Queensland Floods: Bond University Turns To Minecraft

Faceroll_in_the_Level_up_LabIf you live in Australia you’ll have definitely seen the impact the weather has had in Queensland over the last week or more, with lots more people looking at being affected as the flood waters move down the river system.

There’s no real good news stories in such a situation but here’s a great yarn on how a Bond University academic worked around the weather to provide a scheduled class in Minecraft.

Have a read of the full story here – and tell us your stories of using games in ways that you otherwise thought you would have!

SWTOR Maintenance: January 8th 2013


A patch deployment maintenance downtime tonight of eight hours.

Local time conversions for you:

AEDT:  7pm-3am

AWST: 4pm-Midnight

NZDT: 9pm-5am

The full blurb from BioWare:



This is a reminder that we will be bringing down servers for eight hours on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 from 2AM CST (12AM PST/3AM EST/8AM GMT/9AM CET/7PM AEDT) until 10AM CST (8AM PST/11AM EST/4PM GMT/5PM CET/3AM AEDT). All game servers, SWTOR.com, and the launcher will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than eight hours, but could be extended.

For more information, please see our previous scheduled maintenance post.

Scheduled Maintenance

Date: Tuesday, January 8th, 2013


All game servers, SWTOR.com, and the launcher will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than eight hours.

Thank you for your patience as we maintain service for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.

SWTOR Fan Vid: Quintessential Conversations

Kreep, from Pandamonium Guild, has made this rather funny vid showing how everyone may not be treated equal at times:

It is a time of struggle, it a time of rebellion, it is a time for vacation. Wait, what? A few of the galaxy’s greatest heroes are due a little R&R, but one of their number is in for a totally different experience, Star Wars style.


Thanks to Kaisa for the heads-up!

Guild Wars 2 Wintersday Event Announced

Guild Wars 2 Wintersday

ArenaNet keep churning out the world events and as you’d guess for this time of year, they’ve announced a Christmas-themed event that goes back to the original game: Wintersday. There’s a short vid that previews what’s coming up between December 14th and January 3rd. Check it out for yourself here:

Even though it’s a short video, I like what I see. I’m also impressed that this isn’t just a bog-standard world event with some fairly static content – there are different events planned throughout the weeks of it being live.

Will you be jumping in and taking part?

Guild Wars 2 Free Trial Info

Guild Wars 2 Free Trial InfoArenaNet have announced that they’ll be running a Guild Wars 2 free trial for friends of current players, between the 15th and 18th November. The details:

We want you to experience Guild Wars 2 and Lost Shores with your friends, so on Monday November 12, we will turn on Refer a Friend Free Trial. You will be able to invite up to 3 Friends to play Guild Wars 2 with you for free from November 15-18.

To do so, you need a Guild Wars 2 account in good standing that was created before 23:59 PST (7:59 GMT) on November 6.

We will give you more details once the program goes live, but start thinking about who you want to invite!

I’d imagine this will be a fairly successful campaign given the momentum Guild Wars 2 has built up: what do you think?

SWTOR 1.4.0b Patch Notes

We were expecting SWTOR Patch 1.4.1 to drop, but it was just 1.4.0b. Here’s the incredibly detailed patch notes:

1.4.0b Patch Notes



  • Improved performance for players using NVIDIA graphics cards in an SLI configuration. (Please use the default SLI setting or AFR2, as AFR1 will result in poor performance with SWTOR.)
  • Corrected an issue that could prevent players from exiting their personal starship after completing Group Finder content.

SWTOR: No 12th Slot for Oceanic Servers – Yet

After a marathon server downtime of around 12 hours, things are back to normal but there’s one issue affecting oceanic players on local servers. It seems the 12th character slot isn’t available.

It seems it’s caught BioWare by surprise after being raised by the community, with Joveth Gonzalez posting this a little while ago:

No extra Character Slots for Oceanic | 09.18.2012, 10:05 PM
Hi folks! Thanks for raising awareness for this! Rest assured that Oceanic servers will be getting 12 character slots as well. Apologies for the confusion and the wait as we work on making this adjustment. Thank you for your patience!

No word on timeframes but we’ll let you know if it becomes clear.

GW2 Hits 2 Million Copies Sold: Just The Beginning?

For those (like me) that missed the press release, NCsoft have announced that sales of Guild Wars 2 has broken the 2-million mark. It’s a milestone for sure – some cynics say they’re surprised it took this long, but there’d have to be a great deal of happiness at NCsoft and ArenaNet on the achievement.

Predicting ongoing sales numbers is a bit like tea-leaf reading, but my feeling is that this is the first of many growth milestones for what is a very engaging game. What do you think?

The press release in full:

Critically-acclaimed online RPG quickly surpasses milestone after re-opening sales
NCsoft®, the world’s premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) and ArenaNet, developer of the renowned  Guild Wars franchise, has announced that the chart-topping MMO Guild Wars 2 has sold more than two million units. Despite temporarily halting first-party sales and replenishing retail stores to maintain an optimal player experience, Guild Wars 2surpassed the two million sales milestone shortly after turning sales back on.

Guild Wars 2, which launched just over two weeks ago, has captured the imagination of the gaming community around the world. With peak concurrency regularly exceeding 400,000 players and first week sales that placed it at the top of the All Formats charts across ten European territories, it’s clear that demand for the game remains high.

“Reactions from around the world justified the time and care we put into developing Guild Wars 2 and making it into the game it is today”, said Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet. “And this is only the beginning. We’re continually fine-tuning the game to deliver the polished experience that our players expect, and we’re already working on new adventures and experiences to introduce into this truly dynamic online world.”

Blizzard Start TV Spots for Mists of Pandaria

Blizzard in the US have started promoting the upcoming expansion on TV, with two different advertisements taken from the first cinematic released a bit over a week ago.

Here are the two ads:

For the avid and active WoW player there’s not much in there to get excited about, but we’re obviously not the audience. I also think it might have been good to show a second or two of actual gameplay.

What do you think?

EA Announce ‘First Game Play Tour’ of Australia

EA Australia have announced an “Australian” tour showcasing their new and upcoming games. I put the “Australian” in quotation marks because in reality it’s three cities on the east coast. For people who can get to the locations, it could be a bit of fun though.

It’s being held at the following places:

  • VIC – Westfield Fountain Gate, Melbourne – Thursday 6 to Sunday 9 September, 2012
  • VIC – Highpoint Shopping Centre, Melbourne – Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 September, 2012
  • NSW – Westfield East Gardens – Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 September, 2012
  • NSW – Westfield Parramatta – Tuesday 25 to Sunday 30 September, 2012
  • QLD – Westfield Carindale – Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 October, 2012

The games you’ll be able to have a closer look at include: EA SPORTS FIFA 13Need for Speed™ Most WantedMedal of Honor™ Warfighter, Dead Space3, Crysis®3 and more. The “more” is interesting in that we don’t know if any MMOs like SWTOR and TSW will be available to play – we’ve put in a query to EA and will let you know.

Over to you: will you turn up to have a gander?

SWTOR: Server Downtime Tonight

We jinxed things on Monday saying that we’d maybe get through the week without a maintenance downtime. Given the issues with the world event some have had, I’m not surprised they’ve had to patch the game, which is what is happening for two hours this afternoon:

AEST: 5pm-7pm
AWST: 3pm-5pm
NZST: 7pm-9pm

At least it’s only two hours early in the evening. The full BioWare blurb:

We will be deploying a patch and performing an unscheduled maintenance this Thursday, August 16th, 2012. Patch notes will be made available shortly after the servers come back up.

The servers and SWTOR.com will be down for two hours on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8 AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 4AM CDT (2AM PDT/5AM EDT/10AM BST/11AM CEST/7PM AEST). All game servers will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than two hours, but could be extended.

After the maintenance, please login via the launcher to download the latest patch. If your launcher was open during the maintenance, you must close and reopen it for a fresh login.


Date: Thursday, August 16th, 2012


All game servers and SWTOR.com will be offline during this period. This game maintenance is expected to take no more than two hours.

Star Wars 1313: Second Trailer Released

Time for a second taste of the upcoming Star Wars 1313 (you can see the first teaser here):

There’s not a huge amount more than you see in the first trailer, but there’s enough to keep a lot of people panting until it’s actually released!

Over to you: is this a game that you’ll be buying?