A Bugged Helldivers 2 Stat Was So Terrible, Players Refused To Believe It Was True

Image: Arrowhead Game Studios / Sony
Image: Arrowhead Game Studios / Sony

For some time now, the Helldivers 2 community has wanted clearer data on the galactic war that it’s been fighting, and earlier this week, Arrowhead Game Studios finally delivered. Specifically, the studio deployed the “Super Commas,” which implemented dividing commas into the existing in-game stats so that they didn’t just look like a mess of huge numbers. It’s an immensely helpful change, but the Super Commas also revealed a puzzling statistic: Helldivers 2 players seemed to have apparently died much more than they’d killed Terminids and Automatons.

When Arrowhead Game Studios announced the Super Commas, the studio’s tweet was met with confusion over this statistic. One of the attached images showed the reworked stats with commas, but also provided K/D numbers that, frankly, couldn’t remotely resemble the truth.

According to the figures, Helldiver deaths dwarfed their kills to a baffling degree. Folks much more savvy with a calculator than I crunched the stats and concluded that the cumulative forces of Super Earth had a dismal .3 kill-death ratio in the galactic war. If you were to believe those numbers, it’d be impossible to rationalize how the player base had managed to win a single objective in the past few months. We’d have all been too busy dying to have even swatted a bug, let alone escaped our drop pods and fired a shot.

The numbers just weren’t adding up, especially when taking major orders into consideration. Most notably, a major order from about a month ago tasked players with killing 2 billion Terminids, a goal that the Helldivers 2 community overwhelmingly met. Compare that to the number in the Helldivers 2 tweet and you can see that the math simply isn’t math-ing. Many players came to the same conclusion, claiming that the numbers were either bugged or faked. The former seemed the more likely answer, given that when you check out the numbers now, they seem far more accurate and lean in our favor. But the latter is the more interesting point to have arisen from the whole kerfuffle.

Helldivers 2’s story boasts a Ministry of Truth which claims to disseminate facts that are more often propagandic and fabricated statements. Johann Pilestedt, Arrowhead’s CEO, has often stood in as an avatar of the Ministry of Truth in order to play along with the community. Once, when players started reporting sightings of flying bug enemies, Pilestedt decried the reports as mere gossip and hearsay on behalf of the in-game Ministry of Truth. Jokes have spread among the Helldivers 2 community of the Ministry of Truth as this Big Brother-esque institution that obfuscates the realities of the war to further radicalize its troops and the citizens of Super Earth. And so while many players clocked the clearly inaccurate numbers as a bug that needed to be addressed, a small contingent started theorizing that they were at the heart of another one of Helldivers 2’s conspiracies.

This is, to be entirely clear, incredible stuff. Even if the conspiracy-minded players were just playing along for the fun of it, that line of inquiry shows just how engaged Helldivers 2’s audience has become outside of the trappings of the game. It has clearly broken through into a mainstream success—going so far as to essentially take over a small town—but its players are now looking for narrative twists and turns everywhere, including updates to the game. Though it may not be indicative of the entirety of the community, folks are playing Helldivers 2 and occupying the same headspace as the beleaguered and curious subjects of Super Earth, and that is just fascinating.

In other equally fascinating news, Helldivers 2 players on Steam are being made to sign up for PlayStation Network accounts to keep playing, and they are fiercely mad about it. Look, they can’t all be fun stories.

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