(There are a few old topics on similar ideas, but none of them are in the suggestion forum. They are also old enough that I feel re-visiting the idea might be worthwhile)
Unfortunately, a nontrivial portion of people playing IC² are only doing so because it's required to progress in a modpack that they are playing. Many of them are used to being babied by other mods, do not care to RTFM, and then go whine to each other when stuff breaks because of their lack of knowledge, creating a negative impression of IC² to players who might otherwise enjoy the mod but haven't tried it yet.
I propose that when you first place machines down, they *don't* draw power yet. When you first open the GUI, there is a slot with an angry-red background and a bubble of text explaining the situation (and giving a moment to shout RTFM! to those players that didn't):
In order to connect the machine to whatever wires touch its casing, you need to insert a fuse (or fuse substitute):
- A fuse, but for gameplay reasons those are fairly expensive (especially at higher tiers). Still cheaper than having a machine explode, but not something to take lightly, especially since the fuse is completely destroyed in the act of saving the machine.
- An (un/insulated?) wire of the appropriate tier. Far cheaper than a fuse, but because it's enclosed within the machine, there are no guarantees that it will burn out fast enough. 50% chance of saving the machine, and the text can hint that in-world cables are a better alternative to fuses.
- Any metal item. If you really just need EU to flow, and don't mind the occasional shower of sparks coming from the GUI while it's open, you can stick any metal item in the slot. Absolutely no protection, though. Maybe there's even a chance that the current flowing through will weld the item into place, making it hard or impossible to remove? If you want to cause havoc for somebody else, throw a literal wrench in the works, then crank the voltage!
The fuse slot would only be accessible to players, so if they mess up they will have to go to every affected machine and insert a new fuse. As a small bonus, it might encourage structure designs that put some thought towards maintenance access.