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Helldivers 2 fan Discord comes under fire for plugging a boosting site, alleged owner pokes their head up to say 'no one used the code, but we still got paid' and it's not gone down well

 A proud citizen of Super Earth looking mightily confused, from Helldivers 2.
A proud citizen of Super Earth looking mightily confused, from Helldivers 2.

Half the fun of Helldivers 2 is levelling up—and there's not exactly an 'endgame' to speak of, beyond helping out with galactic war objectives.

Nonetheless, a popular fan Discord called Doom Divers, initially a LFG group, partnered with a boosting website named BlazingBoost. That's as per a now-locked thread on the game's subreddit and, uh, apparently the server owner's own admission.

Wading through the comments here feels a little like picking over the rubble from an Orbital Laser stratagem, but let me attempt to break it down. I shan't link the site here, but BlazingBoost offers players the ability to purchase samples, requisitions, and level boosts by assigning a pro player to carry them. Which, as you might imagine, is a pretty baffling thing to spend money on.

While there are plenty of powerful high-level Stratagems in the game, there's no RPG-style level scaling to be had here, and a genuine level 50 would be able to sniff out the bumbling manoeuvres of a boosted diver several klicks away. In a move that you could call unwise, a commenter claiming to be the server's owner piped up in the comments and promptly was downvoted into a smoking, 500kg bomb-sized crater:

"We stand behind and carefully vet our sponsors. We expected low conversions with this specific sponsor because we, like you, understand that there is no point in power levelling in this game … To our knowledge, no one used the code, but we still got 'paid' for the promotion by the sponsor directly. This promotion was done in order to help us set up prizes for our upcoming server events."

"We urge everyone to stop by and check out our server for yourself to see if it's really this toxic cesspool like the OP says it is," they wrote, before a flood of negative replies poured in, including claims that the server bans anyone who asks questions . One review on Disboard alleges: "The mods will ban you if you are part of another Helldivers 2 Discord, you will get timed out without warning for even reacting to a mod's messages with an unfavourable emote."

The server may have also been violating Discord's Terms of Service, commenters have pointed out. "Embed perms", which is shorthand for "embed permissions", are on sale as "donation rewards". Basically, it costs real money to be able to send images and gifs on the server. Disabling images and gifs isn't uncommon to avoid spam, but selling the rights is another thing entirely.

The  apparent owner argues: "Donations for embed perms for general chat ranged from $5 to $125. We are all adults with jobs but we aren't millionaires. This money is raised to help us create an incentivized environment for our events and give back to our community of divers!"

Discord's community guidelines, however, prohibit selling "accounts, usernames, servers, server permissions, or custom server invite links." The server is still active with over 40,000 users at the time of writing.