Yesterday – post WoW Patch 3.2 – I was  in Stormwind (well to be accurate, my bank alt was), doing my usual run between the auction house (AH) , bank and mailbox. What fascinated me was the behaviour of my fellow WoW addicts:

New mailbox? Really? I like the *old* one better

New mailbox? Really? I like the *old* one better

A second mailbox has been added just outside the bank, a good idea by the developers. However the old mailbox (left) continued to recieve all the “foot traffic”. You can see me standing in the middle of the screenshot, watching the various elves, humans, dwarfs etc. running form AH, to bank to mail box.

99.9% simply ignored the new mailbox (on the right).

Note the usual jumble of avatars and blue text signalling their names and guilds. I stood and watched for a good five minutes while only three or four people tried the new mailbox.

I didn’t notice the new straight away – at least on my first run between the AH and bank. But I did see players making repeated runs right past it.

Was the old mail box simply more familiar? Did most people ignore the new one, or not even see it?

You can trip over the mail boxes in Dalaran. Old World cities in WoW were notorious for the dearth of mailboxes. Patch 3.2, issue solved. But I suspect it will take time for the player base to change well ingrained patterns of behaviour.

And so it would seem: we are creatures of habit.

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