Further to my previous post about Penumbra, the Caldari Epic mission arc, I'm pleased to report I managed to complete the saga without the predicted loss of my battleship. Even better news was the total profits. If I was a 'proper' EVE player, I'd be able to give you an exact breakdown in spreadsheet form of my total income/expenditure for the whole adventure. But I can't, nor would I want to.
What I can tell you is that over the week or so it took me to complete the arc, my wallet increased by about 300 million isk. That was from mission rewards, bounties and sale of loot and salvage. On top of that, I'm now the proud owner of a Hyasyoda Research Laboratory - which is bloody useless without a POS (Player-Owned-Station/Pilot-Owned-Starbase/whatever).
So now I've finally got a bit of wedge behind me (just under a billion) and my skills are approaching a crossroads, I need to make a decision on what to spend the money on and what direction to take next. The options are as follows;
Option 1: Buy the Golem Tech II Marauder-class battleship. Apparently, it's the ultimate missioning ship and would maximise my mission-grinding ability. The downside to this is that it would take my entire cash-reserves to get it and my skills aren't quite there yet. Plus it would just send me back into the mission-grinding loop again, which wouldn't really feel like progress.
Option 2: Buy a Chimera Carrier. Although potentially huge fun, I'm not sure what it's application would be other than acting as a trouble-magnet due to it's inability to get into high-sec space. Also, like the Golem, a few additional weeks of skill-training would be required.
Option 3: Buy a Cerberus Tech II Heavy Assault Ship, fit it for PvP and get involved in some local action. At 100m isk a go, if I get it blown up at least I can afford to replace it a few times before I have to go back to missioning.
Option 4: Buy a Tech III Strategic Cruiser. This has the customisability to operate as a missioning ship, a PVPer and a 0.0/wormhole explorer. I'm quite excited by this option but, like the carrier, will I end up not using it because I'm frightened to lose it?
Option 5: Purchase a POS so I can make use of my epic mission reward. I can start trying to improve our existing blueprints and try inventing some Tech II stuff. This is the most corp-centric option and it's something new.
Look at those options, financially it is achievable for me to do more than one of options 3, 4 and 5. Options 1 and 2 are pretty much one-shot deals. Some suggestions would be very welcome, especially from those who must've reached this juncture at some point in the past.