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Incarnate Shifts: back to school

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They say that to get help, you first must admit that you need it.  I hate admitting it, but I'm in need of remedial schooling on the subject of Incarnate Shifts.  I've gotten hold of some confusing, and just downright wrong, info in the past, and have been playing with it in mind all this time, and now realize I didn't know what I was really doing.  I did some reading, but got more confused.  🙄  Maybe my plea for help will aid others.  Hope so.



First thing I've finally realized is that "Veteran Level" is not the same as "Incarnate Shift".  Progress. Yay me.  So the little XP dial ticking around and adding another digit to the Veteran Level number on the Personal info window has nothing to do with Incarnate shifting.


Other than adding a number to the V-level, what does gaining a Veteran Level really accomplish then?


Second thing I've (supposedly) learned is that the first Incarnate Shift is the "(+1)" I currently see when viewing Ray Gunn from another account. (Incidentally, is there a way to see this within the character's UI?)


Now if I understand correctly from recent reading, this is not technically an Incarnate Shift, but a "Level Shift"? Is that accurate? If so, what is the difference, and what does this do differently from the Veteran Levels?  I gather this unlocks when you complete the third tier of the Alpha slot.  Is that accurate?


Third thing:  I read that Incarnate Shifts 2 and 3 come from the Incarnate Trials and Dark Astoria.  What's not been clear in the reading is how they are achieved.  Does doing every Incarnate Trial unlock Shift 2, and doing everything in Dark Astoria unlock Shift 3?  Or are these temporary shifts only appearing when you're participating in these (some of what I read/heard made it sound temporary), and if so, how do you stack to a +3?  Or some third option is the correct one?

I've also read that Lore and Destiny slots may be somehow involved, but its unclear how, as Ray Gunn has both of those unlocked and at tier 4, yet only appears as a +1. 


Any clarification for aging mind getting more simple by the day, apparently, would be appreciated!




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Only one level of incarnate shift works in the game generally, the +1.  You get this by having an Alpha power crafted and slotted at the +3 tier.  This applies generally to all level 50 content.  It is visible everywhere in the game.


The other two level shifts are only visible inside incarnate content, and in certain zones.  Dark Astoria is one of them.  I think they show up in Pocket D and Ouroboros as well. 


These shifts are claimed by having Lore and Destiny powers unlocked, crafted, and slotted at the +3 tier.  The level shifts only apply in content specifically marked as for incarnates -- in DA, incarnate trials, Apex/Tin Mage.  When in effect all the mobs in these things will con lower than they used to. 


I always craft a tier 1 something when I unlock Judgment and Interface, but upgrading those will wait while I save my geemies for getting Lore and Destiny to t3 ASAP. 

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Answer to number 1: Your veteran level has nothing directly to do with Incarnate power. In and of itself, it's just a number that gives you an idea how long you've been playing your level 50.


However, your Veteran level is linked to Veteran badges. You get one badge every 3 Veteran levels up to 99. These come with rewards in the form of Incarnate threads or Empyrean merits. They start off big, then taper down.


So you don't need vet levels at all to get your Incarnate powers to max, but the added bonus from the badges definitely doesn't hurt in getting your powers crafted.


Number 2: I don't know of a way to see what level shifting you yourself have directly, short of checking the relevant Incarnate powers.


Number 3: You don't have to do any specific content for the other two shifts, however those level shifts only APPLY in specific content.


Here's the general breakdown:


Having your Alpha slot filled with a Tier 3 or higher power gets you a level shift. This works anywhere the Alpha slot does, so it counts for ITF, Lady Grey and the like.


Having your Lore or Destiny slots filled with Tier 3 or higher powers gets you an Incarnate shift for each. These are like a level shift but ONLY apply in Incarnate content. iTrials, Dark Astoria, Vertrano's arc, etc.


There's no level shift for Judgment, Interface or Hybrid.


So the max you can have in most content is +1, but for Incarnate content, it can go to +3. You'll only see +1 in Cimerora, but go to Dark Astoria and you'll see the full +3.


These level shifts are predicated on having the ability equipped. Remove it or shift to a lower level power and you lose it.

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Combat Attributes lists the level shift currently in effect (regardless of what you've unlocked).

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4 hours ago, Blackbird71 said:

This is the second time this morning I'm linking to this guide.  Read the sections on "Alpha Slot Abilities," "Lore Slot Abilities," "Destiny Slot Abilities," and "Level Shifting and You" for details on how to get level shifts and how they work.

A Comprehensive Guide to the Incarnate System - Guides - Homecoming (homecomingservers.com)


Yes, looks like you originally posted it about 20 minutes before I posted, likely the time I was struggling with other materials on the subject.  Going through it now.  Might have a question or two later.  Thanks for including it!



Thanks to all (so far) who've contributed to it.  It feels like I had all the pieces but just like some maddening jigsaw puzzle, I'd not found how they connected.  I've a better understanding now.

Edited by Techwright
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7 hours ago, Techwright said:

I've (supposedly) learned is that the first Incarnate Shift is the "(+1)" I currently see when viewing Ray Gunn from another account. (Incidentally, is there a way to see this within the character's UI?)


You can see your shift in Combat Attributes windows:





You notice mine says 3. it will only show 2 or 3 in Incarnate Trials, Ouroboros, and Pocket D. Otherwise it will just show 1,becouse only the Alpha level shift applies to all content. Whereas Lore or Destiny each give you an Incarnate Shift.

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Vet levels do a few things.  Most are ego stroking.  They do tell another player how long you have played that character.  Unless it is a farmer, which can crank vet levels in hours and might be crap to team with unless alt built. They net badges. ooooh shiny.  


Vet levels give a moderate amount of incarnate components.  especially in the early vet levels.  this dies off and finally stops at vet 99.


So vet levels technically help you shift.  but they count for squat.


tier 3 your Alpha Incarnate.  1 vet shift....errr incarnate level shift  50+1 until you are exemped to 44, then you are...44


well, if you exemp to 48 i think you are still bounced down, but was mostly talking 45+ TFs


tier 3 your Lore and Destiny.  each of these is a separate +1 incarnate level.  that ONLY count in Incarnate Trials.


There is a temporary inspiration available from Luna in Ouro and through Auction House.  It is expensive.  it grants a very short +1 Incarnate level, which will stack on the others.  This is useful in very hard incarnate trials.  I regularly play with a league that uses them once a week to do Magisterium badge attempt Really Hard Way.  The whole league is 50+4. It can go really brilliantly when the stars align, which they usually do.  But the danged Inspiration is 30 incarnate threads...



Edited by Snarky
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