An Idea to rebalance Max Speed without breaking everything
Ok, I understand why the speed limit is in place. Going too fast breaks the game. That made me realise, it is kind of the same IRL too, going too fast and approaching the speed of light kinda breaks physics. . So I am not telling you to increase the speed limit to some ungodly figure. But there are other ways around this. The question we need to look at is why players want a higher max speed. It is not really about going somewhere fast as Jump drives can pretty much take you anywhere you want to go. The core of the problem is that no matter how awesome your attack fighter craft is, It is the same speed as a bulky cargo freighter. With enough gyros, a cargo freighter can turn just as well as a fighter. so that leave the cargo ship with only one disagvantage, and that is its size nd it is a bigger target. But bigger Target means more armor. Bottom line is that is sort of how ships tend to balance out.
But what if there were another factor?
Step 1: Marginally increase max speed. Somewhere between 150-200 at most.
Step 2: Any ship travelling more than 99 will require exponentially more power to push against the speed limit, Just like approaching the speed of light. The engines will start to draw more power/hydrogen and keep increasing this rate as you go faster. (This can also be done by simulating relatavistic mass increase?)
Step 3: Ships in atmospheres will still be limited to the regular max speed. There should be advantages of going into orbit to get somewhere faster.
So basically, a small fighter will be able to go fairly fast but it will need more and more power as it pushes against the speed limit. So a fast ship will be a ship that has the ability to generate a huge amount of power and has the engines to match. This will force players to come up with more creative designs to work around this problem. Also there will be huge differences in performances of ships so a fighter may easily be able to chase down a convoy or freighters if it has the required power. But that will mean more reactors and will result in larger more complex fighters that need better protection on those reactors etc.