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Helldivers 2 Just Dropped A Balance Patch The Size Of A 500kg Bomb

A behemoth patch of buffs

The developers behind Helldivers 2 have been slaving over a hot stove for a while now – after announcing a slow to their patch cadence, they made it clear that they were taking more time to cook. Moving away from iffy weekly patches, they would instead take a bit more time to get stuff really solid – and now we are in a position to see the fruits of their labour.

As of June 13, the first of the new patches has arrived – and it is a veritable buffet of buffs, balances and general goodness to make Helldivers 2 all the more enjoyable. The Reddit post collecting all the changes is bursting at the seams – resplendent in detailed explanations on some of the finer points, such as what the heck ‘Durable Body Parts’ are:

As for highlights, some dots points that are exciting to read:

  • Over a dozen guns have received significant changes – mostly in terms of outright buffing their damage
  • Sentry turrets have all been improved
  • Many stratagems have been improved
  • Many unfriendly player effects (such as slows, and fire) have been amended to be less horrible

It’s a swathe of incredible changes, with many feeling like an outright case of ‘pulling the ripcord’ – just adding a ton of impactful changes to the vast majority of impacted gameplay items. A few standouts that tickle me in particular include:

  • Orbital Precision strike
    • Decreased cooldown from 100 sec to 90 sec
    • Decreased Spawn/Call-in time from 4 sec to 2 sec

The Precision Strike was a sleeper hit for many – it suffered from ‘Tutorial Syndrome’, where its appearance as a first timer stratagem had people thinking it was a lesser option – for noobs, clearly. In reality it’s pretty dang great, and these changes make it extra great.

  • A/MG-43 Machine gun sentry
    • Reduced cooldown from 180 sec to 120 sec.

Probably the only stratagem in the game that was rendered inferior to a later upgrade, the Machine Gun sentry was rendered obsolete once you unlock the Gatling Sentry. By giving it a massive cooldown reduction (that’s a full minute shaved off that bad boy!) suddenly it has a niche. A rapid, repeatable second gun to back you up and provide covering fire. Also, this was a hotly requested community suggestion – awesome.

  • MG-206 Heavy Machine Gun
    • Increased projectile damage from 100 to 150
    • Increased projectile damage against durable* body parts from 23% to 33%
    • Decreased fire rate from 450/750/900 to 450/600/750
    • Decreased reload time from 7 to 5.5 sec
    • Increased stagger strength

Simply put, this gun was a turd. Upon release, people envisioned themselves pumping lead like Rambo, but a series of baffling problems made it too unwieldy to even consider. Slow reload, awful accuracy, absurd recoil – you name it, it was heinous. This massive set of changes turns it from a garden hose to a proper street sweeper.

  • Removed operation modifier AA-Defenses: Reducing the stratagem slots by 1

Also known as the worst mission modifier in the game, this sucker reduced the number of fun toys you could take to a mission by one. I have never heard a single positive word said about this, so having it entirely shitcanned makes perfect sense. Begone.

  • The SEAF Artillery stratagem is no longer blocked by stratagem jammers or Ion Storms, and is available after the mission timer ends and the destroyer leaves close orbit.

Another magnificent community suggestion, many players pointed out that the ‘Sudden Death’ mode that kicks in during the final moments of a mission is a little harsh in stopping you using locally sourced explosions. Sure, your mother ship might take off – but at least let us keep the boom that we scrounged on the ground, surely? A super solid change. And it makes those artillery positions all the more valuable.

  • Acid effect
    • The acid effect applied by hunters, bug mines, etc. now allows you to sprint while under the effect and slows you by 30% instead of 50%. Duration has been increased from 3 to 4 seconds. These changes are intended to make it less punishing for players to be slowed while fighting the Terminids, This allows us to use it in more places without making the experience very punishing, for example the Bile Spewers.

The slowing effect in Helldivers 2 was gross. Beyond awful. It was basically a death sentence, and many of the words I have heard describing this feeling are difficult to repeat in front of my mother. This is a big change, adding a ton more counterplay to the slow effect in exchange for having it last a little longer. It feels a lot more interactive now, compared to HAHA YOU ARE SLOW AND ALSO DEAD.

  • Fire and Puke
    • Puke now can only damage helldivers up to 4 times per second and the helldiver cannot take damage multiple times from the same projectile. This should reduce instances where you are instantly killed by it.
    • The Hulk’s flamethrower now does less damage and cannot damage helldivers more than 4 times per second. In addition, the helldiver cannot be damaged multiple times by the same flame projectile. This should reduce instances where you are instantly killed by it.

Bugs vomiting. Bots roasting. These were both incredibly frustrating things to deal with, on account for how they would instantly paste a player. It felt like even a tiny graze of bug acid vomit would have your guy ragdoll and scream an agonising death cry – it felt impossible to avoid. These changes seem to lift the lid on how the method for calculating damage from these attacks was wholly busted, and so safeguards are now in place. Nice.

  • Introducing Supply Lines & Origin of Attacks:
    • Supply lines were previously not shown on the Galactic War map to reduce clutter and improve readability. However based on the feedback from our community we have made an implementation showing them on the map. This solution tries to maintain the general readability while still exposing the system to players in game.
    • You will now also be able to see which planet an attack is originating from, potentially allowing for the community to stop the attack at its source.

One of Helldivers greatest sins was the fact that there was a great deal of hidden information that would be very helpful for players to see – only they had to resort to third party resources and social media to become aware of it. Attack directions, which planets support others – all of this stuff was not visible. Making it visible now means that people can make informed decisions and live out a proper space-war fantasy. Hoo-ah.

Of course, these are just a handful of changes that stand out to me – if you expand the actually Reddit post above you will see a proper sea of changes awaiting your hungry eyes. Of course, the patch is only an hour old at this time – these is still time for some game breaking bug to rear it’s head – but for now?

Dang, Arrowhead cooked.

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Written By Ash Wayling

Known throughout the interwebs simply as M0D3Rn, Ash is bad at video games. An old guard gamer who suffers from being generally opinionated, it comes as no surprise that he is both brutally loyal and yet, fiercely whimsical about all things electronic. On occasion will make a youtube video that actually gets views. Follow him on YouTube @Bad at Video Games

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