Happy birthday to the EVE Evolved column! The column is one year old today. Last week, I launched a competition for one lucky reader to win a fully fitted battleship of their choice. All they had to do was leave a comment and say which previous article in the column was their favourite. 44 people entered the competition before the April 25th deadline and a winner was selected via random number generator. Congratulations to regular Massively reader Vundal! As he's a relatively new player, Vundal opted to receive a fully fitted, rigged Drake battlecruiser and a set of implants rather than a battleship of the same value.

In today's column, I celebrate this anniversary occasion with a little self-indulgence as I take a look at a few of my personal favourite column posts.

Research:
In creating my weekly column, I always have to research the topic I'm posting about. Although I'm familiar with almost every aspect of EVE Online after over five years playing the game, I often surprise myself with how much I don't know about a topic when I begin researching it. I often realise that I've barely scratched the surface and find myself being absorbed in researching it more thoroughly. Because of that, there are some articles that have really stood out to me when writing them and which I feel better off for having investigated.

EVE's server model
In researching this article, I became even more fascinated with EVE's server model than I previously had been. With information being released on the Infiniband project, I must admit I've gotten excited about the future potential for the EVE server cluster. In writing this post, I discovered that the effect that the server model can have on gameplay and player interaction is a surprising factor that is often ignored by game developers. Although this post was massively successful (excuse the pun), there were others that stood out to me just as much or more than this one.

EVE PvP vs Age of Conan PvP
This article was a pleasure to write, even if was a little optimistic of Age of Conan. Coming from the MMO background I had and then playing Age of Conan gave me a rare perspective on the game. EVE Online's harsh high-consequence PvP was absolutely nothing like the fantasy gankfest I found in Age of Conan. Even so, I found myself enjoying it almost as much but for completely different reasons. If anything, writing this article has made me more open-minded about what will and won't work in an MMO.

Electronic Warfare
Occasionally I'll write an article that actively inspires me to make a change of career in EVE. This series of articles on Electronic Warfare was adapted from the Electronic Warfare section of an earlier but much less concise guide I'd written for my own website entitled "The anatomy of PvP". Writing the article made me desperately want to be an electronic warfare specialist. After writing it, I hopped straight into a cheap Blackbird and headed out for some awesome roaming gang pvp with corpmates. Although the PvP masterclass articles were just as influential and informative as the series on Electronic Warfare, they didn't give me the same enthusiasm as I'd gleaned from writing this series.

This article was originally published on Massively.