Observer Totem

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An Observer Totem in a Mansion contract.
An Observer Totem hallway. The red curve in the upper left is an alert pulse.

The Observer Totem is a totem that appears only in Heist contracts that require a rogue with the Perception ability. This totem can raise the Alert Level of the heist, and always appears in groups. A player who mishandles an Observer Totem group can rapidly push the heist into Imminent Lockdown and cause the heist to fail before reaching the target.

Observer Totems are typically found in groups of five, in a single room or in a length of hallway. Their appearance varies depending on the location of the contract.

Observer Totem mechanics were changed in Version 3.12.3, in a way that makes the totems much more manageable.

Inactive phase

Observer Totems start out inactive. An inactive Observer Totem is unlit and invulnerable. If a player comes too close to the inactive totem, or if another Observer Totem nearby activates, the totem will enter its active phase.

Active phase

In the active phase, the totem displays a flashing light. The totem is now vulnerable to attacks. But every few seconds, the totem's light will flare more brightly. Very shortly thereafter, the totem will emit a red circular pulse. If any character is touched by this pulse, the Alert Level will instantly increase by approximately 15-20%. Minions, totems, traps, and mines touched by the pulse will not raise the Alert Level.

During the heist's Lockdown phase, all Observer Totems will activate. However, the totems are harmless at this point, since the Alert Level is already at maximum.

Characters attacking an Observer Totem in melee will often be hit by one alert pulse before destroying the totem, and potentially may be hit by alert pulses from other nearby totems as well.

A solo character can often just quickly move through the area before any Observer Totems have a chance to pulse. Parties can do the same if they stay close together and move in unison.