An "Appear Offline" mode is a valuable tool for players who would prefer to play with their friends only, not be bothered with more game invites than necessary, or even trying to get away with some gaming while at work. 


The latest Hearthstone patch has been mined by Hearthpwn, a Hearthstone website from Curse, and some changes in the game code indicate that players will be able to use an "Appear Offline" function very soon.


Keep in mind, though, that the last time Blizzard promised to add the functionality was all the way back in 2012.

From Hearthpwn's post, these lines from the patch indicate that the new function is nearing release:

  • 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.


Blizzard appears to be making good on Jeff Kaplan's comments last October on adding an "Appear Offline" functionality to Battle.net, Blizzard's log-in system for multiple games. In addressing the issue, Jeff Kaplan wrote:


"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 have been discussions about 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."

qwdf

If Jeff Kaplan's comments that an "Appear Offline" mode would have to be integrated to all games because of Battle.net's cross-game social system, then Overwatch and other Blizzard games could be included in the update. If so, it would match Jeff Kaplan's intentions to add the "Appear Offline" option for Overwatch, even though the news was dropped by Hearthstone.


The next big update for battle.net may provide some answers on the leaked functionality, and hopefully, Blizzard will help gamers continue to play games free from their boss' watchful eye.


photos courtesy of Blizzard