Although this was a hotfix solution intended to prevent an exploit with Omen, this change is overall a solid one that we believe creates cohesion across what can and can't be cast in buy phase. Most of the abilities cast during buy phase are meant to set up more permanent utility.
Once fortified, Barrier no longer loses health over time—Barrier only starts to deteriorate a few seconds before it expires.
Overall, we've been happy with how the fortified barrier has been playing but wanted to make some changes to prevent the mitigation of the fortifying counterplay, while rewarding Sage players that successfully fortify their walls. By removing the mitigation of the counterplay, we are able to investigate future opportunities to reward players that succeed in getting their barriers to fortify.
As a Sentinel, Sage is supposed to be most effective when defending territory that she already controls. The 20m cast range was allowing Sage to aggressively take control of neutral territory in a way that was inappropriate for her role in Valorant. This range reduction aims to keep her strong while defending territory but reduce her efficacy at taking ground.
Friendly Barrier Orb walls now show on the minimap
Previous changes to Sage's Barrier orb helped give it more counterplay options in pistol/early rounds but it's still having too much impact in any given round. Our hope is that the wall stays a powerful stalling tool, but asks you to think more about when in the round you want to use it.
Barrier Orb will only spawn a chunk of the barrier if it is supported by the ground, this means it will sometimes only spawn 2 barrier chunks
Barrier Orb can no longer be placed on "small" pieces of geometry, it must be placed on the ground or on top of boxes
We love supporting boost gameplay, especially when multiple characters combine their abilities (looking at you Jett and Omen). However, we felt with the current placement requirements, characters were able to boost to too many unintended spots. With this change, players can still boost into some unexpected positions, but they hopefully won't be 30 feet in the sky and floating in the middle of the site to look through a tiny pinhole in the map.