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Helldivers 2 is secretly controlled by an omnipotent ‘Game Master’ working for the devs Dot Esports

The Galactic War in Helldivers 2 is a war fought on two sides, but there appears to be a third party involved as well. Enter Joel, Arrowhead Game Studios’ “game master,” who controls the conflict by helping the players or boosting hostile forces to keep everything fresh and exciting.

Speaking for PC Gamer, Arrowhead Game Studios’ chief executive Johan Pilestedt commented on the role of Helldivers 2‘s “dungeon master,” Joel. “We have an actual person with the job title of Game Master,” Pilestedt explained. Joel has “a lot of control over the play experience,” and his powers are evolving as the game continues its unprecedented growth. Pilestedt cited Dungeons and Dragons as being one of the biggest inspirations behind the creation of the Game Master, which PCG amer says is part of the studio’s “aim to replicate collaborative, reactive storytelling of tabletop gaming in Helldivers 2.”

A Helldivers 2 player looking at Automaton factories in the distance on Malevelon Creek.
Malevelon Creek? Automatons? Joel pulled the strings behind it all, spawning in the faction in the middle of the day. Screenshot by Dot Esports

According to developers, Arrowhead understands where they want the war to go and has prepared so-called “setpieces” to create significant story moments. However, “the story will change based on player behavior,” the devs said. Joel the Game Master has already partaken in reshaping the story and the game on a few occasions, PC Gamer writes, where players either struggled too hard or were doing too well.

In fact, Joel had to wake up in the middle of the night when all was swell for the onslaught of Helldivers and provide the Automatons with extra troops and strength so a planet doesn’t fall too soon, the chief executive remarked. Now that I think about it, there were a few moments where the Automatons were much, much stronger than a previous operation, which may have been Joel’s doing. Malevelon Creek and its status as Galactic Vietnam may have also been a product of the clever machinations of the omnipotent Game Master.

Regarding the recently lost Malevelon Creek, Pilestedt told PC Gamer that the developers are actually paying close attention to the “attachments” players are forming to particular planets and looking to turn said planets into characters of sorts that play a vital role in the community’s stories.

“The community’s attachment to each planet is significant … So one of the things we’re looking at internally is how can we reconsider these planets to become more of a character going forward?” said Arrowhead’s chief.

The community itself has produced a metric ton of memes and jokes and has grown to a sizeable one, with hundreds of thousands of players chiming in each day to share their tales of war. From getting decimated in Automaton crossfires to laying waste to their own teammates with Strategems to everything in between, the stories only keep coming. And with Game Master Joel, they get that extra official flair to make them that much more interesting.

Andrej Barovic

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