What do you think of the proving ground?

It’s been more than a week since liberation day, and most of the discussion about the proving
ground has focused on bugs, cheaters, and the leaderboard.
I’m curious about what other players think of it,the gameplay itself.
Do you like it?Just yes or no.I’ll come first. I don’t like it.I play for fun,not for suffering.That’s my opinion.

Hard to say. I like the effects like darkness, weapons swap after reload etc., but it’s just too short. The ways it’s focused on speed makes it worse in my opinion, and it would be better if those effects were on normal maps. So I suppose I like the idea, but not the execution.

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I like it, but cheaters are ruining it at the moment. Hope there will be an update soon. There are again some rankings which should be removed from Illuminates leaderboard. And there should be time penalty for deaths, it would make Proving Grounds more skill based.

Unless they set enemy spawn RNG seed to static for all runs and players, it would be more about luck then skill, i.e. last illuminati lv5 proving ground.

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I like the Proving Grounds, but I do wish that we could set our own parameters. Maybe they will eventually add a customizable PG area to the game?

I liked the concept on paper. But I dunno if in the end that playing with 3 other players stuck with clones of my equipment is really all that fun – or at least all that “funner”. I mean, one chunk of the appeal imho of a full Helldivers team in co-op is we each have different preferences, we each bring our own weapons and stratagems, and we create this beautiful experience (or horrifying experience :D) together, based on the diversity we each bring to the party.

PG essentially boils the game down to 4 Helldiver clones klutzing around with the equipment forced upon them. So I dunno. In the end I still have more fun doing regular campaign missions with groups. :slight_smile: Of course I appreciate that they put a lot of work into giving us an optional, alternate experience.


I have mixed feelings about it (with the obvious negative being the cheating aspect). It’s great when you have players who understand that you are trying to beat the clock. I don’t think many get this at first. I was definitely among that group in the beginning. It is pretty pointless to go in with randoms that don’t get the concept. I kick a lot of people in the hopes that more experienced players who get the concept will join. Even other “veteran” lvl 50’s miss the point. So many haven’t figured it out yet and goof off, don’t shoot and stand around, are off doing their own thing not bothering with objectives, or the worst is when someone is on the ship ready to leave…someone dies and another player that isn’t on the ship reinforces/respawns them making the clock go even longer. It is TIME sensitive, just eat a grenade and take one for the team so the ship can leave! I like that everyone is handicapped to one type of loadout. Otherwise I’d be dealing with the I’m a veteran™ loadout of Trident/Rumbler/Bubble/Static clones. PG is good but not for randoms. It’s geared towards establishing speed running teams which seems sort of elitist (which isn’t a bad thing)…but it’s also a bit of a slog and repetitious.

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I wait to play more PG missions in different Galactic Wars before giving my final thoughts about PG, and doing some suggestions.

But so far, I really enjoy it, except some (minor) flaws, which could be easily adressed, in my opinion. A lot of fun (the modifiers and conditions are really clever and inventive, good work, Arrowhead).

But yeah, playing for the first places greatly adds value to this mode, otherwise I totally understand players who do not see the point of it, if they just play it casually (or with randoms).

Note: I really like Time Attack modes, in any game. So I already knew I’ll like PG the day Arrowhead announced it.

From my point of view, the mode of PG is a hybrid of two aspects: Mutators and Speedrun.

Some may like the idea of fighting in the darkness, slashing enemies with the new saber. Mutators brought fresh air into normal hell divings. In Blizzard’s Starcraft II and a similar Steam game Deep Rock Galatic, there are such modes - weekly challenge that combines normal missions with modifiers to make them harder, on successfully completing them you will be rewarded a considerable amount of exp (but only once a week). The most popular Stracraft II streamer in China will challenge that mutation missions every week and among all their videos that’s the most popular.

However, in Helldivers, PG’s mutator part is restricted by the other one, speedrun. In order to make fairness guaranteed, PG removed randomness from the game. During the whole galatic campaign you are faced with the same three missions, without any randomness. What’s worse, even your gears are locked and fixed so you can’t refresh the experience by challening with another set of loadout. Among the three games I mentioned above HD has the most tedious mutator mode with the longest refresh interval. If you treat PG a “mutator mode” you’ll have to play with endless repetitions, though you may find it funny the first time you play it, you’ll soon get bored.

But just like some guys in this thread above, PG has another meaning - speedrun. Sorry but once you know there is cheat this part has been ruined and I don’t want to talk about it any more.

So for me it’s hard to say it’s a success, from both parts of it. Casual players who just want the “mutator part”, like Booby_Tuesdays, may appreciate an available list of mutators they can apply on normal missions on their own to get rid of repetition, and that means totally split the speedrun aspect away from it. Speedrunners like Bebryx and me, would like to see fairness guaranteed which I guess is impossbile.

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Arrowhead stated they fixed the “disconnecting” glitch, and that they work on the patch release.

For other kinds of cheating, sadly, it’s the same story on any videogame competitive mode. Eventually, cheaters will get bored and will move away (I hope).

I think part of the reason almost nobody is playing PG is lack of visibility – nothing in the game alerts players that a new mode is in Helldivers, the new “Proving Ground” button is a few layers into the campaign map, and that button doesn’t blink, or have a “NEW” tag by it to tell you it’s something new to try.

I think the other reason it’s already shifted to “ignored” status by players is that PG is Stagnant – the same 3 PG missions/maps seem to just sit there forever – meaning some of the map ‘conditions’ i guess change but it’s the same maps and the same objectives for the 3 PG difficulty maps – and do people really want to do that over and over? It’s pretty clear most players would rather keep doing campaign mission maps.

It just feels a shame they put all this work into something that nobody much is playing (and that hacker/trainer-users speed rush through), but to some extent that just speaks to the long term appeal of everything that was already in Helldivers’ campaign experience in December 2015. :slight_smile:

I guess the thing is this far out and with all the resources understandably focused on the Secret Project, there’s no money/resources I assume to do new maps or side missions or add a 4th alien faction or something else that is integrated into the campaign in a way that provides an extension to it without asking players to essentially turn their backs on their favorite part of the game (campaign everything) in favor of trying a separate gameplay mode.

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BlackjackGT has mentioned this above but I completely agree that Arrowhead should do something about making the Proving Ground section of the game easier to access. By that I mean some sort of prompt about it. I’ve been playing since nearly the beginning and couldn’t find it at first. I even came here to ask someone (main reason why I initially joined this forum) but in the interim of asking/looking I figured it out. Some newer players (who don’t lurk forums and ask questions) probably still have no idea how to access it. Might have more players participating in it if it didn’t seem so hidden.

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This thread is by far the most constructive about Proving Grounds, with interesting point of views (some of you really nailed what is the main flaw of Proving Grounds, imo)

So I choose it to post a big suggestion. Warning: huge post incoming!

I opened a public Bugs PG game for almost 2 hours long. And sadly, only 6 different players joined: a rank 21, rank 25, rank 37, and three ranks 50.

I only played 3 games with a full squad (and we did an honourable 4’35’’, whereas the current record was 2’52’’). I played 90% of the time only with one rank 50 as teammate (who was a melee dodger, btw).

Most of the the time, players who have joined, only played 1 full game, and seeing we were very far from the best times, they just quit.

This verified that Proving Grounds does not seem very popular.

As it has been said, Proving Grounds is elitist, maybe too much elitist.

Because so far, who enjoys it?

Players with a dedicated team (I’m one of them), exploiters (I’m one of them too), glitchers (melee dodge addicts, I name you), and obviously hackers.

I think Proving Grounds leaderboards and its reward system do not encourage players (except those kinds mentioned above) to play longer, to try to improve.

There’s only one big unique leaderboard per species where newcomers or common players have strictly no chance to shine or win something, and which discourage them after only one game.
What’s the point of playing a mission again and again, that does not give a lot of XP, to finally always be more than 10 minutes slower than the best times?

It is just disheartening for them and not… fun. OK, “a game for everyone is a game for no one”… but “a game mode for only a few, is also a game for no one”…

# Suggestion: Implement Tiers in Proving Grounds

How it works?

  • There’s is still a unique leaderboard for each species (as currently, one Bugs mission, one Cyborgs mission, one Illuminate mission, and one leaderboard for each). All players play in the same leaderboard, there are no separate leaderboard.

  • All players start in Bronze tier. There are time requirements to win a reward and to be promoted to the upper tier at the end of the war. The upper tier asks a lot harder requirements to win a reward and to be promoted.

  • This system could “smooth” the skill differences between players, so even casual players could enjoy Proving Grounds, and the best players would still populate the first places and try to earn the rarest rewards.

Some leaderboard examples

Players with Bronze Tier

Players with Silver Tier

Player with Gold Tier

  • As said above, players, whatever their current tier, are in the same leaderboards, but the requirements are differents to win a reward or be promoted.

  • Times are posted only if it has be done with 3 stars influence (all objectives must be completed, all helldivers must be extracted, and a low death count, like in a regular mission, for a time to be posted).

  • The time requirements are calculated dynamically according to the leaderboard current best time.

For example, if a player is in Bronze Tier for Bugs PG mission:

Leaderboard current best time: 3'13"

Reward Target Time = 3'13" + 25% of that time = 4'01"
All players with a time equal or inferior to 4'01 win the Bronze Tier reward
for Bugs PG mission at the end of the war.

Promotion Target Time = 3'13 + 20% of that time = 3'52"
All players with a time equal or inferior to 3'52 will get promoted to
Silver Tier for next war Bugs PG mission.

Another example, if a player is in Silver Tier for Bugs PG mission:

Leaderboard current best time: 3'13"

Reward Target Time = 3'13" + 15% of that time = 3'42"
All players with a time equal or inferior to 3'42" win the Silver Tier reward
for Bugs PG mission at the end of the war.

Promotion Target Time = 3'13 + 10% of that time = 3'32"
All players with a time equal or inferior to 3'32 will get promoted to
Gold Tier for next war Bugs PG mission.

Last example, if a player is in Gold Tier for Bugs PG mission:

Leaderboard current best time: 3'13"

Reward Target Time = 3'13" minus 1 second = 3'12"

Simple enough, he must finish 1st in the leaderboards to win
the Gold Tier reward for Bugs PG mission at the end of the war.

Same system for each Proving Grounds mission (one per species).

What if a multi-tier team?

The mockup explains it well, I think.

This system will encourage to play with randoms:

  • Common players have a chance to win something if they’re lucky and joins a game with veterans
  • Veterans can help common players to progress in Proving Grounds (reward or tier promotion)

In fact, like in a regular Galactic Campaign mission.

How the player’s Tier progress is saved?

  • The PG tier progress is tied to the player’s profile (one tier per Proving Grounds species/missions). And according to the rules explained above, a player can’t be promoted without having won the current tier reward in which he’s in.

And what about players being multiple times in the leaderboards?

I think the system I suggest fixes this problem, as rewards and promotions depend now on time requirements, and not the ranking (except in Gold Tier).

So, even if a player A spams time entries from rank 1 to 8 (team A+B, team A+B+C, team A+C, and so on), it doesn’t change anything for the other players. They must achieve the time requirements to progress (relatively easy in Bronze Tier, very hard in Silver Tier, extremely hard in Gold Tier).

Phew, it was quite a work to build this up. I hope I explained it well, and that it makes sense.

I don’t know how much work and time it would require to implement this (I imagine quite a lot in the netcode)…
However, the mandatory 3 stars for a time to be posted should not be very difficult to implement… I think. ^^

As always, feel free to comment, and thanks for reading.


Impressive, Tan! :smiley:Very thoughtful post that makes me feel very lazy. :laughing:

While I don’t know what the future holds, hopefully PG is at the least a Learning Experience on the good/bad/benefits/pitfalls of introducing a new mode into the game as a Liberty Day addition. So, if knock on wood, they try something similar in October 2020, it might reflect what they learned.

Still feels like anything that rewards players for Speed Rushing the game will always inadvertently reward hacker/trainer-use players.

And I’d say that like giving the Constitution rifle to every Helldivers player on that earlier Liberty Day, it seems best to dole out Liberty Day treats (be it weapons, capes or stratagems) to Every Player as a reward for having the game and logging back into it. Though I’m still of the mind of introducing a late game “sample sink” feature that rewards you something cosmetic for piling up all those research samples that become useless after about L25 :slight_smile:

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