If anyone has ever played Phantasy Star Universe, idea is similar to that. I love tinkers as much as other people but would love to see some different mods.
Basic principle is that there would be a machine that has takes boards/discs (recipe(s)) with limited uses that takes multiple resources (parts) to create the tool/weapon. Furthermore each craft takes a certain period of time to make.
Obviously tool/weapons tiers would follow a resource heirarchy (metals/gems) until a "legendary tier" whose boards/discs and materials would only be available from special boss monsters.
Furthermore each tool/weapon would have an upgrade potential up to 10/10 that would cost gold and that tier resource to attempt. However, each successive upgrade has a smaller (recursive?) success chance, and if you fail it resets the item to 0 and removes a max upgrade. (For example if one were to try to upgrade from 9/10 to 10/10 and failed, it would go to 0/9)
Upgrade would be balanced 10/10 being as good as two tiers higher 0/10. This would give incentive to keep using a tool/weapon for a long period of time and upgrade it instead. Every upgrade level would increase speed/dmg or something. Unsure as to how mining levels should be affected in progression through tiers/upgrades.
Basic tools/weapons boards/discs would drop from normal mods and have say 10 uses. Legendary boards/discs have 1 use. In PSU all items are photon powered, would be cool to keep similar idea. Maybe photon crystals that take rf? Some kind of special charger for them. Different crystal tiers. (Maybe these are found in special spawned locations, random biome/structure) There would need to be a special upgrade station.
Also maybe add a structure that gives free photon charge, but has a small chance to explode when used (and always explodes on becoming empty), so this can be used prior to having photon charger.
For server play, add a store for people to sell their weapons/tools.
PSU also had skills (up to level 50) for every weapon that performed a special attack (but were primarily for elemental dmg types). Not sure that ele dmg (boosted dmg/reduced dmg vs mobs from this mod) is necessary but would be cool. I think special attacks would really make this feel polished.
List of weapons:
Dual pistols (also can be single)
Saber (can be dual wielded)
Double bladed staff?
List of tools:
Others... (feel like a hammer alternative is necessary, maybe others as well) (Maybe add a special ability that clears a large area instead....)