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Thief Dropping XP System

The Eidos Montreal Community Website has a community Q&A about the upcoming Thief reboot, answering questions from eager fans of the franchise (thanks PC Gamer). The topic this time around is the removal of the planned XP system from the game, a decision the developers explain while dropping a hint they may have something positive to say about QTEs in the future:

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!)

Thanks guys, this was very instructive. And wait until you hear what they have to say about QTEs...

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52. Re: Thief Dropping XP System Oct 19, 2013, 01:09 Jerykk
 
The problem with Thief4 is not only what they've showed so far, but also the attitude of the developers.
Does it reflect from any of the interviews they've done that they actually care about the Thief mentality?
Sure it will most likely turn out a good game since it's an AAA production.
But the problem is that it's not going to be a Thief game.. since it's an AAA production and catered for the majority.
The majority weren't Thief players by todays standards, so they can't make it Thief.

If you make a new IP, go ahead I won't complain and people won't complain. I'm sure people might even say "woah, this game has a nice mix of Dishonored and Ass.Creed with a Thief vibe to it.."
But if you take the Thief name and then make the changes they've showed and write things like that people will be pissed.

I'm not sure what makes you think it won't be a Thief game. It's still a first-person stealth game that focuses on stealing stuff. You still hide in shadows and try to avoid making noise as you sneak past guards and grab loot from their belts. Will combat be more viable in the new game? Probably, but that doesn't mean you have to fight. The devs have explicitly stated that you don't have to kill anyone. If you want to play stealthy, play stealthy. Same applies to the new Focus mode. Don't like it? Don't use it. Stealth games have always been a matter of restraint. If you enjoy being stealthy, why would you play any other way?

It's just remarkably silly that people can take little things and completely blow them out of proportion. Yes, you can shoot guards in the head with an arrow. Guess what? You could do that in the previous games too. No, you can't jump anymore but if the demo is any indication, there will be plenty of contextual opportunities to get where you want to go. Yes, there's a new voice actor but he sounds pretty similar to the original VA and Garrett's character seems consistent with the original as well. Yes, there will be setpieces but they will most likely comprise maybe 1% of the entire game. Yes, melee takedowns are now a one-button affair via third-person cinematic (ala DX:HR), but this is Thief so you shouldn't be attacking anyone in the first place.

None of the changes they've made are enough to accuse the game of not being a Thief game. It's nothing like the changes made between the original R6 and the Vegas series or between SC: Chaos Theory and Conviction.

It's just dumbass game design. I'm sure it's much easier to not have jumping in your game, but if said game is about a character traversing a level without being seen, then NOT having it is fucking retarded. End of story.

Splinter Cell says otherwise. As I mentioned before, Blacklist doesn't have manual jumping but there are enough contextual actions in each level that you never really miss it. It's all a matter of level design.

EDIT: This new gameplay footage actually shows that traversal has more in common with Assassin's Creed than Splinter Cell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiwa9-e10m8

Basically, you hold down a traversal button and Garrett will automatically climb, jump, mantle or vault over obstacles. It's still contextual but it seems pretty flexible and if AC is any indication, it works well enough for getting you where you want to go.

This comment was edited on Oct 19, 2013, 02:36.
 
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