Perhaps this could be worked around if there was a new hyperspace technology that allowed to target an unreachable system in more than one step.
so if the ship can only jump 5 LY it can jump in the witchspace 5 LY away from the starting system, and then jump 2LY to the final destination (after dealing with the dangers of the witchspace of course)
There are oxp options out there (extra fuel tanks comes to mind) but I could also code a way for some ships to be able to jump up to twice the distance normally possible with their remaining fuel (still subject to 7 LY limit but would enable more jumps on one tank).
that would mean of course that the jump ranges would have to be independent of the ships fuel, (it could be restricted by the mass and the mambo jumbo physics and technology handwavium) after all I never understood why an anaconda can not carry 100 tons of fuel an jump to the other side of the galaxy!
There's also Injector Burn Rate to consider as a means of rebalancing any alteration in fuel capacity.
As for the anaconda, I suppose a possible analogy would be that I can carry a bucket of water but my body can't process it all at once, at least not without most of it passing straight through...
just throwing thoughts around
No, you can't-- and shouldn't-- have everything on one ship.
... There should never be any ship which is 'uber', it should always be a matter of trade-offs of speed, jump range, cargo space, weapons capacity, maneuverability, etc.
Whilst "can't" might be a bit strong I'd basically agree with you there but I'd also add economy to that list. We have some options there besides ship cost: there's also fuel and repair costs and we also the aforementioned injector burn rate. Perhaps smaller ships have a shorter hyperspace countdown duration.
There's also the idea of superceded / outdated models (consider the Krait and the Python as listed in the elite manual).
Sadly, I see no way around the Cobra III bottleneck; canon establishes it as having a seven LY range, which is why it's a hard-coded limit in the game. Ideally, ships smaller than that should be able to jump farther in a single bound.
That seems to be very much at the heart of it.
I based my thinking around my work on Equipment by Ship Class which used 3 criteria for each ship, of which size was only one. So should high-tech ships have longer ranges? Should military spec ships have longer ranges than service grade ships? Is size different a boon for service vessels but not for civilian ones? I could certainly have a rethink on how the three categories (as I see them) should interact.
The smallest core ships don't have a hyperdrive of course, so there's that to consider too.
Just tossing the thought out there.
And it's very much appreciated