Payday 3 dev says it's making 'a bunch of changes' to the game's detested progression system 9 days after saying it had no plans to do so

Payday 3 screenshot where a masked character holds a person hostage
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Starbreeze Studios)

Payday 3 has had, shall we say, a rough launch, and one of the main sources of player protest has been its progression system. Heisters just aren't thrilled that your infamy points—the things you accrue to unlock new weapons, cosmetics, and what have you—are tied exclusively to the game's challenges. It can mean that players whose goal is to unlock new gear are better off completely ignoring their heist in order to focus on blasting as many cops as possible to tick off 'kill 20 enemies with this gun' challenges. A little backwards, for a Payday game.

Despite the clamour from the Payday community, Starbreeze said in a livestream nine days ago that it had no intention of revising Payday 3's progression system. In an update livestream on 25 September, Payday 3 lead producer Andreas Penninger dismayed fans with a statement that Starbreeze didn't "have any plans [as] of today to change how the progression works," choosing to focus on UI issues instead.

Well dry your eyes, because as of another update stream from yesterday (spotted by MP1st), Starbreeze has decided that, actually, it might be a good idea to take another look at that progression system after all. In a new statement, Penninger says that the Payday 3 devs "have heard you," and "are working on a bunch of changes to the progression system." Sounds appropriate. Based on what I've heard, Payday 3's progression needs more than just a few tweaks.

Penninger didn't say what those changes would be, mind you, but assured players that Starbreeze is "working on it," and is "going to test it and and verify it to make sure it's in line with how we want it to work, and also based on your guys' feedback." Penninger continued, saying that once the studio has nailed down the changes it wants to make, it'll communicate them in more detail to fans.

That's all Starbreeze has said about changing the Payday 3 progression system so far, but it's quite an about-turn from the 'no plans' statement of a week and a bit ago, and seems to have been received with cautious optimism in the game's community. "Even though it's been a rough start," said a user named Thedarknight725 in the Payday subreddit, "they seem to be listening to the community." Another—Allheartnobrains—said "I don't think it's cool that games release so half-baked these days and 'get good later' but this game is going to become really amazing once they actually finish it."

That's certainly better than the sea of complaints the subreddit has had since Payday 3 hit (though don't get me wrong, the complaints are still there). With any luck, Starbreeze can turn it around. In PCG's Payday 3 review, Tyler Colp scored the game 67%, and said that it could be "one of the slickest co-op shooters around" were it not for problems like its progression and always-online nature. Who knows? Perhaps those won't be problems forever. 

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.