Alert level is affected by the following:
The main thing you’ll need to consider is how much loot you’ll want to gather before you reach the Artifact. You can still kill a lot of monsters and earn a lot of items without worrying about this too much.
|Torn Cloak||2% reduced raising of Alert Level||Requires Level 2 in Any Job|
|Tattered Cloak||3% reduced raising of Alert Level||Requires Level 3 in Any Job|
|Hooded Cloak||4% reduced raising of Alert Level||Requires Level 4 in Any Job|
|Whisper-woven Cloak||5% reduced raising of Alert Level||Requires Level 5 in Any Job|
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You can move through the Heist at a relatively normal pace, but once you start nearing the alert level cap you might want to consider sneaking past some guards in order to avoid triggering the alarm. The main thing you’ll need to consider in regards to alert level is how many reward chests you’ll want to open on the way to the Artifact. Are more rewards worth risking blowing your cover for?
When you reach the maximum alert level, you’ll trigger the alarm. You’ll have a brief window to steal as much as you can, including the Artifact if you’re close enough, before the facility goes into lockdown and you’re swarmed by guards. When the facility is in lockdown you can’t steal anything else. You can still escape with the goods you already have if you can fight your way through the guards.
If you didn’t manage to get the Artifact but still managed to escape, then you won’t be able to turn a profit on your markers but you’ll still get to keep the other goods you stole. You also won’t gain any experience on your Rogue Skill or gather intel for revealing portions of Grand Heists.
If you just want regular Path of Exile items and don’t want to engage heavily in running Heists, it’s a viable strategy to simply begin the Heist, steal as much as you can until you reach the alert level cap and then make your escape.
Note that when you steal the Artifact, you’ll automatically trigger the alarm.
When you trigger the alarm, you’ll have a short window to continue stealing things before the facility goes into lockdown. If you’re close enough to the Artifact, this means that you can still grab it before lockdown goes into full effect. There are also mechanisms in play that can extend or modify the amount of alert required to reach the maximum alert level.
Having a slew of minions potentially means that you’ll aggro more guards than other builds would, meaning that you’ll generate more alert level as you kill them. As mentioned above, killing guards raises the alert level by a relatively small amount compared to other actions during the Heist. Many guards are also positioned on the other sides of doors, letting you choose whether to aggro them or not even, regardless of whether you have minions.
No. There’s no timer on your way to the Artifact and no timer in your escape. The only element that includes a timer is that when the alarm has been triggered, a timer will start to let you know how much time you have left to collect loot before the facility goes into lockdown and you’re swarmed by guards.
In a Grand Heist, each wing has its own alert level to manage, so if you fail at one wing you’ll still be able to attempt the others. You can also Stash your items between wings to ‘lock them in’ in case you die in one of the other wings.
This happens when you smash the case that contains the Artifact so it’ll apply equally for all party members even though multiple Artifacts are dropped if you have multiple party members. Your alert level is also shared between all party members.