Let me say what I think I’ve learned from the game and correct me where I’m wrong.
VERY simply put:
Frigates are fastest lowest HP and only a couple of weapon slots. Fast enough to not get hit by cruisers that often.
Destroyer (me uses a Thrasher) a little slower but still fast, but will take hits from destroyers and larger but can still hit frigates a lot. A bunch or weapons slots and medium HP
Cruisers. Slow, cant hit frigates well but can hit destroyers, enough HP to make up for slow speed, fewer weapons but does more damage per.
I’ve used a Thrasher since the day I got my first one. See no need to use a frigate. Have only done PVE. I wanted to move up to a cruiser but wasn’t sure if it was necessarily better. Is it? Does the extra HP make up for the slow speed? Does the extra DPS make up for the lack of weapon slots (compared to a destroyer)? Or is it just a wash?
With my Thrasher I can handle combat zones up to a NPC Den, anything harder requires a lot of warping to repair sometimes blowing up. Will a Rupture do better than a Thrasher?