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I'm new to World of Warcraft and I'm only really interested in playing when certain friends are online. Is it possible to view the status of friends in your friends list without launching WoW and fully entering the game?

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Related: Is there a stand-alone chat client for Battle.net –  user3389 Dec 16 '10 at 0:30
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Do you like playing Starcraft 2? ;) –  Raven Dreamer Dec 16 '10 at 0:48

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

To my knowledge Blizzard has not yet provided a way to view friend status from outside of their games. So you'll have to go with a 3rd party solution.

I use Steam to launch World of Warcraft. Steam will notify my friends when I launch a game, and vice-versa. Most of my friends also use Steam, which increases the value of Steam tremendously. There's little quite as satisfying as launching WoW and then seeing 4 more of your friends follow your lead. One downside to Steam is you have to own at least 1 game on the service to get the friend features.

Also, steam doesn't tell you what character they're on, but once you're in the game RealId can help figure that out really quickly. If you don't use RealId with these friends, there are a number of friend-synching addons you can use to keep track of friends across multiple characters on the same server/faction.

There are also a few alternatives to Steam (XFire?) for keeping track of what your friends are playing. A common thread across all of these is that all your friends will want to use the same program.

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"One downside to Steam is you have to own at least 1 game on the service to get the friend features." Do you? The client can be downloaded for free from their site. –  user2974 Dec 16 '10 at 4:43
    
and even if you do, go and pick up one of the great indie games for a pittance. –  Xantec Dec 16 '10 at 12:56
    
@Powerlord: You can download the steam client for free, and buy games, etc. But in order to use the "Community" features, you must make a purchase first. –  Marcin Dec 16 '10 at 18:34

When you say 'friends' you mean not your character's friends but your realid 'friends'.

Currently you cannot do this, the closest you get is after you login to the community site you can browse the friends of your characters. Soon, just not today. Though these are your real life friends, often people have access to these people in im/chat like other people noted.

The direct connection between 'character friends' and 'realid' to web services likely won't happen, since anyone can /friend another person. That's just way too intensive.

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Yea, it's just annoying to manually go down my friends list and "Are you playing WoW" each of them and wait for responses. Especially as not all of them pay attention to IM while in-game. –  meagar Dec 16 '10 at 19:42

I know this is an old question, but Blizzard recently added the Mobile Guild Chat feature to the Mobile Armory. For a small premium fee, you can sign in to the guild chat and see which of your guild members are online, as well as chat with them. Assuming your friends are in the same guild as you, this is the best option by far.

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The mobile armory guild chat is pretty cool, but I disagree that it is "the best option by far." It costs extra money every month, and that's a pretty significant downside. I'll continue to use my Steam client with no monthly fee until Blizzard provide something... free-er. –  Mag Roader May 20 '11 at 21:54
    
Well, the fee also allows you to access the remote auction house so it isn't solely a chat feature. Certainly it isn't the best option in terms of cost, but in terms of actually allowing you to connect with your friends, Steam doesn't seem viable to me unless you are so persuasive that you can convince 60 or 70 friends/guildmates to download steam and open WoW via that client every time. Not to mention that you only need to be on your phone, rather than on your computer. –  Lotus Notes May 20 '11 at 23:55
    
This is now free! –  Nick Sep 5 '12 at 10:59

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