Thief's lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt has announced in the fifth Community Q&A with game director Nic Cantin, "I am happy to announce we no longer have an XP system in Thief." The game mechanic had been panned by fans of the series since the XP pop up appeared in the E3 demo.
Cantin explained, "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." Schmidt added it was put in to spur players into being more of a thief by assigning XP value to loot.
Now, gold will be used to help Garrett with progression through the game. As for earning XP for killing, the devs stated the team realized it just wasn't Thief.
"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," admitted Cantin.
Thief is due to be released on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014.