You'll remember that on Friday I blogged about my theories for creating a realistic steampunk world. Part of that theorizing included knowing that how your world developed would determine what innovations you include as part of the steampunk aspect.
The reason for this is twofold: knowing how your world developed is good when you're playing with the political situation, and it means you won't include steampunk innovations where they don't belong.
What do I mean by putting the innovations where they don't belong? Let me give you an example. A landlocked desert nation would be at a disadvantage when it comes to steam power. They might not have the fuel resources to power the machinery, i.e. water and coal, but they might have the other raw materials -- metal and such -- in abundance. In this regard, they would probably work with their coastal neighboring nation to advance both countries in steam mechanics.
Similarly, our landlocked desert nation would see no need to build transoceanic steamers or any naval innovation at all. But they might assist their coastal neighbor, who does need steam-powered ships, in pushing the mechanics to a higher level.
Considering your world's development also has the added benefit of including just enough steam machinery to make sense, but not so much that readers question why the inventions are needed. Steam-powered rocket packs (and rocket packs in general, really) are an example. Rocket packs are cool, no doubt about it, but tend to be included simply to show the reader/viewer "hey look at we can do!"
My point, long though it took me to get there, is that a steampunk setting doesn't give you free reign to throw random cool things at the reader.