THIEF XP System Removed

By Marc Hollinshead, 3 years ago
Back when THIEF was showcased at E3, we noticed that as Garrett got into a fight with a couple of soldiers, XP was gained through getting headshots on the enemies. That displeased a number of fans so Eidos Montreal have taken that on board and removed the XP system completely. A short Q&A with Game Director, Nic Cantin and Lead Level Designer, Daniel Windfeld Schmidt has appeared to shed some light on this topic and why they eventually decided to scrap XP in THIEF.

So, guys, what is the deal with XP in Thief?
Daniel: I am happy to announce we no longer have an XP system in Thief.
Nic: Yeah, it is not there anymore.

Why was it removed?
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.

How will Garrett progress through the game without XP?
Nic: 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.
Daniel: 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 (though it isn't going to be easy!)
THIEF will be yours to loot on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One when it releases on February 25th in North America and February 28th in Europe.
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.