LoTRO – Initial Character Creation Walk-through

Tour of Middle-Earth

Now that the new session of Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative has gone live a guide to character creation is really useful for those who are not used to on line games.

A mentor on the course, Perizota, posted this great, very detailed walk-through of how to create your first character. She kindly gave me permision to post it here so that non English speakers can take advantage of the translate function. In nocks the socks off the video I did two years ago. I have put that at the bottom of her post in case you would like to see character creation in action.

Perizota’s guide.

This walk-through is designed for those who have not previously played LOTRO.

You should have already created your LOTRO account with a username and password, and downloaded the client (game).

When you open the game, you will see the following screen. Enter your username and password and click on the Log In button.

You will then see a screen to select your server.

From Prof. Clayton’s welcome letter:

I hope many of you will join me and your classmates playing Lord of the Rings Online, but the game is optional except for those of you who want to pursue Honors. If you are already playing LOTRO, feel free to continue with your present account, but the following servers are recommended for those who are just starting (or who want to create a new character to play along with your classmates). There are Coursera kinships on each of the servers listed below, which will have special events scheduled for the course:

• Arkenstone (kinship: Eagles of Thorondor)

• Gladden (kinship: Vicarious Universe)

• Landroval (role-playing server—kinship: Courserrim)

• Laurelin (European role-playing server— kinship: Course of the Ring)

As we start this adventure together, remember those familiar words from Tolkien: The Road goes ever on and on. . . . We look forward to sharing the journey with you

Select your chosen server and click the Play button.

After some load screens you will see the character selection screen.

On the upper left side of the screen is a selection box for which race you would like to choose for your character as well as the Male or Female selection boxes. (Dwarf only has a Male option.)

I’ve shown the main four race’s screenshots below. (Beornings are available for purchase, they are not included with the free-to-play option.)

On the upper right side of the screen you will see the specifics for each race, including strengths and weaknesses. There is also a Play Movie button available for more information on each race.

You will notice that for each race the Class Selection area in the lower left portion of the screen changes. Not all classes are available for all races. If you want to play a particular class, you will have to choose a compatible race. (Beornings can only be Beornings.)

Rune-Keeper and Warden are not included with Free-to-Play.

The race of Man can be any class except Rune-Keeper.

The race of Dwarf can be a Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, or Rune-Keeper.

The race of Hobbit can be a Burglar, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, or Warden.

The race of Elf can be a Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-Master, Minstrel, Rune-Keeper, or Warden.

The Class Info area on the lower right side shows the difficulty level of the class, their role, and basics of gameplay for the class. Again, there is also a Play Movie button available for more information on each class.

There are many materials available online for further research if you wish more information before making a final decision. One such resource can be found at this link.

Once you have made your Male/Female, Race, and Class selections, click the Continue button at the bottom center of the page.

The next screen will allow you to choose customization options for the appearance of your character.

The Select Origin section in the upper left portion of the screen gives you options from which to choose within each race. Each option provides a slightly different set of choices for customization.

You may choose the Randomize button at the bottom right of the screen rather than make individual selections. You can continue to click the button to see additional random combinations until you find one you like, but once you click it your previous selections are gone.

The button in the middle bottom portion of the screen allows you to rotate the picture using the arrows, and zoom in or out using the + and – symbols.

The Customize area on the right side of the screen allows you to choose various options for head shape, which includes ears and nose, hair style, eye shape, eyebrows, mouth, details, which includes moles, scars, wrinkles, etc., eye colour, skin colour, hair colour, and body type.

For the first six options, you can scroll through the different choices by using the arrow keys. The option number will change as you scroll. I recommend keeping track of which options you like so you can try them out in different combinations.

Once you are happy with your choice for a particular option, you can click on the lock icon so that you do not accidentally change that option

The eye, skin, and hair colour options are adjusted by clicking in the color box.

The body type option is a slider bar.

Once you have all of your customizable option selected, it is time to choose a name using the Enter Your Name box at the top of the screen.

You may choose to use the Randomize button under the Enter Your Name box rather than type in a name. You can continue to click the button to see additional random names until you find one you like, but once you click it your previous selection is gone.

Be prepared to try several names. LOTRO has been running for 8 years and a lot of names have already been used. Be patient and creative with alternate spellings.

Once you have found an available name, click on the Create button at the bottom middle of the screen. Ido not recommend checking the skip new user tutorial box.

When your character is created you will see a new screen which shows your created character(s) for the server you selected.

To enter the game click on your character’s name on the left, then the Enter Middle Earth button on the right.

The first time you login you will be in the Introductory Tutorial. Just follow the prompts as they show on your screen. If you need help, ask anyone in the Coursera chat channel on your server. Joining the chat channel is described in a separate thread.

I hope you have found this walk-through to be of use. Any suggestions for improvement are welcomed.

Enjoy the game!

Perizota (Pz)

My video

I maintain this site to draw attention to charities that I support. If you enjoy reading my notes consider making a small donation to one of these charities. No donation is too small, you could change a life.

 Doesn’t everyone deserve clean water?



Online Games: Get set to start a new session

troll fightI was very excited to receive an email this morning telling me that “Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative” is now open for registration”. The class goes live next Monday, June 13th and I have the honor of being a community TA (teaching assistant) for this session.

I took this university-level English literature course two years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. The course was great, rereading the novels took me on a trip down memory lane. I re-watched the films and ate a lot of popcorn. Then there is the game. I played the online game for the course and I still play today.

Jay Clayton: Course Instructor

The course is described in the introduction by Jay Clayton, our instructor from Vanderbilt University.

The course is designed as a university-level English literature class—a multi-genre, multimedia tour of how literature, film, and games engage in the basic human activity of storytelling.  Our journey will enable us to learn something about narrative theory, introduce us to some key topics in media studies and cover some of the history and theory of video games.  It will also take us to some landmarks of romance literature, the neverending story that lies behind most fantasy games: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, a bit of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, and poems by Keats, Tennyson, Browning, and others.

How to enroll

Go to the Coursera home page  https://www.coursera.org/ . In the search box, top center, type ‘online games’ and press your enter key ↵ .
Coursera-home page

This will take you to a list of available courses. For ‘Online Games’ there are two. You want to select the first one in the list. The second one takes you to the previous courses.

Coursera - selection

When you click on the picture or the course title you will go straight to the course details. All the information that your need for the course is there. You can either purchase the course or take it for free by selecting ‘audit’. Read about the different options and what you will receive if you pay by selecting the ‘Pricing’ tab or by looking through the FAQs.

Whichever you decide, I hope that you will download and play the massively multiplayer online game The Lord of the Rings, LOTRO for short. To do this you will need a computer capable of running the game, the requirements are detailed on the Turbine web site http://www.lotro.com/free.php.

Course help

There is a lot of help for the course. The course is run through videos, readings and course work. If you need help then have a look at the forums. The first thing to do is search the forum to see if some one has asked your question before. The chances are that if you have difficulty with something then so will someone else. No question is a dumb question, we all started somewhere so don’t be afraid to ask.

Your questions will be answered either by a TA or by your classmates. Sometimes several people will contribute. You can find new friends by joining a forum for your country, your kinship, your age-group, there are so many possibilities.

If you are answering questions, please remember that not everyone is at the same level and English is not everyone’s first language. So again, no question is a dumb question. Be polite and play nice. This way we will all enjoy the experience a lot more.

In game help

Don’t worry if you have never played an on-line game before. It can be quite daunting but help is at hand.

You first need to download the game and register as a user. This is free for everyone, however I found that I got more out of the game by purchasing “Samwise Gamgee’s Starter Pack” for $9.99 from the LOTRO store. It gives you certain advantages right from the beginning, such as a horse and some bags for your character to use.

Then there are all the ‘kinships’. Kinships are your tribes, clans, family, groups of like minded people who like to play together and help each other.

There are Coursera kinships on each of the servers listed below, which will have special events scheduled for the course. Have a look at the websites, get in touch with other players and find out where you fit in the best.

Gladden (kinship: Vicarious Universe): Website: http://vicariousuniverse.shivtr.com/

Landroval (role-playing recommended—kinship: Courserrim): Website: http://www.courserrim.org/

Laurelin (role-playing required, many European players— kinship: Course of the Ring): Website: http://coursera.shivtr.com/

Arkenstone (kinship: Eagles of Thorondor): Website:  http://www.eaglesofthorondor.com/

Once you have completed the in game tutorial and the introduction quests you will be able to contact a Kinship. You will know when you have completed the introduction as a character will tell you. Each of the servers has a chat channel especially devoted to the class.  To join the channel, click in the chat box, then type: /joinchannel coursera then press your return key and then type a message, ‘I’m here’ is enough to draw attention. Mentors in the Kinships will be watching out for you.

Although the course doesn’t start until the 13th you can be prepared by downloading the game and becoming familiar with your character, how to move, how to control weapons and generally get a feel of the game.

My story of starting out is {here}.

I look forward to meeting you in the forums or in game.

I maintain this site to draw attention to charities that I support. If you enjoy reading my notes consider making a small donation to one of these charities. No donation is too small, you could change a life.

 Doesn’t everyone deserve clean water?



Free MOOCs? Forget about it.

I just wanted to register for part two of Modern and Post Modern. It is still free but there are changes. If I want a certificate I have to pay. Such a little thing a certificate. I could probably knock one up myself. I know I should appreciate education for education’s sake. I know I should………


Coursera’s free Statements of Accomplisments die a quiet death.

Source: Free MOOCs? Forget about it.

Visualizing Japan

I haven’t posted for a while. I have been engrossed in my most recent course which started on 3rd September and has recently finished.

Visualizing Japan (1850s-1930s): Westernization, Protest, Modernity

Presented by: John Dower, Andrew Gordon, Shigeru Miyagawa, Gennifer Weisenfeld

A first-time MITx/HarvardX collaboration, VJx opens windows on Japan’s transition into the modern world through the historical visual record. The modules cover:

  • Use of visual records as primary sources for the study of history;
  • Black Ships & Samurai — Commodore Matthew Perry’s 1853-54 expedition to force Japan to open its doors to the outside world;
  • Social Protest in Imperial Japan: The Hibiya Riot of 1905 — the first major social protest in the age of “imperial democracy” in Japan;
  • Modernity in Interwar Japan: Shiseido & Consumer Culture — exploring the vast archives of the Shiseido cosmetics company opens a fascinating window on the emergence of consumer culture, modern roles for women, and global cosmopolitanism.


The Holy Grail: A good end game

Lord Tennyson.

The Coursera on-line course  Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative draws to a close. I will be sorry to see it finished although the virtual friends I have made will live on in the game.

Another fruitful week saw discussions of art and literature. In particular we read together Lord Tennyson’s poem “Ulysses.” and analysed it. We also looked at some wonderful paintings by Turner and other artists and compared scene setting with those in the game and the film.



Pwning Spenser’s Faerie Queene

File:The Faerie Queene frontispiece.jpg

‘The Faerie Queene’ by Edmund Spenser  1590

Week five of the Coursera on-line course  Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative is already upon us. For this week we are readying first Canto of Book III of  Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene

The discussion for the week was very varied. We talked about Spenser and his poems, their allegory, formation and what it was to be a poet to royalty in his day.  We related some of the work he did with other works we have studied on the course so far and, of course, to Lord of The Rings book and Film. We looked at art and representations of this and other works. Finally Jay showed us how his students had re-mediated some of this work into a game.



Space and time in three media

StoryworldFor fourth week of the Coursera on-line course  Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative the syllabus asks us to read the dictionary entries in the “Literary Studies Glossary” from the Free University, Berlin Germany on the following entries:

Story vs. Discourse



Discourse time vs. story time

Functions of space

In the videos for the week these different aspects of mediation were discussed in terms of literature, film and games.

Romance and realism

“La Belle Dame sans Merci” by Henry Meynell Rheam, 1901 Wikimedia

It is now week three of the Coursera course that I have embarked on Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative. It is such an interesting course for me and brings together a lot of the other courses that I lave taken on Literature, New Media, Greek Heroes and even a little philosophy.   This week we read another wonderful work John Keats’s poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci”. Although we have finished reading the The Fellowship of the Ring our viewing for this week was Peter Jackson’s movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It is many years since I read the book or watched the film. Doing both so close together highlighted the differences and also the wonderful way that Peter Jackson was able to recreated Middle Earth.

I found the title of the poem interesting. For me it read – “The beautiful woman without thank you”. Researching the old French meaning of ‘Merci’ took me on an joyous etymological trip. (more…)

LOTRO and Tolkien

Modes of Storytelling

Modes of sotry telling


This week we’re going to put the concept of remediation to work as we begin to compare the three modes; Novel, Movie and Game. By Mode, we mean simply “the medium of presentation”. Film is a mode, writing is a mode, painting, photography and sculpture are all Modes. (more…)

Problems with bears – LOTRO

Pet bear.

New Lore-Master

New Lore-Master

Traveling around Middle Earth with my Elf Hunter and my Hobbit Minstrel I have been envious of characters with pet bears. So why not create one? Here is my new character. A human Lore-Master.

She is not yet out of the introductory zone. In this picture she is riding the free 24 hour horse that comes with the introductory blue gift pack.

The picture was a little dark, it seems to be night quite often when I play. I have enhanced the picture to include it here.


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