Illuminate Level 15 is broken

I have beaten it many times, but it is not fun. Inverting controls only works to simulate a joystick in flight simulation.

Each instance could be replaced with a simple, temporary stratagem disabling effect, or a slowing effect.


I wouldn’t call it broken, but yes, it is the least fun one to do.

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I never really liked Illuminates. When lvl 12 was the hardest setting it was pretty boring. The Trident pretty much ruined any fun that you could have. Now it’s much harder at lvl 15…but I still never really enjoy playing it. Only time I bother is when the campaign starts and they’re the only option to pick. More often than not I turn off HD and just go for a walk or do something else instead. I like fighting the Great Eye though…not the spammy way with Incendiary Bomb/Thunderer Barrage.

Well, I post to give some love to the Illuminates… which are my favorite species in Helldivers (PS3, almost 1200h of TMT).

Hunters, Obelisks, and Council Members give a shoot’em up feeling to Helldivers. Dodging all their attacks feels like dodging bullets in a goo’ ol’ Gradius or R-Type. And to this, add the inverted controls that can impede the player at any time: it’s just very fun and very rewarding to clear a lvl 13 to 15 Illuminate mission perfectly (3 stars, no deaths).

And if one is too much bothered by the inverted controls, one can still use the SH-20 Shield Generator Pack which negates it, but I think it makes the mission too easy then.

To conclude, Illuminates rules!

EDIT: and Illuminates RS13 is by far the most intense mission in Helldivers.

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I have an opposite view, I think the Bugs and Cyborgs are now broken and Illuminates the only one that lives up to the names of the highest difficulties.

My previous favorite race, the Cyborgs, are now too one-dimensional and the Bugs have always been the easiest. Both of them can still be fun but requires either a crippled loadout or goofing around for that to happen.

I find the Illuminates boring at 12 and below, but at 13-15 they can really fight back and are the only ones able to do so. It makes me sad the other two can’t.

True, that is the place to go for the ultimate challenge of Helldivers.

Why not RS15?

Control inversion is arbitrary difficulty, just as turning off your monitor would make the game harder, or playing with one hand. The game needs to be made better through improved game mechanics, not quirkiness.

In the beta all the Illuminate RS13-15 were considered too hard by most beta testers, so AH made them easier. For some reason, RS13 was left in its original insane state. While Illuminate RS15 is still the second hardest mission in the game, RS13 is quite a lot harder. Try it and you will understand why it takes the crown in that regard, by a wide margin.

There are ways to cope with it and it’s even possible to play effectively while confused. With a turned off monitor, it would be completely up to pure luck, that’s not the case with reversed controls.

Fair enough, didn’t realize this.

Most people run away from Council Members.

CC effects should be removed from orbs, and the Council Member AOE should disable stratagems.

Yeah it’s not that it’s not difficult. I just don’t find it fun. Even before lvl 13-15 addition. I mean I will be mid game and just not care…and it’s not because there isn’t a level of challenge. I don’t know what it is about it that I find so not engaging.

I find going against them with a crippled load out to be the best. The variety is there. It’s quite fun to play with other similarly skilled people on lvl 15 cyborg RS using only Orbital Laser Strikes. Granted I would like for both of these to be harder…but I can solo them a variety of different ways and find some fun and challenge to it. Whereas I don’t feel I can really have that diverse of loadout going against illuminates in a solo capacity. It’s use the Trident (which I really hate that gun…especially the sound it makes) or some other shotgun to fend off orbs and hope to reload at the right time. Unless you’re Songgoon in which case he does it with ease using a Sickle and I’ve never seen anyone else do it since on the level that he did.

I played three Illuminate 15 games in a row with only one Council Member mob spawn. It is either too easy, or annoying,- which makes it inconsistent and boring.

All of the solo Illuminate 13/15 RS runs use shield, which means that they aren’t able to play with inverted controls.

Illuminate would actually be more difficult and balanced with stratagem disable instead of mind control because people use thunder to solo Illuminate RS 13.

Most Illuminate 13-15 matches end because players aren’t able to Reinforce with inverted controls.

Yeah I’ve noticed this as well.

Yeah I guess that’s one gripe I have. It seems limited in terms of variety of loadout. I can go into any mission on lvl 15 cyborgs or bugs with a randomized loadout and do well…maybe that means it’s too easy I dunno. I haven’t really tried since I don’t do Illuminates often but I don’t think I could say the same with Illuminates unless I just happened to get a lift or bubble shield in a random loadout. And I really don’t like playing with either of those except on the rare occasion. I suppose eventually someone will pull off lvl 13 Illuminates in a more complex way. When RS first came about it was very difficult to solo Cyborgs. Kimcorpuz and I soloed it with mines, then we saw someone do it with Static, Lift, EAT, Airstrike combo. Then Kim soloed eventually with just EAT-17 and lift (then no lift), then we both got to the point where we could solo it just using Ammo drops. But I don’t feel with the mechanics on Illuminates(13-15) that type of variety is possible to do it successfully. But I could be wrong and just don’t have the skill. There are just some stratagems I don’t use on principal anymore because they end up doing too much work for you (mines, thunderer, static field, that tesla thing etc…). The people I am most impressed with are ones that dodge well and use handicapped loadouts and still end up slaying it. With Illuminates I just don’t see that happen very often if ever after the council member swarms in 13-15.

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Just as 12 became easier, so now is 15. Actively developing and increasing the difficulty is what will keep the game alive.

Nobody can intuitively use a computer with an inverted control scheme.

If someone pulls it off, they will be the one out of 400 average active players that can,- which is inconvenient for a coop game.

I don’t think PS4 can handle it honestly. I mean if we are talking an increase in the amount of enemies on the screen. Frame rate starts chugging a bit at a certain point. I’m sure there are other ways to make it difficult but you would imagine a lvl 16-20 scenario meaning an increase of enemy targets. While you can do this with ease on a decent PC Arrowhead has to consider playability on Playstation in any update. Already if enough people throw out static field, incendiary bomb while any swarm is present it starts to struggle…at least that’s my observation.

True. Game balance - nerfing and buffing - will be the best way to improve difficulty (i.e. not, as you’ve also said, simply dropping in more units).

I use different loadouts with the Illuminates at 13-15 all the time and I’m not the only one. You don’t need the Trident to dodge the orbs, a lot of weapons do that well. It’s possible to shoot them even with the Constitution.

What people? I did the solo Illuminate RS13 with thunderer and I’m not aware anyone else has done it. If others have done it too, I’d like to see it. Could you post the links to the videos?

Even with the thunderer it was a much harder solo RS than anything the Cyborgs or Bugs have ever had, and I’ve done them all.

I did it with no LIFT a lot sooner, it was uploaded a long time ago. Illuminates RS13-15 can be done with different loadouts too. But the reason handicapped loadouts are not seen there that often is because they are so much harder than Cyborg RS.

None of this can be done consistently with inverted controls.

I’m speaking specifically about solo Illuminate RS not missions. Sorry I should have been clearer.

I’ve yet to see it.

Because most players are not aware that inverted controls are strictly… inverted (up becomes down, left becomes right, and so on). They think that the inverted controls are random.

Once one know that, it becomes a lot easier (almost automatic) to pull out an inverted Reinforce stratagem in any situation.

reinforce1 becomes reinforce2 when inverted.


I am not an elite player, but I can pull this off.
Just like the default reinforce stratagem, you need only a bit of practice before you memorize it.
Also, notice that both stratagem codes create the same shape on the d-pad.


Don’t know if that helps, but it helps me visualize the codes.

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I’m not really sure what you mean, I’ve posted both solo runs of Illuminates RS13 & 15 and you can’t get through them without getting confused a lot. Yet they were completed runs, which requires a lot of consistency. I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s definitely hard. But that’s how it should be when we talked about the hardest difficulties.

Then you are right, I thought you meant Illuminates 13-15 in general. But then again how many Illuminate RS13 and 15 solo runs have you seen? I have seen three, two times RS15 and once RS13. One of the RS15 and the RS13 have been done by me, so it’s a really small sample size.

If I’ve missed some of them, could you post the links?

I assume you mean solo RS? If yes, I did 13 and 15 with different loadouts. The one other I’ve seen was also a bit different. I was doing 13 without thunderers first and got really far, the problem was that the video became too long. They are definitely more strict in the sense of what loadouts you can choose, though.

I have quite many solo Cyborg RS videos uploaded with weaker loadouts such as no AT, no LIFT etc. and still the Illuminate RS13 solo with as powerful loadout as I could think of was harder.