I had the realization a few weeks back that mail has lost a lot of meaning in MMOs, the same way many people have phones but don’t use them for phoning anyone.
It was Star Wars Galaxies Legends that reminded me of this. There’s something about the text-centric nature of that MMO’s mail that somehow not only enables written emails but encourages it. You can’t use it to send stuff, apart from waypoint data, only text. And the system is constantly barraging you with those mails when it comes to city voting, senate voting, auctions, vendor sales, harvester placement, and so forth. It’s like it trains you to use it through familiarity. The end result is that people send me mail in SWG all the time! I get the loveliest in-game emails from people who stumble into my shop or found my old videos.
Contrast that with games like WoW – or in my case, LOTRO – where you can use mail to send items. True, both games do use mail to send dispatches from NPCs and auctions, but I never knew other players to make use of it to just chat.
Do you actually use in-game mail in MMOs for communication? How often?