So basically I was thinking the AMAZING devs that brought such a wonderful game could add new mechanics for making materials. Starting off i thought it would be cool to integrate a unique Lumber machine like the ones in skyrim. You'd get the log of your choice and crouch+click to make a long variation of multiple logs inside a long cutter that you could power manually or through water rotation(next topic). I like how this game has its own unique crafting mechanics and it makes the game quite wonderful. I'd like to see this game mostly stay around the medieval ages and maybe into steam powered orientations.
Next we have Watermills. For this you would require a natural source of falling or flowing water. Creating such source would not work. You would need to make craft a frame for the fins on the mill and a frame for the rest and fill it out with the materials. This could then be attached to Stone mills, Lumber mills, Grain mills, and so on. It would require stone, cobble, brick, or any of that that suits your aesthetics for the base. However the actual rotor and fins would be made from a sort of Primitive Planks that could be made with an axe or saw. However actual Logged planks would still be made in the Lumber mill.
Time for the Stone Mill: While we already have chisels and such, i feel using a mill would just make the game much more enjoyable overall. How this is made would be up to you guys and final decision by the devs.
Other sources of power besides the Water mill would be adding horses and donkeys and breed them into mules. I don't think mules should automatically spawn...just to keep it as more work for the player. You'd lead them on rope around the spinning thingy that would rotate and provide force for the machine. Rope leads have a chance at breaking meaning the animal could ride off. That's where copper+ chains come in. Smelting and Forging animal equipment like such required to hold horses, donkeys, and mules would provide much better security than a simple rope. Of course this would also mean you could use horses and the likes for stuff like mass tilling for creating large farm plots and also carriages and caravans for moving large quantities of items and equipment. This especially would help if they bring in NPC's later on. Just imagine driving a merchant carriage with tools and gems to a city far away to sell and trade and come back home. Gives you something to do, right?
As I mentioned mass tilling....this would again require more items. Whatever they called that tiller that the horses dragged across the land back in the day would need to be crafted. Wheels, blades, and so on. Maybe they should add a workstation that you have to build. Not a crafting bench, but an actual room made of certain materials with certain items in certain places to make it. There you could assemble stuff as if assembling on an anvil...but not tools as you know.
NPC"S. If they decide to add NPC's (while this would bring it closer to minecraft) I would surely hope that they make it more like a quest type rpg line of NPC's, not like minecraft. They'd have dialogue that the community would be able to add onto in suggestions to ever increase the time you can spend on a single entity. Hell, I'd like to see to it that the NPC's have so much to talk about that you could go for hours if intended. Other than that you could sell, barter, do countless quests like bring certain materials or kill certain mobs and such all on a single NPC. Of course, the type of jobs and dialogue would depend on the NPC type. Hunters, Weaponsmiths, Smelters, Miners, Clothing Crafters, Odds and Ends NPC's, Fishermen(another thing to add), and so on. Maybe NPC's would even come to your settlement and you could officially create a town. Though that would require stuff like specific buildings and paths per NPC...and lighting and beds.
Last thing would be Fishing. This is a MUST HAVE in my eyes. The fishing system i think should be different than minecraft. For one...you'd need bait like worms or caterpillars and other bugs...even makeshift lures. You can decided different ways to fish ranging from bobbers, bottom fishing, net fishing in rivers, and so on. Many different variations of fish and stuff like lobster, shrimp, and so on. Rather than just right clicking when it goes under or when it tugs, i feel you should have to actually reel it in. With a reeling method like real life fishing. And each fish would be different when it comes to fishing. Not to mention each fish can come in different sizes and does not require specific tier bait. However if you don't have a good line or rod or even a hook, then the fish could just snap the line. You could use caught fish as bait for higher chances at bigger fish...but not required.
That's all for now...and this is my first post. I really hope to see this game grow and if i get permission i could even advertise it. Please let me know what you guys think and let me know if i should continue with suggestions and topics! See ya!