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Thief dev ditches XP system following fan feedback

Thursday, 17th October 2013 00:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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’ ā€“ 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.

Thanks, Destructoid.

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5 Comments

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  1. Erthazus

    Thank god.

    that stupid moment where you were awarded for more XP for a headshot in the Thief game… Blergh… That was retarded.

    It’s not about combat. It’s about freakin stealing or being caught. It’s a Stealth game. Not a STEALTH-ACTION POS

    #1 9 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    @1

    Except it’s not. It’s a stealth-action game for a new, more homogeneous audience. This is why the story has been oversimplified, and the more multi-faceted Garrett has been reduced to the single facet of just being a goody two-shoes. It’s for a new breed of gamer — the sort who like to mash buttons, kill things, and not think a lot.

    I’m a thinker, I like thinking, and that’s precisely why I’m still put off by this game. This is just part of the AAA sludge factory that’s been churning out exactly the same game with mild thematic differences forever, now. That’s why it feels so very Dishonored, rather than particularly Thief-y. Dishonored was easier to understand, what with being a goody two-shoes on a righteous quest and all that.

    I’m satisfied with TheDarkMod, but I’m thinking that people who remember what Thief was should just leave this alone for the audience who want it. I’m sure that a spiritual successor with a new name and a genuinely interesting hero will come along eventually.

    It’s just good market sense.

    You’re going to have a lot of people who’re disenfranchised with Thief, now, so it’s a good time to start working on something which is very true to the roots of Thief.

    Here’s how I’d do it:

    * A colourful teslapunk setting, one with hints of magic and a strange approach to technology. So you’d have occult neon signs and lavish, opulent interiors powered by giant electric engines. Electricity arcing across the sky between buildings, dotted by random lightning storms.

    * A mousey, questionable little guy who provides you with odd gadgets and does a lot of the footwork when it comes to information (hiring people to case heist locations, to put together some basic layout info). This means access to taser weaponry and the like.

    * A kill is basically a game over. You’re a low-down thief who’s in it for the money but you’re not an assassin. Your primary arsenal is hand-to-hand, and silent takedown weaponry. This includes stun grenades, tranq bolts, and so on.

    * Robots! It’s a teslapunk setting, so drones could be one particular type of threat along with the usual human threat. And automatons could be handling clean-up duty too so the place isn’t a hellhole. (I’m tired of hellholes, why does it always have to be a hellhole?)

    * The tesla stun-weaponry you have can work on robots as well by disrupting their electrical flow, sort of like an EMP system.

    * And throw in some variation, have some fraud/discrediting missions where the purpose of breaking in isn’t so much to rob them (though you can do that too), but also to place very misleading evidence.

    * Your character is a dubious ex-baron who lost everything in a duplicitous plan to see him robbed of his worth, after having built up that worth as a thief in the first place. So he’s back to square one, and part of the plot is discrediting/ruining the person responsible. Lots of shades of grey and no clear good guy/bad guy.

    If anyone wants to run with that, feel free. You’d make me a very, very happy person. :P

    I’m just tired of how everything has to be the same, lately. Grey hellholes, so many grey hellholes. So many “goody two-shoes” sociopaths and murderers. So many. I can’t be the only one who’s tired of that, can I?

    #2 9 months ago
  3. Hyperx64

    @ TheWulf

    Yep, I know exactly what you mean.

    Also a big detail for me is Garrets personality and his “real” voice – Stephen Russell.

    Keypoints for me are;

    - AI that acts & reacts like in previous games. I’d go as far to say the devs should lift the AI code from previous games and update that instead. Instead of the modern, and all too common, stealth enemy “AI” that is either “detected” or “undetected.” Multiple levels of awareness on each individual enemy are needed. Certainly no hive mind on/off states either!

    Heck, scratch that list. If the devs don’t know what makes a Thief game a Thief game. I would rather they keep everything the same as it was and just create a new story, settings, keep the same engine and just upgrade the graphics!

    In a perfect world…

    To many devs making re-boots who have never played through previous games in a given series! Skinning an engine with graphics that “sort of look like it” doesn’t cut it. For any series…

    Oh, and love your plot synopsis, thewulf, sounds exactly how it should, look, feel and be set. You should keep going and do a full design doc – I’ve been thinking about doing my own design docs for the last few years, of sequals and reboots I would love to see myself, based on the core principles of (any/the) given game. In fact I might get into it myself…

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Dunno

    It shouldn’t even been there in the first place!

    #4 9 months ago
  5. YoungZer0

    @2: “Iā€™m a thinker, I like thinking,”

    And here I thought you enjoy making stuff up more than anything else.

    Anyway, glad they dropped it. I would’ve loved to see some kind of reward system – similar to Dishonored – but best to drop it all together. A Thief really shouldn’t be rewarded for killing folks.

    #5 9 months ago