It's funny that a television writing scenario has come up since more and more I lean on viewing mmo's like ongoing series. Would it be so financially unfeasible to have say, a small dedicated team of writers or even enlisting the help of freelance writers wholly immersed in the mythos, ala Star Trek or similar fansized talent, to slip in one or two tiny but semi-epic mini missions throughout a year. These stories would hopefully add more depth and dimension to the worlds as the primary dev teams focus on the grander scaled releases. Reward tied to these stories would perhaps be cosmetic or equivalent to the challenge. Nothing equivalent to a major expansion, of course. This small team would be tasked to continue injecting these storylines at a slow but steady clip.
Small quality storylines that can stand on their own yet continue to help flesh out the grayer areas of an evolving world. Pen and paper full circle?