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21w11a: Iron is too hard to find

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    Registered User commented
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    I had the same problem. I dug a strip at y 32 with iron picks. Cut through around 100 blocks and only found one blob of iron. All that effort and I had barely recovered the cost of my pickaxes. It seems they attempted to balance the low spawn rate by making fortune work on iron. However, the low spawn rate mainly hurts the player in the early game, and since an early game player isn't likely to have enhanced gear, fortune does nothing to affect the balance.

    The linear fall-off of resource distribution makes caving a very inefficient way to get iron. If the cave changes elevation even slightly you will see significantly less iron. Having a peak in the distribution means strip mining at y32 is the best way to get iron. This once again punishes early game mining. In the past, an early game player would explore caves, gather resources, and then transition into strip mining once they had a good enough pickaxe.

    It feels like there is a huge barrier in the early game. You have to be super careful otherwise you could easily get stuck in a loop where you use resources quicker than you can obtain them. Trapping you in the early game.

     

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    Registered User commented
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    Yes! Agreed! The world generation in 1.18 snapshots has turned the underground into swiss cheese. There is now too much negative space, filled with air or water. Continents and islands are "floating" on large open spaces full of air and water, supported by narrow columns of rock. That would be silly enough, but all of this negative space is full of air or water and not useful materials LIKE IRON. The game came out of Infiniminer. The idea was that you could just tunnel in any direction and find enough iron to keep you in tools to keep going, if that's what you wanted to do. After 1.18 you cannot dig a 2x2 block tunnel in any direction for more than 100 meters without running into a large empty space. This is too much empty space, or worse, flooded space. It's hard to build anything underground or make a straight tunnel or stairway down. There are too many caves. The game is MINEcraft not SPELUNKcraft. The game's strength is in its adaptability and flexibility. Not everybody wants to spend all of their time doing nothing but cave crawling. You can make fewer caves and still satisfy the cave exploration people. A survival player should not have to walk (or boat) a couple hundred kilometers just to find a mountain with some iron in it, not to mention the problem of transporting the iron back to another biome where the player may have built a house or other features. This slows the game way down. The idea is to enhance survival mode, not make it unrecognizable.

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    Registered User commented
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    I'm having the same problem! The other day in cliffs and caves experimental, I was in the truly bizarre situation of having way more diamonds than iron! I now do not use iron for more than one singular pickaxe to obtain diamond, and then I have to switch to diamond tools so as not to waste iron (but I still use stone tier tools for what does not require iron or better to mine). Please sort this out, Iron should be rarer than coal and copper, but more common than the other ores. What is supposed to be the new ideal level for iron? I ask because it used to be more or less uniformly distributed at all levels, with a guarantee of finding enough regardless of the level you were at.

     

    I'm on bedrock edition though, I only just realized this threat was for Java!

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    Registered User commented
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    Iron availability being a function of your proximity to mountains is bad design.  Players shouldn't be required to cross multiple biomes to obtain a necessary resource.