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Helldivers 2 CEO Crushes Fans' Hopes And Dreams For One Feature

By now, "Helldivers 2" has proven that it isn't just a passing fad. The game has thousands of fans in its thrall, and every time someone discovers a reality-bending detail or the game gets updated with brand new weapons, more people get pulled into the action. When it comes to completing the game's most impossible missions, experts know that tactical combat is only half the battle. True Helldivers spend plenty of their time preparing for war aboard their destroyers, and those players are starting to get a little frustrated with one element of the game: The usefulness of armor and the lack of customization options.

Every Helldiver's loadout has three essential components: weapons, stratagems, and armor. You could think of those as the three pillars to successful warfare, but the pillars are somewhat unbalanced. Weapons and stratagems do the lion's share of the work, and the perks and stats that come with armor only make a modicum of difference on the battlefield. That's why fans are begging for the game to add a transmog system, which could allow players to pair their toughest armor with their favorite designs to match. Because the actual stats on any piece of armor only has a marginal effect on combat, many players think that armor should be a purely cosmetic decision. We know that the average lifespan of any given Helldiver is just two minutes, so we can't blame them for wanting to look good before they get taken out. Unfortunately, Arrowhead Game Studios CEO Johan Pilestedt seems to be vehemently opposed to transmog in "Helldivers 2."

Pleading with the gods

Fans have been hoping for a transmog system basically since "Helldivers 2" launched. The game's armor looks fantastic, but the actual mechanics attached to it are in a strange place. Armor perks and stats aren't so weak that you can ignore them, but they also aren't strong enough to get some players truly excited about equipping one piece of armor over another. That leaves fans with an irritating decision to make: Their favorite look might be locked behind lackluster stats, and the "stronger" armor they're forced to wear instead isn't really all that compelling.

These fans have had their hopes dashed by Arrowhead's CEO, however. Johan Pilestedt argues it makes no sense for the game to have a transmog system, because different armors perform different functions, and the ability to just swap the aethetics of any armor in the game might break the consistent immersion that "Helldivers 2" is trying to create. 


Pilestedt made a similar argument to justify never removing friendly fire from the game, but in this particular instance, his logic is arguably a little less compelling. Friendly fire has a constant effect on what players do on the battlefield, and it can lead to genuinely fun moments. As things stand right now, the game's armor system is really just a minor irritation that some players feel like they have to keep dealing with. An optional transmog system could make the armor system more tolerable for these folks, but it wouldn't actually fix the game's biggest armor issues. Fans are already hard at work imagining what a better system might look like.

Better living through better armor

The bones of a better armor system are already in place. "Helldivers 2" has three types of armor: light, medium, and heavy. A handful of perks come attached to different pieces of armor, but some players have argued that none of that goes quite far enough. Some players have pointed out that the the stats on light, medium, and heavy armor are way too similar at present. Making matters worse, there's a pretty limited number of passive abilities, and while some of them are only situationally useful, others are entirely useless. Right now, almost everyone gets pushed into choosing medium armor because it has decent defensive stats without the movement penalties that come with heavy armor.

To combat these qualms, fans are imagining a system that makes choosing a piece of armor into a much bigger decision. This concept positions armor as a sort of class or subclass. Light armor would be perfect for recon missions, while medium would have general combat effectiveness, and heavy armor would be reserved for Helldivers who want to tank. Fans have even gone as far as making mock-ups of what this system might look like in the game. 

If "Helldivers 2" adopted this kind of system, then the dev's argument about different armor performing different functions would actually make sense. Without making a change along these lines, Arrowhead might be better off placating fans with a transmog system.