Copper - Filling the Gap Between Stone and Iron
With the addition of Copper Ore, Iron Ore would generate at lower Y-levels underground. Copper Ore would likewise generate at the same frequency but at the higher levels underground.
Smelting Copper Ore yields a Copper Ingot, which of course is then crafted into different Copper equipment items, which have 172 durability points.
Copper would replace Stone tools in being necessary to mine Iron Ore.
Copper oxidizes when in contact with water. Copper equipment items would be only half as effective when used on water-related blocks and mobs. Example: a Copper Sword would take twice as many durability points if used to kill a Guardian, Squid, Drowned, etc. When Copper items are in contact with water, they get a sort of green overlay, like the Enchantment glint, but less shimmering and more "noise."
Copper blocks also oxidize in contact with water, which could be a nice decorative block.
The oxidation can be removed from blocks by right-clicking with a new "Steel Wool" item, which is made with a block of Wool surrounded by eight Iron Nuggets.
Oxidation would also happen to Iron items and blocks, as stated in this separate post about Zinc.
Copper could also be used to make simpler Redstone machinery blocks. Example: Hoppers made from Copper rather Iron, but they run slower; these could add some progression to the types of machines players make with Redstone, so over time, the player replaces the Copper with Iron and their machines become better.
(all bold formatting removed - please use formatting as an accent only, as it can be difficult for people to read ~nb)
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