Mechs Are Coming To Helldivers 2, If You Can Liberate Tien Kwan

Mechs Are Coming To Helldivers 2, If You Can Liberate Tien Kwan

The most fascinating thing about Helldivers 2’s ongoing story is how effectively its momentum and beats are used to not just make the player base feel immersed in an ongoing, evolving conflict, but to mobilize them in specific directions. We know that Joel, a developer at Arrowhead Game Studios, is controlling the flow of the galactic war taking place in the game, dictating the difficulty of liberating planets and sending out major orders for players to complete in order to proceed to the next beat. In light of this revelation, as well as the fall of the planet Malevelon Creek last week, the developers and player community are now locked in a tug-of-war that’s playing out on a fascinating scale. Players are organizing on forums to talk about the best tactics for victory, and I’m sure the developers are following all this and responding in their own way. It’s been thrilling thus far, and now Arrowhead is capitalizing on its rapturous crowd by locking the arrival of a new feature behind a major narrative moment.

This morning, Arrowhead posted the following tweets that were made to look like a call to action.

Tien Kwan, a planet that is currently in the territory of the robot Automatons, is now the single biggest objective in Helldivers 2’s war. In much the same way that Malevelon Creek became an important foothold in players’ minds, Tien Kwan is on its way to becoming a part of their collective story. Whereas Malevelon Creek naturally generated attention due to its brutal difficulty—eventually being nicknamed “Robot Vietnam”—there’s now actual narrative and mechanical stakes behind Tien Kwan’s liberation, since freeing the planet will allow for players to use mechs.

The arrival of mechs, which have been teased by the developers on numerous occasions, would mark one of the first times Helldivers 2 has evolved to the benefit of the players, making this a milestone moment for the community if it succeeds in the planet’s liberation. Otherwise, it’s been hell for players, who spent the first week fighting bugs before killer robots took the other side of the galaxy and delivered firm losses to the forces of humanity. The developers then nerfed the most effective loadouts, made farming resources harder, and deployed planetary hazards like fire tornadoes as an extra sort of “fuck you.” It’s all in the spirit of the game, and the community is having fun with the ways Helldivers 2 is growing and changing, but to be completely fair, players also need a win at this point.

The fact that this moment has come so soon after the defeat on Malevelon, and that Tien Kwan’s liberation percentage keeps ticking upwards since this morning, suggests that the developers may have planned for a crushing defeat to motivate players to rise to the occasion the next time there was something huge at stake. For my money, there’s no way we don’t liberate Tien Kwan and get our mechs by the time the weekend rolls around.

Tien Kwan, dubbed by the Arrowhead dev team as “home to the sole facility stockpiling exosuit technology,” has now been rendered a point of interest for its resources, not unlike key locations are in actual military campaigns. The way that Helldivers 2’s conflict feels like an evolving campaign with actual strategic concerns, victories, and losses, has only helped its major moments land with greater impact among the fandom. And that fanbase, which has taken every development of this fictitious war seriously, is rising to meet the moment.

Tien Kwan’s also been positioned as the sole hold-out in a system full of liberated planets, so upon the completion of the liberation effort (which I believe is a foregone conclusion), players will not only be rewarded with mechs, but with a sweeping victory on a battlefront where they’ve taken a number of losses. It’s perhaps pretty simplistic storytelling, but you can’t deny the effect it’s clearly having on the Helldivers 2 players currently reveling in it.

Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got a planet to free and an exosuit with my gamertag on it.

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