COURSERA - Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative
Anyone on Arkenstone taking this online course? Looking for others to do the weekly assignments with and discuss, if necessary. I'm thinking of taking the experienced player route :)
Gameplay for Week 1 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
Download and install Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). Choose any server you like. There will be lots of Coursera students on every server. Then complete the Tutorial and the Intro quests. You will know that you have completed the Intro when a NPC (non-player character) in the introductory area asks if you are ready to travel to the next zone (the Shire for Hobbits and humans, Thorin’s Gate for Dwarves, Celendim for Elves). When you get out of the Intro area, be sure to turn in your quest to complete the sequence of introductory quests. If you are an experienced player of LOTRO, enjoy the game for week! No need to create a new character just for the course.
Gameplay for Week 2 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
MMOs are social games. The existence of an online community in a persistent world creates opportunities for emergent narrative experiences and gameplay that go beyond simply completing pre-defined quests to advance your character. This week’s in-game activities ask you to explore (or if you are a more experienced player, help others to explore) the social world of LOTRO.
• Join a kinship, or for experienced players who are already in a kinship, visit your kinship house and put an item useable by a player who is below level 20 in your kinship chest for someone else to use without charge.
• Acquire a crafting skill and craft an item of any sort.
If you are an experienced player with an advanced crafting rank, craft 3 Tier-2 items that you think a new player would want and put them up for Auction at below market prices to help new users.
• Take a screenshot of yourself at the crafting area.
Gameplay for Week 3 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
Join a Great Barrow group (often advertised in Looking for Fellowship [lff] chat as GB), and attempt the quest to kill Sambrog. You do not have to successfully complete the quest, although I imagine that you would prefer that outcome to having everyone in your group die (often called having your group “wipe”). Notice how dark and confusing the maze-like underground Barrow is.
If you are an experienced player, form a level-20 to level-30 Sambrog group, depending on what players need, and help one or more players complete the quest (if no one will join your low-level group after 3 attempts to form one, run Sambrog at whatever level you want).
Gameplay for Week 4 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
Find the Forsaken Inn in the Lone Lands then try to reach the top of Weathertop. The Ranger Candaith has several level-22 quest, including Book 2, Chapter 5 of the Epic Quest Line, “Retake Weathertop,” that will take you to the top, but you do not need to have accepted that quest to complete the course assignment. If you do not have a character significantly higher than level 22, you will have to join a group to fight your way to the top of Weathertop. You do not have to succeed in reaching the top, but you must try. Experienced players should go to the Lone Lands and form a group to help newer players reach the summit of Weathertop. It would be best if you ran “Retake Weathertop” again, but that is not required.
Gameplay for Week 5 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
Join a “chicken run” from Michel Delving to Rivendell. Kinships on many servers have already begun volunteering to escort you on this perilous run. We hope each server will organize one or more chicken runs during Week 5 of the class because you will need high-level support to make it safely to Rivendell.
Take a screenshot of yourself on the chicken run—students on the Distinction Track will need to post it to get credit on the weekly quiz—and, believe me, you will want to have a memento of this event! If you don’t see a group organizing a chicken run on your server, you should take the initiative yourself (be sure to invite some high-level friends along to escort you!). But if you can’t get a group to escort you, do not be concerned. You can try it all by yourself. You probably won’t make it, but you don’t have to go all the way to the Last Homely House to fulfill the assignment. Just making an attempt will give you credit. A solo chicken run is terrifying and funny at the same time; a group chicken run promises to be truly hilarious!
Gameplay for Week 6 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):
• TBA. We want to wait to hear the ideas of our students for what the culminating week of game play should be!