Apparently this snapshot added a lot more of it too. It was already too plentiful and at this point I just avoid mining it and try not to mistake iron for it.
-And yes I know redstone is too common as well if you're not an engineer type, but redstone ore has a use because it glows. It also only shows up deep underground instead of at every level below mountain range.
Maybe it makes for an easier way to obtain for building. Or it's a balance to the few uses it does have (like if it had even more uses, then the amount of copper ores would be reduced to make it worth finding/mining them).
That's right - since 1.18 coal is three times rarer and iron is twice as rare - and not even considering the fact that the ground is now twice as deep and not only that, they reduced their exposure and changed their ranges to be only part of the ground depth (this does help in finding them if you are on the right layers but even at their peaks (below sea level) they are only about as common as they used to be over a much wider range, unless you can find very high mountains, which are extremely rare; the high-altitude peaks for coal and iron in figure C (percentage of ground blocks) barely register on figure A (absolute amounts).
Because of more/bigger caves? Not buying it at all:
Same amount of ores mined per hour, despite TMCW having more and far larger caves than World1 (vanilla 1.6.4), with mostly a similar ore distribution (altered to account for changes in cave lava level and altitude distribution, with more emerald and additional iron above sea level in various biomes with higher terrain); in fact, the rate was lower until I found and started using a "vein miner" enchantment, and the short-term rate is inversely proportional to the size of the caves I'm exploring (moderately dense networks of vanilla-style tunnels yield the highest rates; large open caves, especially very deep ones, the lowest). Is 200 iron ore per hour really too much? Just ask the vast majority of players who rely on iron farms.