While Thief has been garnering tentative attention, in part due to a seeming development hell developing the game, one thing that attracted the ire of gamers alike was the XP system during the E3 gameplay demo, awarding points for things like headshots and the like. Rest assured Thief fans, the XP system has been scrapped, according to a Q&A with game director Nic Cantin and lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt.
According to Cantin, the original intent of the XP system was to “outline the progression to the player”. However, Eidos quickly found that “it was reducing our motivation to steal.” This, along with fan feedback, is what drove Eidos Montreal to remove the XP system altogether. According to Schmidt, “Fans might be surprised how often the devs go to the forum to see how things are perceived in the “real world”. This feedback is extremely valuable to us, so as you can imagine, the consistent reaction to the XP system was something that indicated we needed to revisit some design decisions.” Cantin agreed with that sentiment, adding, “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.”
Some are worried that with the XP system gone, gamers may take notice of any progression of Garrett. According to Cantin, Eidos already has another method in place. “The goal is to use gold to buy elements to progress, to encourage the player to steal. The player will be able to choose how to spend money, for more stealthy or more aggressive tools.”
Thief is scheduled to be released on February 25, 2014 for the PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.