Recently a number of people have asked where (and when) I plan to go from my Vengeance hull. I've been a little reticent with my answers, simply because I recognize that my views might change. For what it's worth, though, here is the current plan:
Vengeance > Purifier > Sacrilege > HAM Legion/Damnation
Yes, there is a method to my madness.
I'm committed to getting every relevant skill to level V. This is something I want to do with every ship on the above list, but I sometimes get the impression that people don't really believe me. They ask me when I'm moving on, or when I'm going to train battle cruisers.
The answer is, I'm not. This is a process that will take months. With complete focus, I'll probably be finished some time after Christmas. Maxing out your first ship takes a long, long time.
When I get closer to my goal, I'm going to invest in T2 rigs and a faction repair system (I'm trying to build up a cheap stockpile in the meantime - if anyone has a source for reasonably priced small coreli c-type armor repair systems, hook a pirate up!). That won't happen until my missile and tanking skills are maxed out, though, which will be some time in October.
Now, after coming across as all hard core and super focused, I'll relent a little. Just like every other player, I want my new shiny toys, so I'll be interspersing some skills for the Purifier with my Vengeance skills. Because of my past focus, I still won't be able to sit in a Purifier until October, as I have a number of prerequisites to cover, but it does mean that I'll be test-flying the ship before the Vengeance is finished - and that it will take me longer than planned to max out my Vengeance (although most of those skills will also benefit the Purifier).
There are a number of reasons that I've chosen the Purifier as my next ship. Some of these are obvious: it's cheap (compared to the alternatives), it builds on my soon-to-be-perfect missile skills, and it's perfect for my favourite thing in Eve - soloing above class ships.
However, there are some other important considerations. First, I need to be able to make a lot more money if I want to be able to fly T2/T3 cruisers one day. While I am winning progressively more and more of my fights as my Vengeance skills creep towards maximum, there is an upper limit on the profit a Vengeance can make; it just can't take on the "prize ships" without the help of a gang.
Enter the Purifier. With the ability to hunt down and kill battle cruisers and battleships, a well flown Purifier can potentially make much more money, laying the financial groundwork for later ships.
Equally, I would finally be able to contribute some meaningful dps to Tusker gangs, which is an area where I feel I have been letting the team down.
The Vengeance's big brother, it builds on all the skills I should already have maxed out: missiles, resistance tanking, and cap management. It should not actually take me too long to max this ship out, because the majority of the relevant skills should already be at V.
Not just able to contribute to a gang, but be part of the gang, up to and including fighting on gates and stations, the Sacrilege will round out the ships I can bring to the team. Although not a shield tanked BC, I hope that a resistance tanked Sacrilege will be able to keep up with the Harbingers/Hurricanes, as well as contribute similar dps. I really look forward to flying this ship.
A long, long way off, but probably the "best" ships I'll ever be tempted to fly. Again, they build on my core skills, making my training very efficient in the long run. I'm not sure where or how I would fly these; they are simply too far beyond my experience. Currently more of a theoretical goal than something I am devoted to acheiving, I don't see myself sitting in either of these ships for at least a year.