11 July 2017 - 15:06

You may be able to appear offline in Blizzard games soon

Datamined information from a Hearthstone update suggests it could be coming.
Overwatch Staff Reporter
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Don't want your boss to see you playing Overwatch while you're supposed to be working? Avoiding one of those exceptionally chatty Blizzard App friends? You may not have to use your alternate account to steer clear of those folks any longer.

Blizzard may be adding an "appear offline" option to the Blizzard App. A new set of strings datamined from a new Hearthstone patch indicate the feature could be coming. "This is further backed up by changes to game code to support the functionality," Hearthstone website HearthPwn said.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan addressed an "appear offline" option last in October.

"We are in the process of coordinating this with Battle.net and the other game teams," Kaplan wrote on the Overwatch forum. "Because our social system is a cross-game system (World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, StarCraft 2, Diablo 3) adding this functionality is not trivial for us."

Kaplan did not give a time frame for the feature, but assured players that the Blizzard team is working hard to implement it. Even so, the Hearthstone "appear offline" strings don't necessarily ensure the feature is coming imminently, but it's likely a good sign.

An "appear offline" feature will allow players across Blizzard's games portfolio to, well, appear offline to their Blizzard App pals. There are just some times when you want to play games without interference from anyone—even your friends. Players are only able to choose from "online," "away," and "busy" right now.

This functionality is years in the making, and players have been eagerly anticipating the button for some time now. Blizzard originally announced the feature would be "coming soon" in 2012.

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