Would be nice if equipment which is based on a breakthrew/new tech would have fancier effects than the "usual" representative.
Say railguns are a common occurence around the area and their effects look baseline/meh. Not from being the common weapon around but per graphics design.
And then someone develops gauss cannons/plasma cannons/mcguffin throwers with the first few generations having awesome stats (because new tech with untapped potential) and also with especially fancy effects before slowly "degenerating" to normal/meh effect levels.
Purely audiovisual, no mechanical differencrs