It has been suggested in another thread that carriers could have some speed upgrades, and rightfully replied that varying carrier speeds between players might make distances between stars confusing and (a bit) meaningless.
But what about increasing the speed of all players’ carriers ? And players would have to contribute as much as they wanted towards a common research pool. Once the pool’s current goal is reached, all carriers’ speeds are increased by 10% (similar to how banking or manufacturing works, for example). Or seen from a different perspective, increase the distance a carrier travels in a tick by 10% (or some other percentage).
By common pool I mean a technology in the research menu towards which all players could contribute, if they wanted to. All players have the same research status and any contribution of one player is added to the same pool. Once the research goal is reached, all players, regardless of how much they contributed, gain the technology increase.
This would obviously increase the game pace globally towards the later stages of the game, but each technology level could have a much higher price than the one before it (double, for example), so it would be quite hard to get to crazy fast speeds that would “break” the game.