In a question and answer session on the developer’s community forum, game director Nicolas Cantin and lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt said they canned the idea of experience points for things like head shots and other skilled maneuvers.
Cantin said Eidos wanted to show the progression of the player as he or she played through Thief, but in the end the XP ended up stripping all 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,” Cantin said
Schmidt echoed the same sentiment, saying players shouldn’t be judged on how they achieve a goal, just that they did achieve it.
Eidos Montreal likes to check in on its fans and how they react to a game, Schmidt said, which is where the developer figured out the negative reaction to the XP system from its E3 video releases.
“The E3 reaction was right, rewarding killing like that was wrong for a Master Thief,” Cantin said.
Thief is due out in February for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One.