Every player, upon creating a new character in EVE, is presented with a diverse array of choices. First, there are the four main races, each of which has their own distinct bloodlines, and from there you pick your character's background and career path. That being said, and this is one of the great things about EVE, aside from determining your appearance, stats, and starting skills you aren't fenced into any set "class" and are free to train the skills for anything you want. Young industrial players may find a new direction in combat, and even hardened veterans can discover something new by cross-training for the ships of another race. The purpose of this article is to give you a taste of what the Amarr race has to offer, but first, a history lesson:
Basically, the Amarr are the self-proclaimed "Master Race" of New Eden. After becoming the dominant culture in their own part of space they set out to discover other new worlds, and conquer them. To cut a long story short, they encountered another of the main races in EVE, the Minmatar, and used their entire population as slave labour. This all came to a halt, however, when they ran into the Jovians, the highly advanced and utterly mysterious fifth major race. The resulting Amarr-Jove conflict ended in a horrific defeat for the Amarrian war machine, and gave the Minmatar the perfect opening to mount a rebellion. Those that escaped their former masters formed their own state and this was the foundation for the great Minmatar Republic that stands today.
Being an empire, there is one being at the heart of all of this, and that person, currently, is Empress Jamyl Sarum. Her triumphant return from the dead came during the invasion of Amarr space by the Minmatar Elder fleet, when she appeared with her personal entourage and single-handedly took down a Titan, along with its supporting fleet. These events lead to her being celebrated by the Amarrian people and quickly brought into power as the present ruler. Recently, Empress Sarum's dramatic proclamation to release many millions of Minmatar slaves has caused a mixed response from the factions of New Eden, and it's likely that she has only just begun with the changes she has in mind for the Amarr Empire.
With the background out of the way, let's get to the important stuff, like lasers. Glorious lasers! Despite a few that drift off into drones or missiles, these are the primary weapons of the Amarrian warships. There's an entire line of ships that specialise as laser gunboats, from the Omen cruiser to the Armageddon battleship. Instead of using traditional ammunition, like hybrid charges or missiles, they use different crystals to focus the lasers and produce the desired effect. While Faction and Tech 2 crystals can only be used for ten thousand and one thousand shots, respectively, Tech One crystals are an infinite source of ammo, so as long as your ship remains intact, they will too. Not having to pack in stacks of ammo also gives you a bit more space in your cargo hold. Pulse lasers, in particular, have better optimal ranges than any of the other short range turrets, and this can be useful in some fights by allowing you to open fire at targets as soon as you warp into the fight, rather than having to move into range first. This range advantage can also be exploited by faster Amarr ships, as it allows them to operate outside of Web and Warp Scrambler range while they take down their target. Of course, lasers also have a drawback in that they are limited to doing Electromagnetic and Thermal damage; which is fine for taking down most shield tanks, but suffers somewhat against armour. And speaking of armour...
Amarr ships, almost without exception, have armour tanks, and, as with lasers, there's an entire line of ships that have bonuses to armour tanking. The Punisher, Maller, Prophecy, and Abaddon all get an extra boost to all of their damage resistances, which means that they receive more effective hit points from fitting armour plates. The downside is that as you add more plates the ships get heavier, and less agile; making them some of the slowest ships in a fleet.
The Amarr have often been referred to by CCP as the "Capacitor Warfare" race, but what does that mean? Well, for one thing, they rely entirely on their capacitor to be effective; lasers take a fair bit of cap to use and because of this most of their ships have a bonus that reduces the capacitor use of lasers. You can also expect an Amarr ship to have a much larger amount of capacitor energy than those of another race, and when they aren't happy with what they have, they are stealing it from everyone else. Nosferatu and Neutralizers are one of the main forms of Electronic Warfare (EW) used by the Amarr Recons and Electronic Attack Ships. The Curse and Sentinel in particular boast a bonus to the range, as well as the effectiveness, of these modules and can suck the capacitor of an enemy dry very rapidly indeed. Even when they aren't doing that they are using Tracking Disruptors, the second form of Amarr EW, to dramatically reduce the tracking and range of enemy gun ships. Then there's the Pilgrim, which swaps the range bonus to Energy Vampires for a cloaking ability, so it can stalk up right beside you and get cozy before it pounces.
Lastly, there are the missiles. Yes, missiles. Khanid, a kingdom within the Amarr Empire, has designed ships that are a little distinctive than their golden peers. Firstly, they look very different (black hulls with blue lights), but most importantly they are built to use missile launchers over lasers. Specifically, they get bonuses for the short ranged missiles such as Rockets and Heavy Assault Missiles, but the thing that is exciting to Amarr pilots is the fact that Missiles don't use any capacitor to fire. This means that ships like the Vengeance and Sacrilege can put all of their capacitor into running their tanking or propulsion modules, and they are more than capable of being able to fit and run one, or even more, Armour Repair modules permanently. All of this makes them fierce close range brawlers that make up for a lack of damage with strong tanks.
As someone who has been flying Amarr ships since I started EVE almost four years ago, I'm going to be horribly biased and say that they are a brilliant race to fly. Fly Amarr if you're the kind of person who likes the sound of stomping around New Eden in a golden spacecraft dispensing laser death as you go.
And who doesn't like lasers?