In general, I have several ships set up for different purposes, and switch to each when I need/want those qualities. Right now, I have one ship that is my 'main command', and is my favorite for most activities (and favorite overall ship in the game), one that is set up for science/tactical, and one that is set up for PVP. While I will use my main ship for any activity, the other two are for the times I want to switch it up and try a different mode of play.
At the same time, I differentiate between ships I can discharge and not lose, and the ones that I will not regain once I discharge them. I have one slot dedicated to any Z-store ship I want to use, with the others reserved for the ships I can't replace if they are lost. In this way, I can rotate out the Z-store ships I own without concern for losing anything, and the others can serve as storage in the event I am not using them. Also, as you can only technically command one ship at a time, there's no point in having more than one Z-store ship out at a time unless you have the slots free and have a role for the ship that isn't filled by a non-replaceable ship.
My lower-tier ships I tend to hang onto against the possibility we see more Tier-restricted missions like the Vault in the future.
I've been playing for a year now, since free to play. In that time I've filled up my eight ship slots with an Atrox, AC Refit (Regent), Defiant Retro, Science Vesta, the free Oddy, free Ambassador, and two fleet ships. I only have one character at level 50 so far, a Science. I usually end up flying my Regent most of the time, but occationally switch if I'm in the mood. Right now flying the Ambassador.
My question is, What do you do with your various ships? Is it simply a matter of "I'm in the mood to fly this one today"? Or do you have certain ships dedicated for certain situations, ie a "PVP ship" or "STF ship"?
I'm looking for some ideas, so I feel like I have a purpose in having all these ships and they are not collecting dust for no reason. Hopefully this makes sense. Please share your ideas or what you have done yourself!
It's usually a mood thing for me. Do I want an Akira-lookin' thing? I jump in my Armitage. Do I want the biggest ship in the game? Atrox. Do I want to fantasize about being able to afford the DS9 Bundle? Defiant-R it is? Do I want to transform and roll out? Chimera. Do I want to do stuff FOR SCIENCE!!!!!!! ? Vesta.
And so on. That said I almost never buy more than 1 weapon set unless the ship type calls for it (like buying disruptors for my Atrox or extra beams for my Regent), so almost every time I move to an escort I'm using my old Borg DHCs and the Quad cannons.