I knew that there was more to be said about High Level Play than I said in my first post.
I spent some time reading through the introductory material in The Traveller Book, and I found not an explicit pattern, but many indicators that High Level Play was anticipated, maybe even intended.
The introduction section gives lots of hints, starting with the mention of "star spanning empires, huge star fleets, Larger-Than-Life heroes". (emphasis mine)
“Traveller is open-ended, which means that there are no set conditions for winning. Each player sets his or her own goal, and has a lifetime (in game terms) to achieve it. Traveller can continue for as long as the referee and the players desire. Like the universe, Traveller has no limits.”
“The characters have an opportunity to undertake genuine adventures as they search for their own self appointed goals.”
"The typical methods used in life by 20th century Terrans (thrift, dedication, and hard work) do not work in Traveller; instead, travellers must boldly plan and execute daring schemes for the acquisition of wealth and power."
The expectation, then, is that players will have goals beyond the wishes of their current patron, or the referee.