Turbine in the weeks leading up to the release of Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood, and the latest LotRO developer diary gives a behind the scenes look at creating the regions in Mirkwood.
Jesse "Vastin" Kings writes about the fun the team had getting to play with new areas, monsters, and quests, and the challenge of balancing those plans with the available resources. Working with the original Lord of the Rings story line posed another challenge sometimes when it came to filling in the game and still remaining true to Tolkien.
Of course, not everything was on the showy, fun, creative side: "...it might interest you to know that the single largest share of all the time I've spent working on Mirkwood was in trying to figure out and implement ways to keep our servers from being reduced to piles of smoking slag within hours of Siege of Mirkwood going live and all of you hurling yourselves at it at once."
The full entry can be read here.