Thief will no longer make use of an experience points system, Eidos Montreal has confirmed, after series fans made their opinion on the matter loud and clear.
In a Q&A on the game’s forum, game director Nicolas Cantin and lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt confirmed Thief’s XP system, which granted experience bonuses for skilled player actions like headshots, has been removed
“At first, we wanted to outline the progression of the player with XP, but it was reducing our motivation to steal. The main goal of a thief should be to gain loot. Garrett is already the Master Thief, so we saw no need to have XP as a core mechanic,” Cantin said.
“We wanted to put emphasis on stealing things, and put the rewards on the stealing aspect. We want to allow the player to decide the ‘how to’ – we shouldn’t judge how the player wants to achieve their goal, only reward them for achieving it,” Schmidt added.
Schmidt went on to say that Eidos Montreal regularly checks fan reaction on forums, and took note of the “consistent” negative reaction to the XP system as demonstrated during E3 videos.
“The E3 reaction was right, rewarding killing like that was wrong for a Master Thief,” Cantin said.
Now, players will steal and use the gold so acquired to choose more stealthy or aggressive tools. According to Schmidt, this isn’t as significant a shake up as it might sound.
“It was always possible to play without using XP, like it is still possible to play through the game without killing anyone or even spending any coin,” he said.
It sounds like Eidos Montreal may have taken other feedback into consideration as well, as the article signs off with an enigmatic reference to what the developers “have to say about QTEs”.
The Q&A also reveals that former community manager Adam Badke has left Eidos Montreal; his replacement has not been chosen and Badke’s new role, if any, was not disclosed.
Thief is coming in February 2014, for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.