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Helldivers 2 devs want to avoid big, common live-service game mistake

Helldivers 2's community manager has revealed what developer Arrowhead Studios wants to learn from other live-service games' mistakes

Helldivers 2: a soldier standing in front of a flag places both hands on his helmet

In late February, Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead Studios revealed that a real person named Joel holds the position of ‘Game Master’ for the entire online shooter. This Dungeons and Dragons-inspired role was devised to observe players’ behavior and manipulate in-game events to keep things spicy. Now, Katherine Baskin, Arrowhead’s community manager, offers further details about the studio’s “divisive” strategy to avoid live-service game pitfalls.

“It’s really intended to keep the game exciting and keep the never-ending war engaging for players,” Baskin says on Helldivers 2‘s official Discord server. “HD2 is going to run for a long time, we’d love to see it go for many years, and that means we need something more than just a calendar with automated events tied to major holidays. That’s what I see in other live-service games.”

Baskin say that most live-service co-op games have something similar to a game master in comments originally spotted by GamesRadar. She shares that they’re usually “a series of automated events,” explaining that “buffs, debuffs, and events are activated automatically according to some schedule… instead of what we’re doing here, which is a person who can analyze the campaign as it’s happening and make more sensitive choices. We knew it would be divisive. But we hope overall that people enjoy it.”

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A multiplayer environment that evolves with its player base instead of shoveling out par-for-course content is certainly more exciting. Helldivers 2’s stratospheric rise in popularity is evidence Arrowhead’s approach is working wonders. Players are relishing the challenging combat and the extra motivation to work together for the greater good.

To keep your skills sharp ahead of Joel’s next attempt to undermine democracy, check out the best Helldivers 2 weapons or the other best multiplayer games.

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