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In the recent update to Helldivers 2, the SG-85 Slugger, a seemingly innocuous gun, received significant nerfs. This gun, resembling a shotgun but functioning more like a rifle, was known for its ability to swiftly eliminate targets with its powerful slugs. However, players found it to be excessively strong, prompting adjustments from the developers, Arrowhead.

The changes to the Slugger included reductions in stagger, damage, and demolition force. Senior game designer Alexus Kravchenko explained that the Slugger’s effectiveness as a sniper rifle didn’t align with its intended role as a shotgun. Despite lacking a scope, its high accuracy and minimal damage dropoff made it a superior option for precision shooting compared to dedicated sniper rifles.

In response to player feedback, Arrowhead opted to nerf the Slugger rather than buffing other sniper rifles. Kravchenko defended this decision, stating that sniper rifles and shotguns serve distinct purposes and shouldn’t overlap in functionality. Nonetheless, some sniper rifles did receive buffs in the update, such as increased damage for the Anti-Materiel Rifle and enhanced armor-piercing capabilities for the Counter-Sniper rifle.

Looking ahead, players can anticipate further balancing adjustments in future updates. Kravchenko hinted at potential changes to the Punisher Plasma in the next patch, promising to maintain the game’s equilibrium while ensuring each weapon remains distinct in its utility and effectiveness.

Image credit: Arrowhead Studios / PlayStation)

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