Alters -> Approve, Disapprove, Cash grab, Brilliant Idea -> Your thoughts

So now there will be a Specter alter - who looks great and all, but they’ve basically taken a very unique operator that has very high usage and changed her for whatever reason and I don’t know if it makes any sense to me.

I mean, I guess you can think of it as a kind of job system, I don’t know, but I’d like to hear some thoughts.

Now we have Lava and Lava
Kroos and Kroos
Nearl and Nearl
Ch’en and Ch’en
Skadi and Skadi

Honestly the whole idea screams of lack of inspriation and originality but I’ve given up on the story and know very little about gacha life outside of the game.

I can understand the company wanting to cash in on popular characters but I can’t understand the concept or its execution at all. Maybe you guys can help me understand it all a bit more


Lava getting the first Alter made me think that it was their way of “upgrading” the 3* Ops, especially since they came as welfares and not gacha units.

Skalter changed that opinion.

Rather than work on Skadi’s kit, which fell to the wayside despite not being the worst kit in the game, they just decided to make an Alter of her. But later we learn that the playable Skalter we got isn’t actually our Skadi but a literal alternate Skadi from a what-if scenario.

Ch’en was a straight up cash grab. Not only did they make a stupidly broken Op, but they also made her limited. And again, much like Skadi, they opted to not upgrade her actual kit and just made an Alter of her. At the very least, it’s not an alternate version of Ch’en the way Skalter was, but that’s not much of a consolation.

There’s also that talk about only releasing 2 Limited Ops per year yet HG definitely released more than just 2 limiteds in that one-year period.

It’s hard to say what prompted them to shift in that direction. Could have been lack of ideas for completely characters, but they still have multiple NPCs that could have been viable options, plus multiple 3* and even 2* Ops they could have given Alter welfares like Lava and later Kroos.

As it is, it’s really looking like they’re milking various characters’ popularity by giving them limited Alters to bring in more cash. It’s certainly working too. Many gacha players can’t resist the lure of Limited units. That fact that AK doesn’t have many of them makes it seem even more appealing to spend on them specifically (and not spending on regular banners) since it only happens a few times a year and not every few weeks like many other games like FGO.

Plus the 300 roll guarantee, which means they don’t have to spend an uncertain amount in the worst case scenario. It’s still a lot of money, but knowing that you will get them eventually is a strong bit of bait.


I’m fine with alter since most of them were done right in lore

Purgatory and Kroos alter are their og future version where they become veteran
Skadi alter is from the whole what if Skadi’s given up to her inner Seaborn part
Ch’en alter is her future version where she’s Ch’en of Rhodes Island not Ch’en of Lungmen (I honestly think her lore isn’t justified enough to have an alter version, Bloodline of Combat skin is mote fitting)
Nearl alter is her future version where she’s perfected her ideal after 3 years experiencing the world with Shining and Nightingale
Specter alter is her future sane version where she’s not a patient anymore and back to Laurentina

Now the lore part aside, my problem with the alter is most of them are featured as the limited unit in limited banner, that takes away the opportunity for many NPC to be on big event since we had like 4 limited banners in a rows aside from Ling that’s just alter, it’s definitely a cash grab maneuver no matter how you look at it, taking an already popular character and creating limited alter for them, I hope this will change in our next 3.5 anniversary cuz CN community already fed up with the wave of alter recently


Lei and Elyon have already said most of what I would’ve here - Thinking Alters were upgrades to 3* OPs, Using Alter to bring in more cash, and them being featured as the rate-up on limited banners - but to emphasize a few of the points made here as well as some of my own

Now this I personally didn’t mind at least at first. She was only the second alter character to be released after Purgatory and from a lore perspective she pretty reasonable justification for being an alter, adding further to the story of the Abyssal Hunters and the monsters who are their prey

The problem came once they started releasing the first wave of modules, and they were absolutely disappointing. I’m not going to go over all of them here since that’s a topic for another day - and quite frankly I wanna save this for when I do an OP analysis on Skadi herself - but to briefly summarize my thoughts I don’t think Skadi’s - and the vast majority of other OPs’ - module(s) helped them in the slightest.

Here is an Operator so thoroughly outclassed, outgunned and outperformed by several other OPs released before and after her that she and a few other Operators that are similarly terrible create a tiering rung that is all their own. Her having a far higher stat total than her competition is irrelevant to the fact that the competition not only still does her job better than her despite that, but is often far more easily splashable onto teams.

Skadi might have 300 more Atk than SilverAsh, but that doesn’t matter when SA is one of the best OPs in the game thanks to his more widely applicable utility and the absurd power of TrueSilver Slash. Even fellow Abyssal Hunter Specter - a lower rarity - has more of a niche than Skadi thanks to her S2’s immortality along with belonging to the coveted AoE / Centurion Guard Archetype

To give her an Alter was alright at first, but to see that they gave the original absolutely nothing in terms of useful buffs to help carve out a niche aside from usage in full Abyssal Squads was the straw that broke the orca’s back. And of course the same goes for the other Alter Operators with the exception of Specter who was just good from the start

Now this is another thing I really don’t like - Alters essentially being the OP to always appear on an Anniversary/Celebration Limited Banner. It’s bad enough that we’re essentially rolling for the same character twice here, but it’s made worse by the fact that Arknights doesn’t exactly have a shortage of NPCs that could fill that Limited Operator slot either, and that’s not to mention any characters that could just be introduced in the event itself like W and Rosmontis were for their respective Chapter releases, and the events of the 3 Nian Siblings.

Like Lei and Elyon said this is really just a blatant cash grab to capitalize on already popular characters by giving them a limited status and broken kit to make them as enticing as possible, all the while leaving the original out to dry - except for Specter, cuz again she’s already busted - without any real hope of recourse because the modules range from mediocre to downright terrible.

Also breaking away a bit from my rant here but can I say that the current Nearl Alter banner on Global right now could’ve easily been a Pinus Sylvestris one if the members weren’t already on a separate one from their leader. Flametail and Fartooth as 6:star:s , Ashlock as the rate-up 5:star: , Wild Mane as the welfare. It would all fit much better than shoving Flametail next to Nearl and creating another random OP we never see in the story - as far as I remember - just to fill in the slot


So, I am going to take this in mind of a game developer, instead of a player.

As a game developer, many ideas for your game come to your head, and majority of which, are absolute trash. But, some ideas are good enough to tell the rest the development crew. After the development looks into this idea, they decide whether or not it is worth trying. If it’s worth trying, they program something like a crash test, like a level with mostly blank sprites. They try it, see if it works, and see if it’s enjoyable.

They keep testing and changing rules until they feel like it’s refined and well done. Afterwards, they decide if it’s worth adding to the game. If it is, they temporarily release it to the public in an update. (Like Ceobe’s Fungimist) They see how the public likes it. If they public really enjoys it, the developers are overjoyed, and will sometimes start making a follow-up. In Arknight’s case, it was followed-up by the permanent, and refined, Crimson Solitaire.

So what does this have to do with Alternates?

So our first alternate, Lava, started as an idea. An idea that was a simple question, “What if Lava wasn’t a three-star?”. So, they likely follow the process above, creating something brand new for their game. They released Lava later, but it wasn’t particularly a success. However, Hypergryph liked this idea, so they started thinking of a different way to do it.

Our next alternate, Skadi, probably came to mind whilst trying to think of an operator didn’t typically use, to cause the least amount of commotion. They likely thought that an operator that is nothing like original would give more reason to use both operators, versus just the alternate.

Sadly, Skadi still wasn’t as great of a success as they hoped for. Still, they really liked the idea. So they tried again, but this time with a more popular operator, Ch’en. I believe their goal this time was to create an operator similar to the more used operators, such as Surtr. Ch’en was a much bigger success, but something still wasn’t right for them. The original goal was to take a low rarity operator and turn them into a higher rarity one.

They tried again, this time it was Kroos. Let’s just say that Kroos wasn’t very satisfying for the community.

That’s where Specter comes in, an operator that a lot people like and use. This time, they changed the arch-type, whilst keeping the same playstyle that people like. All this while keeping the original goal of turning them into a higher rarity operator.

Now I honestly like the idea and I admire their perseverance. With how easy it is to give up on something, this is something they have really been pushing to get it right.

Do I think of this as a cash-grab? Absolutely not. With as fair as it is to say they are hard to obtain, I don’t think it’s fair to say it’s a cash-grab, especially since they will probably get reruns. 300 pulls to get guaranteed operator from the banner? Eh, it’s expensive, but I just think of it as both a pity System and an extra reward for those who pay money.

I do believe though, that once they are content with the results, they will slow down on releasing new alternate operators.


I like how you skipped right over the alternate operator we have on the present banner :fgo_gudako:

Either way I see this developing in 2 ways, either it will go in the way you think or they double down on the alternate thing and create as many as the present amount or more of them.

From how Chalter was modified after she was released, I sincerely doubt Hg is just doing this as a new mechanic.


I too see it going both ways, but I just want to hopeful. Especially with how much I like this game, I have had too many games go the wrong way…

Also, how on earth did I miss the alternate operator that just released?? :ak_elysiumshrug:

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How do other games handle Alters compared to AK? I hear FGO has plenty of alters, but I imagine not all limited.

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There is a couple of welfare Alter (kinda 5SR AK operators), but most are limited gacha servants, basically an "evil version’ of the servant. There aren’t any bonus between the regular and alter, unlike AK.

FGO have celeb drawing/faces aka Saberface and Sakuraface , it’s mostly a way to get more mileage of their most popular servants with alter and other gimmicks.


Let’s see…

Seiba is the OG 5* Saber, Arturia Pendragon.
Seiba Alter is the evil 4* version of Seiba.
Seiba Lily is the 4* younger version of Seiba.
Booby Seiba is the 5* Lancer version of Seiba.
Booby Seiba Alter is the evil 4* Lancer version of Seiba.
Swimsuit Seiba is the 5* Archer version of Seiba.
Swimsuit Seiba Alter is the 5* Rider version of Seiba Alter.
Chuuni Seiba is the 5* Assassin version of Seiba who comes from a different universe and has tasked herself with eliminating all other Sabers.
Chuuni Seiba Alter is the evil 5* Berserker version of Chuuni Seiba who temporarily forgot she was evil.
Bunny Seiba is the 5* Ruler version of Booby Seiba who decided to open a casino.
OL Seiba is the 4* Foreigner version of Chuuni Seiba who has grown up and is now working class.
And this FGO anniversary we will get Mage Seiba who is the 5* Caster version of a Seiba Lily who chose the path of magic rather than the sword.


I sort of wished they’d release more original limited ops instead of limited alters. They’re okay, but like that spot could be used for characters who haven’t had the opportunity to be an op to begin with.


In Fire Emblem Heroes they seemed to get away with it because some of the original games are interrelated through the history of the world, but after a couple of years it turned into 5 versions of the same character in ridiculous outfits and roles that didn’t match the original games at all, but then that game doesn’t have skins like AK does.

Another Eden is another game where Alters have been a thing for a few years, but now all of a sudden this year, instead of working through the ops to give everyone a second form, some have suddenly exploded into having up to 4 versions for some bizarre reason:

They’re the only two other gâchis I’ve spend any time playing

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rando outsider question from someone who doesn’t play but are they canonically called ‘alters’ or is it a fan name from overlap with the FGO players?


Canonically, the names are as follows.

Lava → Lava the Purgatory
Skadi → Skadi the Corrupting Heart
Ch’en → Ch’en the Holungday
Nearl → Nearl the Radiant Knight
Kroos → Kroos the Keen Glint
Specter → Specter the Unchained

The game does refer to them as ‘Alternate Operators’ though but it’s not like FGO where they have the word Alter tacked onto their names/titles like “Arturia Pendragon (Alter)”.


You forgot about Chuuni Seiba alter (2) :fgo_gudako:

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She’s still a year away. No need to worry about her just yet. :fgo_gudako:

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Sadly, Skadi still wasn’t as great of a success as they hoped for

What on earth do you mean by this? Skalter was met with insanely good reception. She is a broken op who finally gives Skadi some ‘lore accurate resemblance’, was the first L2D art in the game, broke the somewhat chronic trend of limited ops just being bad (for better or worse - with the hype of the 2nd anni I only saw good in this case), and finally gave people some much needed AH lore, with the meaning behind Skalter both answering and asking questions, hence why people were excited for SN and the drop from Skalter to Chalter felt so vast.

Also Ch’en was a bigger success? I am very confused how you are determining what is successful or not. The perception people have of the CNs community is overblown, but the CN community still eviscerated HG for releasing her, and it was a very low point being an AK player and fan. This would therefore translate to being a massive blow to the game dev team. They knew that her ‘lore’ side was lacking so they tried to compensate that by making her broken (and fairly easy to use in comparison) - little did they know the trouble that would cause.

I wouldn’t have been surprised if HG stopped releasing diversity ops at all due to her reception, which is why I prob think they waited a while and tried to reintroduce the idea with a somewhat underwhelming, welfare, Kroos - her being free acting as a ‘gift’ from HG (while also coinciding with the 3*->5* is free trend with Lava). They took a safe bet using a skin introduced in WiR that people already liked, and attempted to remove the severely negative ‘cheap’ perception left by Chalter.

Slightly tin foil hat here but that’s prob why they allowed STU to be leaked prior (HG is a massive company - you don’t accidently put the anniversary units in the game) - we already had that expectation prior to the livestream (Although due to the rich lore in AH, I doubt any diversity op from there will be left with a similar reaction).

From my perception as a player (and would see similarly from a development perspective), HG have been trying to return back to their peak of Skalter due to the drop-off and unrest caused by Ch’en.


Personally like them. On one hand, they may be income bait for the company, on the other, it provides an avenue for character development and exploration outside of the story. Getting to experience a different style for those with a focused preference on a character is a plus too~


For Specter Alter I think they just wanted to continue the Under Tides story, so making an alter for Specter like they did Skadi would be fitting. Although I dont really read the lore so idk if it actually does fit lorewise :ak_lappdumb:

Chen Alter on the other hand:


Once again someone forgets nearl alter… Just how is she so damn forgettable?!