Over 180,000 Helldivers 2 players are storming a single planet and are on track to liberate it in under 24 hours—unless Arrowhead's devious DM gets mean again (Update: He did)

A squad of heroic helldivers stood back-to-back, firing weapons at bugs in Helldivers 2.
(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)
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March 1, 2024: The liberation of Veld is going to be a smidge more complicated than expected. Click here to jump to the new information.


In case you've not been paying attention to your Super Earth mandated briefings, Helldivers 2 players have been entrenched in a defensive war with the Automatons for a while now—and while there've been some perceived problems from the playerbase (and yours truly), I can't deny that Arrowhead has hit a bullseye on its intended goal to make a rad as hell emergent story.

Even this second major order has spawned countless memes, propaganda posters, and an entire "robot vietnam" planet that, like, 30,000 individual people have been glued to for almost zero tactical benefit. They just think it's neat. But it's officially over—those damned dirty robots won.

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

We lost the major order—so what comes next? Veld. That's it. While the war against the Automatons has been a long, drawn-out campaign, the next major order is "Hey. Go liberate a single planet." Should be simple, right? Nice breezy mission. In and out, one day at the least, get a quick 45 warbond medals. Right?

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

I decided to hop and liberate some oil from the planet for Super Earth myself, and aside from some distinctly Creek-ian jungle vibes, I didn't find much amiss. It was a standard 'kill bugs' mission. I laughed, my squad mates laughed, a bug laughed, we killed the bug. It was a good time. Then I double checked the Discord and everyone was having a heart attack.

(Image credit: Official Helldivers Discord)

Alright, here's the reason for the scare—courtesy of helldivers.io and a few boffins that are currently tearing their hair out on the Helldivers 2 Discord as we speak. Veld initially had a recovery rate of around 7%. That's how many percentage points an hour the bugs get on the planet, and the number players need to outpace and win that particular tug of war.

Initially, 80,000 souls barely made a dent at around 2% liberation rate per hour. If they wanted to skip over 7% and start making progress—well, they'd have needed around 300,000 soldiers with their boots on the ground. Though some of those predictions may have been premature. Looking at helldivers.io, those mavericks are currently pulling off a 6% liberation rate with just over half that number.

But Arrowhead Games had its hand on the wheel. In literally the time it took me to write that paragraph, Veld's regen dropped to 3%, and the 180,000 souls currently squashing bugs began to take back the planet in record time. If that pace continued, players would've achieved victory in under 24 hours.

But after seeing a 7% to 3% swing happen before my very eyes, I was sure that a third shoe was about to drop—and surely enough, it did.

20 percent

Turns out—yes, Arrowhead is still indeed tinkering with the numbers. As I was heading to bed last night, Veld's regeneration rate climbed from 3%, to around 6%, to 20%. Not that these changes were particularly unwarranted, especially if Arrowhead's intent is to make sure players get to contribute to the war effort over the weekend. 

Players were popping off, pulling out a 13% regeneration rate with around 230,000 invaders—I mean liberators—last night, according to helldivers.io. The tracking site no longer shows the regeneration rate or the liberation rate of planets—just the overall rate. At the time of writing, our brave troops are holding the line at a tick rate of 0.34% every hour, with 122,000 troops squashing bugs. 

I want to underscore that sites like helldivers.io are community-created tracking sites with homebrew code. They're fun places to keep tabs on the Galactic War, but I'm certain there'll be flaws in the data stream until a developer-approved API is given to players to work with.

I also want to point out that, just like the game's server issues, the law of large numbers is probably messing with Arrowhead's expected GMing maths. In the same way you might stress test a server, I'd wager that these early major orders are a way of Arrowhead sussing out the doubtless-complicated maths behind 300,000 players all impacting the same number at the same time before it moves onto more complicated scenarios.

It's fun to joke about a capricious DM, but Arrowhead's tinkering with Veld feels to me like the equivalent of a D&D dungeon master crafting a boss, being shocked the damage their players are putting out, and smudging numbers behind the screen to give them a good fight instead of a steamroll. Similar to running a tabletop game, I'm sure heaps of notes are being made so that the challenge fluctuates less next time.

Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.