Turbine's latest Lord of the Rings Online dev diary is worth reading if you're wondering how the dev team plans to generate suspense in a narrative where it doesn't actually exist. We know how the battle of Helm's Deep turns out, in other words, and so gameplay in LotRO's forthcoming expansion presents a design challenge when it comes to keeping players engaged.
Turbine's solution involves the moment-to-moment state of a battle whose ultimate outcome is already decided. "How many soldiers survive the wall, how many banners were burnt down, how many injured Rohirrim survived a diversionary assault," the firm asks. "All of these questions, and more, matter for various quests and objectives within Helm's Deep."