Posted on October 16, 2013, Devin Connors Eidos Removes XP System From Thief
Eidos has removed the XP system from Thief, ensuring that Garrett can focus on looting and sneaking instead of grinding away for a level-up.
In a community Q&A on the official Eidos Montreal site, Game Director Nic Cantin and Lead Level Designer Daniel Windfeld Schmid addressed the removal, citing community feedback as the reasoning behind the removal.
Nic: 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.
Daniel: 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.
The reaction from fans to the “Headshot XP” pop-up in the E3 gameplay demo was fairly negative. Did that have an impact on the decision to remove it from the game?
Daniel: 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.
Nic: 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.
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” comes to mind here, and it’s refreshing to see that Eidos gives community feedback adequate weight.