Finding players usually upgrading weapons and shields rather than advancements? Noticing some advancements are not being used reducing faction flavour? Here's two variants to use to spice up your games without overloading on the more powerful advancements.
Increased technologies is a very easy & simple variant and perfectly fine with anyone but maybe first time players. It's main advantage is that players don't have to learn anything different it's simply sorted at setup.
Prototyping is mildly more complicated it's big advantage is in that it adds more tactical choice to the game and more faction flavour.
I wouldn't recommend using both together else it start adding to much tech to the game to quickly. Both work with either research methods from the base game, although prototyping add a lot to the default research (flip 2 of the top).
Start with a random unresearched advancement.
Hand 2 random advancements to the player on you left and another 2 to the player on your right. Each of those players chooses 1 of these advancements for you to start with and hands the other back to be reshuffled into your deck.
You gain a research token on your unresearched advancement for each level 3 advancement chosen.
At any time you may discard an advancement under research to gain it's abilities for a single round.
It must be a valid occasion to use the advancement. Advancements which affect die must be declared before the dice are rolled (players must give time for declarations).
Place currently activated advancements face up next to the discard deck until they are finished with.
You may not prototype a Level 5 advancement.
Warp & Romulan faction Icons are ignored, unless they only benefit of the advancement.
You lose any research tokens placed on the advancement.
Discards must be shuffled into a unused separate deck until all remaining advancements are under research. You may not prototype a technology for a second time. Advancements replaced by the research action may be placed on the bottom of either deck.
I like the prototyping idea. Playing the Feds, I don't even waste a command, much less a research token, on advancements, but this certainly makes it worth at least having a look at them. Thanks.