Thief XP mechanic dropped after negative feedback

Players now purchase enhancements with gold.

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Eidos Montreal's latest entry into the Thief series has abandoned the XP mechanic it introduced during the game's E3 2013 demo.

The system previously rewarded players with bonuses for performing certain feats, such as killing enemies with a headshot. Many fans of the previous games in the series said such a mechanic did not fit in with a traditionally stealth-orientated title.

"At first, we wanted to outline the progression of the player with XP," said game director Nic Cantin in a blog post, "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.

Lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt added, "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 that feedback from fans was valuable to the team and instrumental in the decision to change the mechanics of the upcoming game. "Fans might be surprised how often the devs go to the forum to see how things are perceived in the 'real world,'" he said.

"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 stressed that losing the XP system was more of a design decision, but agreed that the negative reaction to the E3 demo was right, and that the game should not reward killing. "It is more a design decision to add to our economy system and entice the player to steal more. But yes, the E3 reaction was right, rewarding killing like that was wrong for a Master Thief."

Items that would have been previously obtained through XP are now purchased with gold.

"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," concluded Cantin.

Thief is due to be released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 in February 2014.

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