The new Helldivers 2 major order has some major issues, as the super colony of Meridia proves a little too super

Man screaming in Helldivers 2 intro cinematic
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

The same dark fluid that spaghettified some scientists in Helldivers 2 is now being used to obliterate a Terminid supercolony, as per the most recent major order. However, there's a problem—the bespoke dark fluid missions are, uh, they're really hard. Cruel, even. And I don't mean hard in a "git gud" or "just play a lower difficulty" way, I mean in the way where something's clearly gone wrong. 

Here's how one of these missions is supposed to play out: You and three other unlucky sods drop into Meridia, a supercolony in need of its own spaghettification. You call in a dark fluid backpack (that can also be used as a jetpack, which is fun) and haul ass to get to a drill site. Call in a drill, defend it, then extract. 

Except the Terminids really don't want you to be there—which is fair enough, sure. It's a super colony of the buggers. I'd be on-board with a ramp-up in difficulty for these very solid thematic reasons, only—bug breaches, where Terminids pour out of an improvised hole, appear to have zero restrictions as to where they can spawn.

Don't believe me? Here's a screenshot I took myself, with some circles for pointers. Notice where the drill is, now notice where the breach is. You're beginning to see the problem.

(Image credit: Arrowhead Games)

Shriekers (those flying bugs that now exist and have always existed) are also proving to be a terrifying nuisance, spawning in some obscene numbers even on lower difficulties. Here's one unfortunate soul getting dive bombed by an unmanageable cloud of bug-birds on the game's "Trivial" difficulty.


Yeah, something's up—there's a difference between a challenge, and your drill getting instagibbed by a bile titan spawning within spitting distance of the objective, or new players getting mobbed by an airborne rave. Community sentiment is largely the same on the game's subreddit.

"You can't tell people to 'just lower their difficulties' if the level 1 missions spawns 100 shriekers on their head. That's just crappy advice," writes one particularly peeved diver in a thread with over 6,800 upvotes at the time of writing. Another player writes: 

"We're all very experienced, I personally have 350+ hours in [the game] … The bug breaches spawn RIGHT on the tectonic drill. Clearly, the environment was designed to have three choke points from which bugs were supposed to come. How is ANYONE supposed to defend this, when EVERY time you load the dark fluid in the drill, the breaches appear with tons of hive guards, chargers and titans, that can basically one shot the drill? What was the design philosophy behind that?"

Fortunately, it seems like the spawn rates aren't, in fact, intended: "Thank you to everyone that made us aware of the spawning bug in the current Major Order," writes community manager Baskinator. "A hotfix is currently being worked on for that issue and will be deployed as soon as possible. We'll let you know as soon as it's available."

(Image credit: The Helldivers 2 Discord.)

Honestly, it's a hard time for Helldivers 2 right now. Since the recent PSN community drama and the icy reception of its latest Warbond, the studio's been struggling to get back the goodwill it'd earned at launch—despite moves from former CEO Johan Pilestedt to get hands-on with balance adjustments and the game's future. The studio really needed a win, but this doesn't appear to be it.

Harvey Randall
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.