a lot of fixes, including some hope for the long-maligned FAF-14 Spear, which has had its targeting reworked, although it can’t target Automaton spawners anymore—which Arrowhead says isn’t intended and should be “fixed in the future”. Exosuit mechs should also have better targeting, and there’s been a batch of crash fixes to keep you gunning down bots and bugs longer.

All-in-all, this is a really impressive showing from Arrowhead. Recent wobbles (not helped by PSN controversies) being what they are, it’s nice to see a genuine commitment to improving the game and applying more thoughtful, but less frequent patches. You also might have noticed that there’s no mention of a Warbond here—that’s because Viper Commandos, which’ll have a nifty throwing knife, will be released later today at 3 pm BST (7 am PST).

Source: PC Gamer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.