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Helldivers 2 CEO Asks Fans For Help With Toxic Player Behavior

Things can change quickly in the video game industry. Just last week, the "Helldivers 2" devs were apologizing to fans after a few unpopular changes were made to the game and a less-than-stellar communication strategy left some fans seeing red. Now that's getting all patched up, and Arrowhead Games Studio CEO Johan Pilestedt is asking fans for help with a new problem facing "Helldivers 2." This issue is with the game's matchmaking system. In "Helldivers 2," one member of your squad acts as the party leader hosting all the other players. It's a pretty common matchmaking strategy, but it gives game hosts a certain amount of power over their fellow players. Unfortunately, not everyone has been wielding that power nicely.

Some players have taken to the internet to share stories of unruly game hosts kicking them out of a mission for all sorts of petty reasons. Use the wrong gun, get the boot. Have a low-ish kill count, and you're out of there. While the option to kick players from a match has also proven to be a good thing in many instances, a number of players have been dismayed to encounter someone abusing that power. These types of social interactions are more challenging for developers to address than simple glitches, and the secret Game Master controlling "Helldivers 2" can't even solve this one alone. Luckily, Pilestedt has a unique stratagem for this problem: He's calling in the hive mind.

Crowdsourcing Helldivers 2 improvements

Johan Pilestedt seems to be remarkably tuned into the community and responsive to the fans of "Helldivers 2." He regularly checks in with players online, and when he noticed people complaining about being kicked from games for seemingly arbitrary reasons, he decided to address the issue head on. "This is so s***y. Also very hard to solve – we have some ideas but no conclusion," Pilestedt tweeted. "You know what, let's try this: Hive Mind – do you have a design suggestion for how to improve this experience?

Naturally, the entire "Helldivers" community was quick to respond to Pilestedt's call for suggestions. Some gamers had thought-out responses about how Arrowhead could shift its systems to ensure that even when players get kicked from matchmaking games, they can continue carrying out their mission with as little interruption as possible.

Others had simpler plans, pointing out that being able to block people who unfairly kicked them from games would prevent them from being matched with those ill-tempered hosts again and again.

Taking a cue from other games, some players suggested that Arrowhead add a filter system to its matchmaking. In a perfect world, that would prevent them from being matched with unruly hosts in the first place.

Vote to kick Helldivers 2 players?

One of the most common suggestions by far was a "vote to kick" system. The theory from fans is that if hosts couldn't unilaterally remove players from games, this really wouldn't be an issue at all. At the same time, if there is a problem player in the bunch, the party as a whole could still decide to remove them from the game.

Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt acknowledged these suggestions, but he also shared his reservations about vote-to-kick. "The host is the owner of the game. It's their operation and they decide. Kinda like coming over to someone's house," he wrote in a response to another fan's post. The devs clearly have a vision for how the "Helldivers 2" experience should feel, so many fans were happy to see Pilestedt openly weighing the team's plans against what the community says it needs.

Pilestedt hasn't announced any sweeping changes to the game's matchmaking mechanics just yet, but he thanked fans for their input and promised to take all their suggestions to the rest of the team. We already know that there are big changes planned for "Helldivers 2" in the near future, and given how responsive Arrowhead generally is, we might be able to safely tack matchmaking changes onto that list as well.