Thief's XP system canned after fan complaints

Thief has taken lumps (big, threatening lumps) from series fans worried that the reboot will stray too far from its subdued, stealthy roots. But thanks in large part to fan feedback, one particularly loathed mechanic is no more.

Thief's XP system was first seen in an E3 demo in which it gave Garrett 40 points for firing an arrow into a guard's head. Game director Nic Cantin explained Eidos Montreal's motives behind the system and why it didn't make the cut in an official Q&A.

"At first, we wanted to outline the progression of the player with XP, but it was reducing our motivation to steal," Cantin said. "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 that assigning XP to certain actions, like killing a guard with a well-placed arrow instead of slipping by undetected, didn't make players feel they were at liberty to choose any path they desired.

"Fans might be surprised how often the devs go to the forum to see how things are perceived in the 'real world,'" Windfeld Schmidt 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."

With XP gone, gold is back in the center stage both as an intrinsic goal and as a means to upgrade and diversify your equipment. Hide your valuables, City dwellers.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.