They certainly don't have to help you, but as far as I know they might. I heard that as an inventor without attorney calling an examiner ans asking nicely for some discussion can lead to good results. But it depends on the examiner and the interpersonal dynamics. My guess is that you could try asking what claim combinations the examiner thinks have a chance, arguing against what they said might be a lot harder.
As to sources, there was an AMA (ask me anything) by a patent examiner on reddit:
In the past it wasn’t so much. Now it is becoming more and more common as we are supposed to help the attorney and work with them not against. If we have a question, or there needs to be an election or something like that, we can just give a call to help speed up the process.
Then, not exactly at the point of the question, but I'd like to add, don't worry too much, sometimes claims get rejected at the first try, then you make your case and you might even convince the examiner. There's an interview with a former patent examiner that raises a few good points:
What advice do you have for applicants?
"When examiners have only maybe an hour to understand what your invention is, clarity is appreciated. There's definitely a balance to be struck. Drawings are helpful, especially in the United States, where you can sometimes rely on drawings to express claim language. From the outside, it's tempting to include as much as you can. Make sure you convey the idea to them reasonably quickly, though."
Are all claims rejected the first time around? If so, why?
"Yes, I almost always rejected claims the first time. There are a couple of reasons why. I was a younger examiner. We were almost never permitted to allow anything the first time around. The way that it was explained to me was, it's up to the patent office to establish the best case for why it's not patentable. The applicant then needs to put forth his or her best case as to why the office is wrong. It's a dialogue. Examiners assess the contrary evidence put forth in the applicant's response to the office action to make a decision.
The examiner doesn't have a lot of time for your application. If you call them or if you respond to the office action, try to show how your invention is not obvious, amend your claims if necessary. It's a process, it goes back and forth.