Wow quite a long distance you managed to reach. Congrats :)
I have gone up to 450 LY, and my highest lvl base is 410 Korerans base. Although as you mentioned, matches is getting hard while the reward is only greater in exp, but slightly better in everything else. Therefore I'm farming in circle around 300 LY, much faster base raids, tons of loots and a lot of Arena nodes found for more rare modules.
When a new update rolls out your save should be unchanged, simply able to do whatever new things were added. Only changes I recall in the past is sometimes preexisting (captured or otherwise) faction bases would change type when a new faction was released.
The dev is currently in the military and most likely the game will not be developed for a while .
A drone carrier can work, though it's only good early game. Around 200-250 LY+, enemy ships can blow the drones away take it down very quickly.
A fast, heavily armored torpedoes gunship can perform better, though you'll need to get used to firing from the side of the ship instead. If you don't have a strong fighter, this setup can be an alternative.