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Wondering why Helldivers 2's Slugger got nerfed? Apparently it's because the shotgun accidentally ended up as "the best sniper rifle out there"

Also, there's another fresh patch for you to quickly grab, in order to avoid a crash introduced by, er, yesterday's patch.

Some soldiers of Super Earth in Helldivers 2.
Image credit: VG247/Arrowhead

Another day, another Helldivers 2 patch amid the ongoing discourse surrounding yesterday’s Helldivers 2 patch, since the latter introduced a fresh set of balancing changes that - oh boy - affected some weapons. Thankfully, one of Arrowhead’s devs has provided a bit more context on the reasons why one gun was nerfed.

These latest changes to the strengths of armaments, enemies and missions are the first major ones to hit the game since its first set caused plenty of rather unpleasant exchanges between upset community members and developers early last month. Surely there’s been no discourse this time though, right, given some brand new guns were added to the game’s arsenal just last week for folks to try out? You wish, buddy.

The main point of contention some players have with patch 01.000.200’s changes concerns the SG-8S Slugger shotgun, which had become a favourite in a similar manner to the railgun ahead of that last balancing patch. Though, as Arrowhead senior game designer Alex Kravchenko has explained to players on the game’s Discord server, the reason behind the Slugger nerf isn’t just that it was getting too popular.

In response to someone suggesting that this factor - possibly due to lots of players not having easy access to the PLAS-1 Scorcher - was why the shotgun had been singled out by Arrowhead, Kravchenko wrote: “That's incorrect, pick rate wasn't the reason for Slugger nerf.” He went on to outline: “The truth is, [the] Slugger was just hands down the best sniper rifle out there, which is not fitting for, you know, a shotgun.”

One of Alex Kravchenko's comments in the Helldivers 2 Discord server.
Image credit: VG247

After the player suggested that a buff to the Diligence could have been a better way to solve that problem, Kravchenko argued: “A sniper rifle shouldn't match a shotgun, those have totally different use cases.” “As you can see,” the developer added, "we are looking into the sniper rifles as well. We buffed [the Diligence Counter Sniper], [the] Dominator, and [the] AMR in this patch, so I'd say we're getting there.”

Given the response on Reddit to at least the first of these comments, it seems like Arrowhead will have some more work to do to convince Slugger lovers that this nerf was worth it. The main issue, aside from the game’s sniper rifles needing those tweaks Kravchenko says Arrowhead’s working on, is the fact that as part of the nerf, the gun’s stagger and demolition force - two traits players argue aren’t key to its long-range proficiency - were pegged back.

The developer also confirmed that current issues like the “arc thrower misfiring, spear not locking correctly, misaligned scopes…should and will be fixed” going forwards. “But, it's [a] time consuming and iterative process, so the only thing we need is time and your trust.”

In line with that philosophy, the tiny patch 01.000.201, which has dropped for the game today, introduces a single “fix for a common crash which occurred when accessing the Acquisitions menu”, which had cropped up following yesterday’s patch.

Sadly, since it doesn’t include a fix for snowball-induced crashes, you’re sadly still barred from getting into snowball fights, unless you want to risk it.

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