Helldivers 2 players get revenge on Automatons, take back Malevelon Creek

After a brutal defeat at Malevelon Creek in early March, the Helldivers have apparently gotten some much-needed redemption. On Monday, Helldivers 2 players received a major order to liberate Malevelon Creek from the Automaton menace, and within hours, they won.

The major order gave players 24 hours to liberate the planet, which was still under the control of the Automatons’ “illegal occupation” after the previous defeat. And a success would net all players 35 medals — a decent reward for a short major order like this one. The developers knew this would rile up the player base too, with the following text:

Several weeks ago, our citizens watched in horror as Malevelon Creek fell to the Automatons. Millions of valiant heroes perished attempting to defend it. For too long, the bots have maintained their illegal occupation, desecrating the memory of the fallen by rapidly depleting the planet’s exceptionally rich rhodium deposits. This travesty will be allowed to continue no longer.

Take vengeance and honor our heroes. End the theft of valuable minerals. Liberate Malevelon Creek.

Image: Arrowhead Game Studios via Polygon

Since that initial defeat, “Malevelon Creek” has become a shorthand within the Helldivers community for trauma and loss — the community’s “Robot Vietnam,” as it’s been called. I’ve seen videos of people (jokingly) breaking down at the mere mention of the planet. The original attack was rough, as players got steamrolled by the Automatons. People were taken off guard by how different it was to fight them than the Terminids, and how difficult some of the enemy types were to destroy.

The previous fight was among the first battles with the Automatons after the game launched, and it was the player base’s first major loss after successfully liberating planets from Terminid bugs. The game tasked players with going back to Terminid missions after the failure before ordering them to return to Automaton space last week. That resulted in the loss of Tibit, home to many manufacturing facilities in the Helldivers universe.

What’s next for Helldivers 2? The success is just the start of another major order issued Monday, which specifies that players have to liberate three planets in the Severin Sector: Malevelon Creek, Draupnir, and Ubanea (at the time of this writing, only Ubanea is still under Automaton control). Players on Reddit have also spotted what appear to be massive cloaked ships over Automaton planets.

Although this all begs the question: Is this real? It is April Fools’ Day, after all, and with the revelation that a game master named “Joel” is moving the tides of the war in real-time, you have to wonder if this is going to blow up in everybody’s faces. Also, why did the Automatons fall so easily this time? Was it because players now have strategies to succeed in those fights or did the developers do something to make them less challenging? If the major orders and events since Helldivers 2’s launch have been any indication, the developers like to have fun with the player base, and anything can happen.

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