Like let's say you collect material that allows you to make something more efficient that wasn't there before like say you make a potion this will enhance your crops in some way. Or say that you accumulate some amount of kills this will allow you to further enchant your weapon something of that nature.
Maybe including the addition of a longbow to the regular bow to make it more effective but a longbow must need some sort of requirement from the regular bow first.
Ok say if making a torch out of wood is required to make a lamp which would require say iron and some sort of fuel like lava or redstone(but more effective) possible not coal but a torch is required first to make a lamp.
mabye some resource would need to be regenerated when something was achieved allowing you to got back to your old mines and see if something is there(not sure about this part though)
To put it in another example say that a regular mine track is required for a powered one which is required for a detector one(or vise versa