Incarnate System, which launched with Issue 19, and requires a subscription to utilize. The Alpha Slot includes a Level Shift at higher tiers.
Alpha Slot Benefits
The Alpha Slot can be unlocked in several ways:
- By completing Mender Ramiel's arc, which is meant to introduce a character to the Incarnate System by advancing the in-game story-line and lore, and explaining the mechanics of how the Incarnate System works.
- Earning Incarnate Experience, either Physical or Psychic, by running Incarnate Trials.
- Directly purchasing Incarnate Experience, either Physical or Psychic, using Incarnate Threads and Inf.
- Purchasing an Unlock Alpha Slot Voucher from Astral Christy for 5 Astral Merits.
A character can access their Incarnate Abilities Window even before any Incarnate Slots are unlocked, where they can manage all their Incarnate abilities.
Once the Alpha Slot is unlocked, the character:
- can fill the Alpha Slot with an Alpha Slot Ability which can grant universal power aspect enhancements, a level shift, and bonuses to certain in-game tasks.
- starts getting Incarnate Shards as a drop from defeating foes.
- starts getting Incarnate Components or Incarnate Shards as a reward for certain Raids and Task Forces.
- can access a third build.
- can join activities restricted to Incarnates. This includes the Tin Mage and Apex Task Forces.
- If the Alpha Slot is empty, the character suffers from a -4 Level Shift during these activities.
- If the Alpha Slot has an ability slotted, the character does not suffer from the negative shift during these activities.
- can receive the Notice of the Well Incarnate Component from the Weekly Strike Target.
The Unlocking Process
The normal course of unlocking the Alpha Slot follows this general plan:
- Run Mender Ramiel's arc to unlock the Alpha Slot and get the character's first Incarnate Shard
- Determine which Alpha Slot Ability works best for said character. That will determine which Incarnate Components are required to craft.
- Run the Task Forces or Raids needed to get those specific Incarnate Components. Alternatively, a character can accumulate enough Incarnate Shards from defeating Level 50+ foes in order to craft the Components necessary. The second method is usually more time consuming, but is accessible for more casual players.
- Craft and equip the Alpha Slot Ability.
- The character can now work towards another or a higher tiered Alpha Slot Ability.
Alpha Slot Mechanics
- With regard to the Tin Mage and Apex Task Forces, a character is prevented by the game from joining if they do not have the Alpha Slot unlocked. If the Alpha Slot is unlocked, but is not slotted with an Alpha Slot Ability, then they can participate, but at a -4 Level Shift. Thus, they will be at eight levels lower than the Level 54 foes, hitting at 5% of their normal damage due to the Purple Patch.
- All Common and Uncommon Alpha Incarnate Components can be crafted from Incarnate Shards; therefore, no one specific Raid or Task Force is required to create a Common or Uncommon Ability.
- Rare-tier Alpha abilities require a Notice of the Well uncommon salvage which can be acquired by running the Weekly Strike Target.
- Very Rare-tier Alpha Abilities require a Favor of the Well that can be crafted from two Notice of the Well, it also consumes any two Rare-tier Alphas in order to craft the Very Rare one.
- The reason why the Incarnate Component Gr'ai Matter can be bought with Vanguard Merits is because the Rikti Mothership Raid doesn't have a reward table for completing it.
- Characters can switch between Alpha Abilities by simply equipping a new ability. The old ability is not lost, but simply switched out. There is a 5 minute cool down between equips. Also, equipping an ability is prohibited by being in combat and may require additional cool down time or leaving the mission to equip.
- The Alpha Ability cannot be slotted or changed in Ouroboros.
- Higher-tier Alpha Abilities consume a lower tier ability when crafted. Characters can have several higher-tiered abilities, but if they're in the same 'tree', then they'll have to re-craft the lower tiered ability again for each higher-tiered ability they want to have.
- The Alpha Slot was initially supposed to launch with Going Rogue, but beta feedback said without content to play with the Alpha Slot, the system felt incomplete, so it was pushed back.
- The Alpha Slot was added to the game in Issue 19; at that time, the only way to unlock it was via Mender Ramiel's story arc.
- When Incarnate Experience was added to the game as a reward from the Lambda Sector and Behavioral Adjustment Facility Trials in Issue 20, the Alpha Slot was also made unlockable via both Psychic and Physical Incarnate Experience.
- When Incarnate Merit Vendors were added to the game in Issue 20.5, an Unlock Alpha Slot Token was made available for 5 Astral Merits. This token can be purchased by any character on an account, and is awarded as a Character Item.