I don't know how the game is architected so I'm not sure if this is a very easy change or not.
The problem: As a player, you want to be able to *do things*. Unfortunately, when piloting, flying around builds heat quickly, so *not* maneuvering is often as good or better than maneuvering. Additionally, engineers often drop power to the engines, which can be very frustrating for pilots who find their controls get sluggish as hell.
The solution: Much like how engineering controls the *recharge* rate of weapons and shields, but these systems do not draw power when fully baked, what Engineering also controlled the *recharge* rate of engines? A pilot would have maybe 30-40 seconds worth of maneuvering energy that could be burned at full speed, and can see how much they have in a gauge.
When the engine reserves are below full power, they start drawing power from the reactor to recharge. At full power, the reserves might get refilled faster than the pilot can use it. But if Engineering cuts power to zero, the pilot instead becomes aware they are losing reserves and has time to communicate the situation, instead of suddenly feeling the ship behave badly.
Escaping would be made a bit easier with this (since the pilot could burn the engines while the jump drive spins up without using energy) with time to recharge the engines while in warp.
Optionally, this could also add a dimension for new content, since an otherwise underwhelming engine could have a huge reserve, or a new separate item slot could be added.
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