Blizzcon 2017: Blizzard App

The goal of the team is to bring people together to play games with friends.

Which is why they’ve done a full overhaul of the launcher to include a social tab, which finally keeps chat history. But in addition to that, they created groups, which is intended to be a Blizzard-wide guild or clan, to bring people together no matter what game they may be playing. Groups have their own set of icons to choose from, a name, and a description if you want one. Each group can have different channels, and each channel will show who’s talking in that channel’s voice chat by way of icons under the channel name. There is also emoji support and clickable links in all of the social tab.

The other big thing they’ve done is profiles. It has avatars, an ‘about me’ section, what Blizzard games they play, and links. Each of these can be public, friends only, or me only. The links include just about every social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch) as well as another option for things like guild websites.

The phone app, like the desktop app, lets you see who is playing what, as well as chat, and the chat history is synced to your computer. Also with the app, you can add friends through QR codes instead of Battletags.

The final thing they did was make gifting so much easier. They revamped the store in the launcher, as well as added card packs and lootboxes, and from there you click what you want, choose to gift it, and then you can pick from a drop-down list of all your friends, add a message, then pay and send it on its way. No more having to share emails or the codes themselves. The person that receives the gift has a nice notification up by their friends list letting them know they have a gift, and they can claim it right there, get in game and use it.

And, of course, ‘appear offline’ is finally here. You can set your Overwatch to appear offline, but other games don’t have the option quite yet. It’s on the way, though.

They touched on ideas that have been thrown around the team, but not decided as a priority. Things we may see someday include: gifting to multiple people, achievement-unlocked avatars, nicknames, a streamer mode, and a larger friends list.

They’re currently working on getting groups and profiles on the phone app, as well as possibly the games themselves, and many more avatars.

There are no plans to let people upload avatars, or hide games from the launcher.

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