POL was to FFXI what AOL was to the internet POST BROADBAND.
I say steal a page from WoW's folder and impliment a mailbox.
Actually, steal 2 pages and grab WoW's calendar as well.
In a way, I can agree with your point on this. I don't know much about WoW as I only played for a few months like 4 years ago but...
I am actually a proponent of POL. Yes, I know logging into XI required you to press a few buttons. To me, that wasn't a big deal vs it's usefulness. With POL, you could:
* Message online and offline players; send messages to multiple people at once
* Those messages did not have to be read in-game
* Those messages could be both read and sent from the web --smartphones these days too-- (Play Online Plus)
* Send/receive Emails
* Setup custom Email addresses. Mine was Osarion@pol.com awesome.
* Use your cell phone to email messages to people who could receive them while they were playing XI (if you needed to coordinate stuff while not at your PC etc etc)
* Search for players and add them to your friends list, both possible from being out of game
* Chat in the POL chatroom (nobody really ever used this)
* Set up a custom profile for each of your characters
* Make changes to your POL/FFXI account
* Chat with POL/Game support
* Customize the POL BGM and Background art (no big deal, I realize)
It had downsides too. But these are the things I'm going to miss about POL. It's functionality.