The Daily Grind: Are genderlocked classes anathema to MMOs?

Path of Exile
In my recent foray into Path of Exile, an upcoming online Roguelike, I was startled to realize that the game's classes are wholly genderlocked. Like Diablo II, Path of Exile locks each class to a given gender. If you want to play a Ranger, you're playing a female toon. If you prefer the Templar, you're playing a dude. And while there are hints that the game might sell more customization in the future cash shop, the current alpha-test gender count stands at four men to two women.

I was startled because even Diablo III shed this model. I assumed that a game's survival in an MMO space, especially a borderline MMO, depends heavily on how much players identify with their characters. And it seems particularly jarring that a game with such an impressively deep skill system would limit character customization and gender so dramatically.

So what do you think -- are genderlocked classes anathema to MMOs? Would you play a class in spite of its gender, or have you ever picked a class specifically because you prefer to play a certain gender?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!
This article was originally published on Massively.