- Gravity well: This ability pulls in players within its radius after which it explodes, adding a weakening debuff to the players caught in the blast.
- Nova pulse: This ability, when activated, charges briefly and then concusses players caught in its radius.
- Nebula: This is a smoke ability. These smokes function similarly to Omen’s — as opposed to, say, Brimstones — as the smokes themselves are hollow on the inside.
- Cosmic Divide: Astra’s ult, like all of her utility, is triggered through the hovering map interface. Cosmic divide creates a massive barrier, placed by the player, that dampens audio and blocks bullets. The barrier can be walked through.
Astra goes live on March 2, alongside the new Act 2 battlepass. Information about the agent, who was set to be formally announced on Sunday, leaked in advance of the planned release.
Smoke abilities have become an essential part of a standard team composition in “Valorant,” and Astra looks to be the most unique and strategy-oriented agent with smoke abilities in the game.
“With Astra we wanted to make a controller that was thinking about the whole map,” said Jordan “Riot Wrekz” Anton, a designer at Riot Games. “Her global presence was there right from the beginning. From there the fine tuning was in finding the right abilities to balance predicting enemies’ actions and reacting to changing game circumstances. … We wanted her skill expression to be about gathering information and turning that into a plan, where the execution phase is less about precisely targeting a grenade throw and more about seeing if your read on the enemy came together how you hoped.”
The other two most prominent controllers with smoke abilities — Brimstone and Omen — have been tweaked in recent months. Omen’s utility was made more expensive, and changes to Brimstone were aimed at making him a less onerous choice.
The new Act also comes with an updated battlepass, offering rewards in exchange for experience points gained during play. The new battlepass will cost $10, though some of the items on it will be available free, similar to previous passes. Three new skin sets can be obtained via the battlepass, including a new set of Prism skins — a redux of the purchasable Prism skin line that launched early in the game’s life cycle. The pass will also include player cards, gun buddies, titles and sprays.
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