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If I open the friends list interface, I can click the little gem at the top to set my current status:

Cropped screenshot of the friends list interface

I had assumed that these were merely cosmetic, but last night a friend was unable to join my game because I was set as "busy." I don't know if there's anything else that happens as a result of this, though.

What's the difference between Available, Away, and Busy? Do any of these options allow me to "hide" my online status, say if I wanted to play solo and not show up online?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, this is a downside to having RealID friends. Unless it's different in D3 than it is in WoW and Starcraft, your RealID friends will always know if you're online. As you said, if you're marked as busy, people can't join a game with you. If you're away, I think it's just cosmetic to show that you're not there, so they don't think you're just ignoring them (or are you?). The best option I can see in your case is to just mark yourself as busy so it ignores group requests.

Here's Blizzard's information on the matter.

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