I need a bit more flavour to my setting. If it's just Earth like - it's boring. If all technology (in spite of comparable tech level) is too alien then there is a risk that it is simply impractical to be believable.
In order to avoid this problem, I'm seeking for ideas that would solve it through some form of environmental determinism. It simply makes sense in local conditions to use different technology. Right now I'm playing with ores.
Which crucial ore (deficit or abundance) could plausibly dramatically change modern-like civilization?
-not fossil fuels
-not nuclear fuel
-not precious stones / precious metals (let's ignore tastes, but plentiful platinum as catalyst could work)
-its easy to explain why terrestrial planet has much more or less of easily accessible ores of that particular element (I mean explaining low iron content in Earth like planet would be tricky ;) )