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Daggerfall:Dimensions of the Iliac Bay

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Since Daggerfall's release, many have wondered what the dimensions of the Iliac Bay actually are. Previous estimates have put the bay at about 160,000 km2 (or around 62,000 mi2), but it has never been explained how this conclusion was reached. This article showcases two mathematical formulas trying to find an answer to this question.

Method 1Edit

Method one uses the in-game units and assumes that they are an inch each and uses these to estimate the total size of The Iliac Bay.

Technical IntroductionEdit

Daggerfall uses a clockwise three-dimensional coordinate system with the x-axis for the North-South direction, the y-axis for the East-West direction and the z-axis for the altitude. Unlike most other games, the coordinate system's origin is not 0,0,0. In the usual game mode the coordinates of the player can't be checked. To enable this feature the line cheatmode 1 must be added to the Z.CFG file, which is located in the Daggerfall game directory. If this feature is enabled the player's location can be checked by pressing the F9-Key. This will display the player's location along with the currently active quests and quest flags. The location is displayed as follow:

PLAYER: y-Coordinate, z-Coordinate, x-Coordinate

Pressing the F9-Key once again will disable that additional information.

The point with the lowest coordinate-index is the lower left corner of the map with x = 40,961 and y = 51,200. The point with the highest coordinate-index is the upper right corner of the map with x = 16,332,801 and y = 32,389,120. The leveling in the game is also unusual, because it is not standardized to marine level. The altitude at marine level is -80 units and there is a maximum of 1228 units one can ascend over the ground by using a Levitation spell.


The Iliac BayEdit

According to the maximum coordinates of the map the overall dimension of the Iliac Bay is:

16,291,840 units x 32,337,920 units = 526,844,218,572,800 units2

The linear measure used by the game is very likely the imperial or survey inch, which is exactly 25.4 millimeters. Since the inch is a common linear measure in Anglo-Saxon regions, it is pretty reasonable to make this assumption. However, like most games, not everything is properly scaled; for example, the wandering NPCs are approximately 190 cm (or about 75 inches).

unit = inch → units2 = inch2 with 1 inch2 = 6.4516 cm2 → 526,844,218,572,800 units2 ≈ 339899 km2

35.7% of the overall bay is covered by water (ocean and inshore waters) that is about 121,954 km2 (or about 46,851 mi2), thus resulting in an overall dry area of 219,654 km2 (or 84,385 mi2). The area of England (not Great Britain) is 130,395 km2 (or 50,346 mi2), hence according to the overall calculations the land mass would be about 1.685 times the size of England.

Daggerfall CityEdit

Daggerfall City is about 25,886 units from the corner of each of the outer walls to the next. This is about 65,750 cm (or 25,886 inches).

65,750 cm x 65,750 cm = 4,323,062,500 cm2

So Daggerfall City is about 0.43 km2 (or about 0.166 mi2). The area of London is 1,572 km2 making Daggerfall City 1/3656 (0.00027) the size of London. It is comparable to the second smallest official city in the UK which is St Asaph (population 3355), which covers an area of 0.5 km2.

Method 2Edit

Method two works on the assumption that each pixel of Daggerfall's heightmap (WOODS.WLD) is precisely 800x800 metres (taken from dfworkshop forum thread "High Fidelity/Eroded Terrain"), this method uses the knowledge of the heightmaps resolution (1000x500) and times it by the area of each pixel.


First off, assuming each pixel is 800 metres across then...

0.8 km x 0.8 km = 0.64 km2

each pixel is 0.64 km2, if each pixel is 0.64 km2 and one vertical section is 500 pixels then...

0.64 km2 x 500 pixels = 320 km2

so this means one vertical section is 320 km2, of course we still need to times this by the number of cross sections so...

320 km2 x 1000 pixels = 320,000 km2

so the total area of the bay is 320,000 km2, assuming the values for the total land area being 64.3% from method 2 are correct then...

320,000 km2 x 0.642 = 205,760 km2

so the total land area is 205,760 km2

See AlsoEdit