I did consider whether we could lower the maximum amount of energy, but increase the recharge rate. A ship could then have something like 300 energy and when at warp 4 it would recharge as fast as it drains (so would hold steady). However, using lots of systems would drain it faster than it recharges (for example, using warp, beams, torpedoes etc in combat) and therefore you’d have to pull out or adapt how you fight.
On the point about infinite torpedoes – in a way we already have that. In standard Artemis, you can recharge very slowly, in the Sandbox we can recharge more quickly using the FCS but in both we can convert that energy to torpedoes.
Having a ship withdraw from a combat is something that can create tension – removing their combat capability from the resource pool. I wonder though if this can still be done with well scripted missions. I think sometimes the GMs want to do more, however have to realise that our resources (energy) are not able to deal with it. They limit some engagements as a result, making them enjoyable and challenging, but not overwhelming and impossible. I wonder therefore if combat could become more intense and challenging if the GMs knew we weren’t going to have to withdraw for a period to recharge.
More often than not, ships have to withdraw due to damage sustained rather than loss of energy. There are also those times when ships are ambushed, or enemies cause us to need to split our focus. Take the escort mission for example – the Raven was alone with 3 pirates whilst the other ships where on the other side of the sector fighting. The other ships needed to withdraw from their combat to help, and it was a tense period for the crew of the Raven. I also think we could include much heavier enemies in our games, making skilled helm control and damage control bigger factors than they are now.
I like to hear the points being raised though, both for and against.