Blizzard May Soon Allow All Players To Play As ‘Offline’

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Blizzard Entertainment recently had a patch update to the Hearthstone game. In the patch string, keen observers may have spotted a feature that has been rumoured for a while now. Players have been asking to be able to play games like Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch as ‘offline’. According to the website HearthPwn, this feature is on the horizon.

Blizzard’s other top games: World of Warcraft, Diablo and Starcraft; they have already had the ‘appear offline’ option for some time. Back in September 2012, an announcement was made about this ‘offline’ option. They decided to roll out the feature in the individual games when a major patch would be due.

In 2016, on the Blizzard forums, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan posted this in response to the question of appearing offline.

We would like to add an “Appear Offline” option to Overwatch. We are in the process of coordinating this with Battle.net and the other game teams. Because our social system is a cross-game system (WoW, Hearthstone, Heroes, SC2, D3) adding this functionality is not trivial for us. I know there has been discussion around this feature for a long time, and things have definitely not moved at a rate which is acceptable, I can assure you we care about the feature and want to figure out how to make it happen.

For your particular issue regarding invites, you can go into the Social Options menu and turn off invites.

Thanks for being patient with us.

Due to the Battle.net Blizzard app, they had to make sure the feature would be available for everyone. So whether you’re playing Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm or Starcraft II you would be able to play them where your friends list do not know you are playing them. You can ‘appear offline’ and therefore avoid distractions from friends while playing.

For those of you interested in which lines were noticed, here is what was discovered:

  • GLOBAL_FRIENDLIST_CHALLENGE_BUTTON_IM_APPEARING_OFFLINE You can’t challenge {0} right now. You are set to appear offline.
  • GLOBAL_CHAT_SENDER_OFFLINE You are currently offline.
  • GLOBAL_CHAT_SENDER_APPEAR_OFFLINE You may not send chat messages while you are set to appear offline.

Are you looking forward to being able to play your games in peace? Why would you want to avoid your friends I wonder? Have Blizzard answered your pleas to have this feature? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Raymond Provencher

A supplanted Canadian now living in Ireland. I am a movie fan who watches a lot of TV and also plays Hearthstone and World of Warcraft. I follow WWE, American Football (NFL) and NHL (Ice hockey) very closely, but also enjoy many other sports. Have been podcasting for over 3 years and love every minute of it.

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