Just making sure that this isn't the problem.
When you are offline on your game, it shows only the players that are locally available. Eg.- a friend of yours who is standing with his game on right beside you.
When you are online though, your game will show the most of the world that is connected on the internet with the game.
Thing is the only setting you change here is the internet setting, which you can switch off quite easily. I don't see the problem clearly enough.
Could you tell us the setting if possible?