Thief will no longer feature an XP levelling system, Eidos Montreal has confirmed.
Discussing the removal of the feature during a community Q&A, Eidos Montreal level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt said the move is a response to fan feedback.
"Fans might be surprised how often the devs go to the forum to see how things are perceived in the 'real world'," he wrote. "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."
The absence of an XP reward system means players will not be punished should they approach a situation in an unorthodox way.
"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."
Without the XP system, player character Garrett will need to focus on stealing funds in order to upgrade his abilities.
"The goal is to use gold to buy elements to progress, to encourage the player to steal," Game Director Nic Cantin wrote. "The player will be able to choose how to spend money, for more stealthy or more aggressive tools."
Square Enix released the first substantial gameplay video for Thief last week.
Thief will release for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on February 25, 2014 in North America and February 28 in Europe and Australia.