Astra has only just been unveiled as the newest Agent in Valorant, yet Riot Games has confirmed that changes are already in the works to scale back her controversial abilities.
After weeks of teasers, Astra was finally locked in as Valorant’s 15th Agent on February 27. The unique character comes with an unprecedented mix of smoke and stun abilities, along with one of the more jaw-dropping ultimates in the game.
While she was only just revealed, the community has had a strong reaction to her kit. When placing her ‘Stars’ around the map or utilizing her ultimate, Astra enters her ‘Astral Form.’
In doing so, she gets an aerial view of the map and can fly to any location.
In order to balance this, Astra isn’t supposed to see anything of value while in this form, similar to Omen’s shadow form. However, one area appears to have been overlooked in development and Riot is already working on key changes.
ASTRA POST PLANT GOD pic.twitter.com/wkEgtdTzCY
— G2 m1xwell (@Mixwell) March 1, 2021
During early playtests, content creators went hands-on with the 15th Agent to test her abilities in action. Throughout this early access, many uncovered the fact that Astra can see the Spike while in Astral Form.
This might not seem like a huge deal at first. Though Astra can surprisingly gain invaluable intel just by floating near the Spike. As enemies defuse or fake defuse, Astra can see progress the entire time.
In a real game, this provides free intel and allows teammates to know whether enemies are sticking the defuse or baiting, for instance. “It’s so broken,” Mike ‘shroud’ Grzesiek even said in response to Astra’s powerful Astral Form.
“If Astra truly comes out tomorrow, she’s going to be so busted. If Astra comes out in this current state tomorrow, no changes at all; she’s going to be busted. The fact that you can see that is so huge. That has to change for sure.”
With many others echoing that sentiment, Riot is already well aware of the issue. In fact, changes are already in the works prior to Astra’s release on the live servers.
“We don’t like this behavior and are looking into options now,” Valorant developer ‘Altombre’ responded on Reddit.
“I’m not sure how easy/difficult changing this would be since I’m not an engineer, so I can’t make promises on timelines, but we’re not fans of this behavior and are seeing what we can do.”
So while an exact fix isn’t yet locked in, it’s clear we can expect Astral Form to be nerfed in the coming days or weeks.
Simply removing her ability to see Spike defusal progress could keep her more in line with other Controller-type Agents in Valorant.
For the time being, however, Astra will be live for all to use in her current form.
If you’re planning on faking with a Spike tap in your next game, be extra cautious if an enemy Astra is still alive.