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A while back I put up this post: DaggerXL Terrain in the Beta Part 1. I searched the internet for heightmap images (or as close as I could find anyway) of all of Tamriel in order to build the heightmap for the rest of Tamriel. I found such an image:














I then took this image, converted it into a heightmap, rotated it to fit the Daggerfall data while scaling and filtering it and then added in the heightmap data from Daggerfall itself. However, as it turns out, I did not do a very good job digging into who put this map together, thinking it was from earlier worked released to the public. It turns out it was put together by someone named Morcroft Darkes – which I didn’t find out about until recently. Of course this is entirely my fault for not doing fact checking before using the map. To that end I will not be using this as a base for Tamriel, after all. I will attempt to find another decent source or merely leave it up to the community to help out later on. So until/if that happens, I will temporarily remove the extreme view distance feature, since basing it off another person’s work, who does not necessarily wish for it to be used, is clearly unethical behavior.

Lesson learned: always figure out where a source is coming from. Usually I do this, but not in this case obviously. :(


On a brighter note, DaggerXL is still continuing – I will put up a more upbeat post shortly.

27 Responses to “An Unfortunate Mistake”

  • Dagganticipation:

    I wish I had a way to help find a replacement! Even still, thank you for an update!

  • Thank you for your courteous apology. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but part of that image is copyright to Bethesda Softworks and is not mine to share.

    In general, images found on the internet are copyright unless stated otherwise. This is a lesson I’ve had to learn for modding Skyrim.

    Kind regards
    Morcroft Darkes

    • Ryballs:

      Seeing as we can’t use this height map of yours perhaps you could help lucius to create an original one? The xlengine community really want this game to be the best it possibly can, I’m sure as a fellow elder scrolls fan you understand. We could probably even pay you..

    • Bodiggity:

      “part of that image is copyright to Bethesda Softworks and is not mine to share.” -What you just posted

      “If someone had approached me for the use of the rest of the map – or even if luciusDXL had me credit for it then I might have considered whether we could come to an arrangement. As it is, I’m afraid I’m not interested in allowing it. Please take it down.” -May 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm on DaggerXL Terrain in the Beta, Part 1 entry dated February 23, 2013

      Reminds me of the sci-fi author character in Gentlemen Broncos who re-writes his student’s novel and then, upon finding out that someone is making a movie of the plagiarized re-write sans permission, calls the authorities and says, “If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s plagiarism!”

      I understand it sucks to have someone use your hard work without your permission, but it was of someone else’s intellectual property to begin with. Courtesy should go both ways, and immediately claiming that he was “stealing” from you and going public before private messaging him was also pretty unethical.

  • Ike:

    If part of this map is from Bethesda, is it potentially covered under their release of the Daggerfall game to the general public. It’s certainly not from Oblivion or Skyrim.

    If part of it is owned by Morcroft, how much is it going to cost to license that part? Seriously. Put a number up on the big board and we’ll start donating.

    • WNivek:

      According to the creator’s original complaint ( ), it actually is in part based on data from Skyrim.

      “The Skyrim portion is a direct extract from the game, so is Bethesda’s copyright: they expressly forbid porting their resources to other games, so if you implement this map then you are breaking their EULA – and they are known to be keen on legal action to protect their intellectual property.”

      • Ike:

        Morcroft comes off in that post like a huge dick. Hoping for nothing but bad things for him.

  • luciusDXL:

    This is pretty cut and dry, as it were, so I’m afraid the case is most likely closed on this one. Once I get the Beta ready I’ll investigate other methods of getting approximate height data for Tamriel. I may release the Beta without the feature but that doesn’t mean its dead. Better to get the Beta out, in my opinion, then hold it up for something like this.

    Obviously this doesn’t affect the current view distance, which is already substantially larger then vanilla Daggerfall.

  • I love the thought of being able to see the real Tamriel in the distance instead of the original backgrounds, since after increasing the view distance, the trees depicted in those seem huge. Avatar- oder Mana Tree huge I mean.

    A while ago I did a fairly large and detailed map of the Witcher continent, setting of the Witcher games and books. You can find it on my deviantArt gallery if you want to take a look. I used the geographical features shown in the game, but the entire map with its topography is my own work. If I could help by doing something similar with Tamriel and if someone told me what the specifications of the hightmap should be, I’d love to do it! Apart from the copyright issues you are having, the hightmap you wanted to use is based on Tamriel of the 4th era anyway, since the Red Mountain already exploded and deep-fried Vivec. Just a minor detail, but a custom map could be fitted perfectly to the 3rd era Daggerfall is set in.

    • Ryballs:

      Now this is a good idea..

      • I don’t like the thought that people actually torpedize passionate, unsalaried projects like this (a project you are handing out for free) because they think they don’t get enough attention for their “work”. As Bodiggity already said, it’s unethical to forbid usage of a map the creator based on other peoples work himself; only the “copyright to Bethesda”-sentence appeased me a little. Unfortunately thats the way our species works. Humans tend to only do things they get paid or praised for, and it’s even better if they don’t have to invest a lot of work into it.

        I don’t want to insult Morcroft Darkes’ work, but his hightmap is, at least partially, based on the actual code of the Skyrim map. In my opinion, there is nothing artistical to it, its just a pretty conversion of copyrighted material with the help of procedural generation like World Machine and I don’t think a lot of work had to be invested into it. With a 10 minute tutorial, everyone can do stuff like that in a very short time. Actually, nothing that can be done in half an hour defines as “work” in my opinion, so I don’t get what the fuzz is about.

        The only thing I’d need would be some informations of color depth, size and stuff to make it as compatible to the original Daggerfall map as possible. If someone could help me with that, Lucius could continue working on the beta while I could create the map; maybe I’d even manage to finish it before the beta is done.

        What I am offering is a hand-drawn hightmap, based on the actual shorelines, mountains, rivers and stuff, but only adapted, not copied. I wouldn’t convert a single pixel from official material or let other programs do the work for me; the complete opposite of Morcrofts map actually, but in a similar quality (take a look at the hand-drawn Witcher map I mentioned) without having to steal material from Bethesda and pretend it was my own. You’d get a hightmap exclusive to DaggerXL with my permission to use it anywhere you like. That would be my contribution to not only this awesome project, but as a counterpart to pseudo-artistic-egoism like shown above; I’d even feel insulted if the map ingame had a footnote like “Map created by IronsteffL”. As soon as you have it, it’s yours. People should stop thwarting the hard work of others just because they are posessive about their work – work they couldn’t have done without the preceding work of others anyway.

        • (with “you” I meant “Lucius”, sorry :D)

        • BTW, here is a quick sample of my Witcher Map without all the names and cities, just about a quarter of the full map, but it shows what kind of hand-drawn detail I am talking about:

          This was supposed to be just a colorful map, not something like the actual landscape, a satallite image or something like that. Since the Tamriel map would be zoomed out even further, I guess the details could look even sharper on that one. And since a hightmap usually doesnt have things like forests on them, I could spend even more time on a detailed topography.

        • Psych:

          Look here mate, Morrcoft has been working on the height map for a few years now (HARD YEARS). By saying not much has effort has been put into it is incredibly insulting.
          He was been leading the way for a group of modders working on provincial mods for Skyrim:

          He deserves a lot of respect.

        • And another word to Morcroft Darke and his map that isn’t even completely his map, since I’m still kind of angry.
          I want to apologize for the harsh words to you, but you didn’t do yourself a favor with how you handled this in the first place. Maybe (just maybe) it was more work than I think, even though that would mean you wasted at least 4 months, or you tend to call 30 minutes of work on 3 days per week for 6 months “the work of 6 months”. If you actually spent 6 months on a map you used World Machine for as well, you should optimize your routines. I could hand-draw an exact replica of your map in less than half the time with my style of “working”, without any automatic generation – and I am not even a professional artist. Stop pretending you just painted the roof of the Sistin Chapel all by yourself; there are a lot of artists out there who can deconstruct your claims in mere seconds – a lesson every pretentious deadbeat has to learn on the Internet sooner or later.

          If your objection was based on the fact that Lucius was using copyrighted material by Bethesda without his knowledge, your words wouldn’t have been so aggravating, but thought- and helpful. But you decided to tread the path of “this is my hard work you are using without permission” at first (and not “my map is based on copyrighted material itself”), and that was a terrible decision considering your ethics. And don’t tell me you didn’t, because you explicitly forbade the use or modification of YOUR map. What you have shown here in the last couple of days isn’t that you deserve credit for your hard work, but that you want credit for work you describe as hard, while in reality using copyrighted material and procedural generation. Even Bethesda, a company based on selling games for money, let you download a huge game like Daggerfall for free, rendering this whole DaggerXL-project possible on a large scale without requiring a physical, bought copy of the game.

          You would have won the internet if it was a prize for egoism and pretension. But since Lucius shouldn’t even use your map if you allowed it and you don’t seem to be capable of doing such a hightmap by yourself (at least not without letting World Machine do the details for you), maybe you should spend the next 6 months on learning some respect for real art and real artists who have an actual ethical right to protect their property. Take fictional characters like Tolkiens Aulë as an example, who took all his pride from creation and the created thing, not the posession nor his own mastery. Take real people like George Lucas as an example, who actually enjoys watching and supporting fan creations containing a huge part of his artistic property. Be proud that people even care about your map instead of being proud of your skills. Be thankful that the world gets better with every little piece of real art, even if it is based on or inspired by the art of others. Maybe then you’ll understand what art really is about.

          And most importantly, if you show a little more humility, you won’t have to listen to unbearable instructions like this.

          • Psych:

            I know you’re just venting your anger at something. This is kind of understandable. But please realise that even IF Lucius got permission from Morcroft, he would not of been able to use it anyway due copyright.
            Morcroft has his reasons for withholding his height map. He has his own ambitious project that many people are looking forward to. (Just like Lucius) And it really sucks to have someone release your own work before you get the chance to.
            Forget about all the “egoism” you think you have construed in his post, those are the facts. Please show a little more respect. Which I know is a dumb thing to ask on the internet.

  • Edward:

    There is no need to spread negativity here. Better to use that extra energy to find a solution. I agree with Lucius-I’ve waited years for that beta and with many broken timelines I defiantly would fancy full working clean beta soon over one with extra features after another couple of years.

  • @Psych: (Sorry, somehow I can’t directly reply to your post) I mentioned that. I know that Morcroft is working on his own project. My problem wasn’t that he couldn’t even allow the use of his hightmap if he wanted to or that he was angry that he wasn’t asked for permission, but the way he forbade it’s use. He was explicitly stating that he “didn’t feel like allowing it” because nobody asked him for permission, even though he used copyrighted material himself.

    Fact 1: He has no right to allow it anyway, therefore the “I have to inform you all that Lucius stole it” and “I don’t feel like allowing it, please take it down” weren’t his main reasons, yet they were his main arguments in the beginning. His post read like he was celebrating the fact that he could simply forbid its use, even though Bethesda themselves could ask him to delete the Skyrim-portion of his map, because I guess he simply thought that he doesn’t have to spend a lot of work on something that has already been done – the same thing Lucius had in mind. Telling the truth, I was close to telling Bethesda about Morcrofts usage of protected Skyrim data, just to make him feel what it’s like to have your project torpedized by someone who can’t step over his own ego. He’s obviously aching for a lesson in empathy. Fact 2: He is lying if he says he took 6 months to create the map. I swear to god that no one with decent skills would need half as long and I am far from being truly skilled in using World Machine. So either he is simply untalented (which would explain the ugly crater he seemingly created by only using a simple circle-shape and which would make it even more grudging and outrageous to thwart a professional project like DaggerXL) or he has a lot of other things to do and can’t spend a lot of time on it. And that, again, would mean that he is pretentious, since he states he “worked well over 6 months” on it. If it took so long, he should simply state the fact that he can’t spend much time on it instead of acting like he was working 24/7 to make it this good – which it simply isn’t from an artists point of view, it’s just generic modders work with the help of automatic generation. Fact 3: Critizising others for using other peoples works while doing exactly the same thing, namely “stealing”, as he calls it, the intellectual property of Bethesda, is simply self-righteous and lousy.

    I don’t respect people because they tell me to. Everyone gets my respect in advance and I would have respected Morcroft if I just stumbled across his work. But the way he presented himself and “his work” on here destroyed every lit bit of respect he could have expected from me – and others, if you scroll up to take a look at what Ike had to say. My post was way more constructive, even though it may have sounded equally disrespectful.

  • Psych:

    Okay last post about this, because it’s really not worth it fighting about. But I’ll try to clear some things up for you.

    Fact 1: If you try to report Morcroft to Bethesda… They’d most likely laugh at you.
    I don’t think you understand Beyond Skyrim. It is a Skyrim mod. Being a Skyrim mod means you are allow to use Skyrim data. Every mod ever for Skyrim uses Skyrim data… The only time Bethesda lawyers have every gotten involved is when the data is ported to another game (case in point Morroblivion) or when someone tries to sell mods. Morcroft is doing what every Modder has ever done.

    Fact 2: Morcroft isn’t just making a representation of Tamriel, The Height map is actually being used to create other provinces of Skyrim, to the level of detail of Skyrim. Which means a lot of research and planing has gone into it (A lot of planning). Imagine how the Skyrim Developers developed its height map but times eight. Adjustments to the height map haven’t really stopped since, so you can kind of say it has been in development for over a year.

    If you are a Skyrim player, I suggest you look up the Dark Creations forum to get a better understanding of the project… and hopefully get a little bit more of an appreciation for it.

    • Psych:

      P.S About the “ugly crater” You’re talking about. That is simply that. A crater. If you know you’re lore you’ll remember The Ministry of truth from Morrowind. If not, then:

      According to Bethesda lore, after the disappearance of Vivic. It crashed in to the city… and Thus the crater.

      • Ryballs:

        Perhaps Morcroft’s parents didn’t teach him ‘Sharing is Caring’ ;p

      • Alec:

        Morcroft’s original response was hostile and rude to the say the least. He behaved like an egocentric maniac. I think most of us could care less what he is working on. Furthermore, your strange demand that others “respect” Morcroft despite his own abrasive behavior is ironic. Why don’t you instead reply to Morcroft’s post and ask that he “show some respect” to others? The guy comes across like Pol Pot with a keyboard.

  • Carl:

    I don’t think using height map data from other Elder Scrolls games is a problem, since this is a Bethesda Elder Scrolls game. So I strongly encourage you to use their data in DaggerXL. ANY information about the rest of Tamriel is obviously from other Elder Scrolls games.

    But you should make your own height map based on it, unless Morcroft Darkes wants to contribute to DaggerXL.

  • I have never claimed my map to be other than it is: about 80% my own work, and therefore my intellectual property which I would be prepared to share if someone bothered to ask – mixed with 20% work (Skyrim itself) that is totally owned by Bethesda Softworks and may not be ported to any other game – including other Elder Scrolls games by Bethesda themselves! It would be a violation of their EULA even to port it to Oblivion.

    The 6 months obviously wasn’t full time – just every spare moment. And it wasn’t all my work: it was also the many people at Beyond Skyrim who evaluated it and made suggestions which I then incorporated. I don’t really claim to be an artist. I’m a technician and I operated the World Machine software to produce the original of this heightmap which is far more detailed that you have seen. The original uses about 40% of the 16-bit depth greyscale. It was deliberately simplified to generate a topographic map of 42 colour levels, which is what I put on our site. I’m sure this map could have been painted by a competent artist in much less time than it took me to produce the original.

    There was no suggestion in LuciusDXL’s original post that this was anything other than exclusively his own work – and he made the open offer that anyone else could use it freely. I’m sorry that this provoked me into being rude – but he caught the wrong end of my temper by being the third person to have taken this work in the same way. Taking credit for work that is not your own is considered extremely rude where I come from, and I think people deserve credit for their work. If others choose not to ask the same courtesy that’s their own affair. And taking isn’t sharing. It would have been a simple matter to show the original artwork and source and say how it was based, even just saying the author was unknown is attribution of a sort. I would not then have felt that my work was stolen – just that there was, as Lucius says, an unfortunate mistake.

    Thank you to Psych for your comments. You are entirely correct.

  • Andrew:

    Do you think it will be possible to have this as a mod in Steam? Post it to Steam Greenlight?
    Might get some more popularity. Especially considering how many people love The Elder Scrolls, what you’re doing is great, and will certainly enable at least a part of the people to try out the game once more, give it a chance without the crashes and all the awful bugs.

    • luciusDXL:

      Trying to get the XL Engine or DaggerXL specifically onto Steam Greenlight would be a sticky situation legally since Bethesda is still the copyright holder for Daggerfall despite the game being free. So I’m afraid Steam is off the table unless Bethesda decides to make DaggerXL the “official” way of running Daggerfall – which, while possible, is currently very unlikely.

  • luciusDXL:

    Everything that needs to be said has been already so I am going to disable further comments. Thank you for your understanding. :)

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