I remember when I first looked at the Thermodynamics skill I thought, “That might be handy, but I’ve got a lot of other stuff that will be more useful.” That has changed.
I’m currently training Thermodynamics to level 5 (one of the final dozen - yea! \o/ - skills that I need to get from 4 to 5 to complete the Infamous Rifter Plan). And I can’t wait for it to get finished. As opposed to my first acquaintance with overheating where I thought it was a mysterious and scary procedure that was sure to burn up my ship – I now find it indispensable.
When out on a roam and flying from place to place I always (well, when I remember) activate my damage control and then overheat everything in anticipation of trouble. When a fight does come along I always start off with everything overheated (“turned up to 11”) and once I’m orbiting close and have my victim webbed and scrammed I turn the overheating off on those modules (that shift-click combo is so much easier than the old method of trying to hit the tiny bar with adrenalin-active hands…).
My guns and missile launcher stay overheated for the entire battle. My afterburner usually does too. And often, in the excitement of the moment, I forget about the heat and everything stays at “11” (though I’m getting better with this and it’s not happening as often as it once did).
In summary, the 11+ day wait for Thermodynamics to go from level 4 to 5 is well worth it for me. I rarely burn out modules (my fights are too short) but having some extra time before they go up in smoke will make combat much more comfortable.