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Why Sage Fans Are Furious Over This Big Nerf In Valorant

The "Valorant" community may need a little extra time to heal after a new patch for the game included a major nerf for the healer-focused agent Sage. 

While the consistent patches that release for "Valorant" are generally intended to make the game bigger and better, they don't always hit the mark with players. Some new "Valorant" features have thrown fans into an uproar, such as when the game started analyzing voice chat data to identify toxic players. Changes to characters also generally prove divisive among the community. Indeed, some agents receive buffs from patch to patch, but plenty of others come out of updates with weakened power sets for the sake of protecting the game's overall competitive balance.

Sage, who has been available to play in "Valorant" since the title kicked off in 2020, has faced numerous nerfs as the game has changed and evolved over the years. However, an upcoming change for the character that was previewed in the title's Public Beta Environment mode has many fans feeling that Riot Games has pushed things a bit too far this time in terms of depowering the agent.

Sage's changes feel unnecessary to fans

In a thread on r/ValorantPBE subreddit, "Valorant" Community Manager Jo-Ellen Aragon listed out patch notes for the game's 5.12 update PBE preview. While numerous playable characters faced tweaks, many were confused by the nerfs for Sage. Specifically, the Agent's Barrier Orb ability has had its "fortify" delay upped to 3.3 seconds from 3 seconds. Moreover, her Healing Orb power has had its values drastically altered, moving the total amount of self-healing that can be gained by using it down to 30 HP from 60 HP and moving the total amount of ally-healing up to 100 HP from 60 HP.

The changes to Sage didn't go over well with many fans. "Been Sage main for two years, probably not anymore," u/spencersaurous wrote. "This nerf is crazy. I always saw Sage as the most balanced Agent." Others accused Riot Games of trying to shake up the metagame arbitrarily. "They are just trying to force the meta to change, it's sad and disappointing to see, especially when some agents were perfectly fine," u/Optic_primel commented.

While it seems many fans already fear the worst for Sage, it's worth noting that the nerf isn't completely set in stone. Riot Games has responded to issues before, even once going so far as to temporarily pull its newest agent. If the developer finds that the changes to Sage aren't well-received and throw the game's balance into question, it could be addressed in a future patch. Still, nothing is guaranteed.