DarkShard is Down?

Zavreyon

Gold Donator
Apr 5, 2015
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The worst part is when a shard owner steals the graphics you bought from DarkShard to use in his own client. An owner here (who will remain nameless) liked our Whispering Pines client so much he ripped the DarkShard interface graphics out of it. How do I know? Because I modified some of them and my mods made it right into his "custom" client. It's one thing to see a concept and do something similar but to copy and paste someone else's work is plain theft. It's not a big deal now because his shard is gone again, and I can't say I'm disappointed to see that!
Heh. Reminds me of an incident way back, a friend of mine was working on a world, I was helping him do some of the static world building, but soon got burned out as I was the only one doing it, so he found another world builder to help, someone outside, we didn't know him too well. Almost immediately he started clashing with everyone else, and eventually decided to take the (still very much unfinished) files and open his own "shard" claiming it all as his own creation. My friend tells me his signature is all over the place, some in plain sight, some hidden. So one night I log on to it and point out the floor tiles in a building form my friend's initials in runic to the only 'player' that was online. I get banned but am able to login later from another IP and when I do, the floor tiles are covered in a rug, because they were landtiles and he either lacked the tools or knowledge to change them so he had to hide them with statics.
 

Djeryv

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2014
339
55
About 7 years ago, I bought some of Darkshard's maps and he used my FTP server to upload them to me. That was the launch of what became Ultima Odyssey. The Britannia map has been played for so many years that I wanted a change of venue so I bought maps that became Sosaria, Serpent Island, and Lodoria. I bought a couple more but never used them because there is only so much real-estate on the maps so I had to make a choice. Over those many years, I obtained content from wherever I could find it. I got some from uo-pixel.de or RunUO/ServUO forums. If someone had a free shard, that boasted custom maps, I downloaded their client and saw what they had. I was mainly interested in dungeons because some people make some great dungeons and I am not what I consider the best at it. I couldn’t even recall where much of the content I collected came from anymore.

That buy from Brazil was doing the animation/graphic overhaul patch, so I took his animations and loaded them as new monsters. When Rel Por went down, and their site was still up, I downloaded that client. I took the custom houses and loaded them on my game…but it wasn’t that simple. I had to do the scripting for all of those houses so they worked in the game. I took their custom dungeons and dumped them on my map. I saw the Rel Por water dungeon later appear in the Outlands client files. I wanted some larger dungeons to finish off the game so I swiped some of Outlands’ dungeons and tossed them in the mix. These custom clients had some new art items too, and I grabbed some as I found a use for them. Their hue file was really good too, and it helped me make the boats look more wood-grainy. It also helped me make the 146 different types of dragons, and the 146 different types of wyrms…with their own colors and breath attacks.

If one counts on the art/sounds/gumps/animations to make their server special, they are highly delusional as this is only a “temporary” eye-candy property that will slowly die like the Britannia map. You just get used to seeing them where they become normal. If a server wants to be special, their route needs to be the scripting…because that is easier to protect. If your server has scripted features unique to itself, then you have a better chance of shining. Since Outlands is the most recent large server launch…let’s use them as an example. You can download the client and use the entire graphic system and have a world just as pretty as Outlands. The part you are missing is the scripting they do to make their game very, very unique. Unless they get a rogue developer that puts the code out there on a torrent, that part they can protect and hold onto as “special”. So one can have a cookie-cutter, UO mechanic game on the Outlands map…but it won’t be as cool as Outlands is.

So when you go into that thread about “show off your world building”, and you see the screenshots of custom maps folks are working on…just know that if you release that client your maps will be used by someone…somewhere…for something else. They will think that they can take your maps and make something different/special with them. Either what monsters they populate them with, or a varying other style of scripted events that take place within them. It is “exactly” what we do with EA’s maps/art/sounds/gumps/animations. We take what we want from them and try to do something better or different. We make no apologies for that…and people that except apologies for having their stuff “stolen” do not apologize for the what they did.

I am in a more unique situation from others, where I don’t really care to run a server for the public. So I basically have given away the farm because you can get all of the art/maps/gumps/sounds/animations from my client…as well as all of the scripts that make it all work. You get it all, and I don’t care what you do for it…nor do I demand any type of credit for anything contained within. This isn’t my legacy…as it is just a hobby. I would consider my legacy to be how I raised my kids, how my career goes, and how well my wife and I can retire together. My life remains unaltered from anyone downloading my game and then saying that “they did this all by themselves”. If I quantify any type of accomplishment with Ultima Odyssey, is that I greatly reduced (or removed) the barrier of entry to those that want to get into a UO game or host their own server for friends. You literally download it and run it and you are done…if you choose to use the default setup.

Someone approached me about downloading Ultima Odyssey and telling me that they noticed I used some of their creations in it…and whether I gave them credit anywhere. Nope…I didn’t, because trying to give a thorough list of credits would be impossible since I can’t remember where I got much of it from. It would also be hypocritical of me to attempt giving credits since I swiped EA’s client and used their assets for a game I assembled that greatly differs from live UO. I think it is also a hypocritical to mention giving credit when the one asking for it is already violating trademarks and logos…and using EA’s client assets themselves. Did you create that Viking Sword graphic and animation yourself? I don’t think so.

I did create some of the dungeons myself (very few of them), adding plenty of my own art items, added sounds, and sometimes resurfaced dungeons to give them a new look. For example, although my world is very different than EA’s…I wanted the EA dungeons for a couple of reasons. For one…they are already built and two…I like going to the old nostalgic dungeons. Anyway, as far as I am concerned anyone can take the stuff “I” made myself and use it all day long. I can’t stop you nor do I care enough about the bragging rights for what is just a game…and just a hobby.
 
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Falkor

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Apr 11, 2018
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wpshard.com
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Whispering Pines
I think your point has been beaten into the ground in this thread. We get your position already. Apparently some people have a very binary view that since this entire hobby is based off of another company's property from 20 years ago we should all raise the Jolly Roger and actively steal from other shards as often as possible. The Windows license on my computer is hacked too but I'm not ready to rob a bank just yet. I don't expect "credit" for my work; I expect it to not be stolen in the first place.

Using donated content from dead shards is fine. Using "borrowed" content from dead shards should be ok too since it otherwise would go unseen forever more. Ripping content from other shard's clients and calling it your own is worthy of being called out about it. Downloading mobiles and artwork from all the usual (and most importantly, free to download) sites is fine. Lots of shards have the Brazilian mobiles ripped from other games. mtindell's example about a rogue dev stealing a map tells the story of a talentless hack who couldn't even disguise his pilfered goods. Our shard's Tram map still has Magincia in all its original glory, which I put back tile by tile. Steal away! I cleared out some of the buildings in the Lycaeum too, but anyone "borrowing" the map can also enjoy the large WP tiles in the center of the area. Newbies to the thieves guild can just cover them with rugs. Anyone with the knowledge to edit them out would have edited their own map to start with.

The best "revenge" for people like that is when their shard goes under anyway. You can steal only so much before you have to be able to deliver the goods yourself. Since they can't, the shard goes "poof." Lack of imagination in the client also points to lack of imagination on the scripting end.
 
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Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
339
55
I think your point has been beaten into the ground in this thread. We get your position already.
I don't think other people do, because they keep resurrecting this thread with the arguments of "don't do onto others as we have already done to EA".
I don't expect "credit" for my work; I expect it to not be stolen in the first place.
I know...I know...and EA didn't expect it either.
 
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john burns

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Mar 12, 2014
726
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48
Michigan, USA
vachiadroylia.dynu.net
Shard Name
Vachia Droylia
I was told that EA released UO for the players to create their own shards because the game was so popular at one time.

And gave their permission for us to use how we saw fit.

That's what I was told.
 

Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
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People do often state that, but I have yet to see any type of official source on that rumor. If true, it conflicts with their terms of service document.
 

Zavreyon

Gold Donator
Apr 5, 2015
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I was told that EA released UO for the players to create their own shards because the game was so popular at one time.

And gave their permission for us to use how we saw fit.

That's what I was told.
You were told wrong. They are obviously aware of the freesharding community, as some of the ideas that originated here make their way to EA servers and there used to be 4 @ea.com accounts registered at runuo.com, but any sort of tacit acceptance or even approval does not really constitute permission in a legal sense.

Now. The 'Terms of Use' originally applied to the service, not the software itself, although I believe the wording on that has changed significantly over time.

(ie originally you could be banned from the EA servers, but not be in violation of copyright laws for merely running a server (not redistributing client files, just running a server that works with them)

EDIT: I would not worry about the police busting your door down.
 
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Djeryv

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2014
339
55
I would not worry about the police busting your door down.
True. As soon as any of us here of a shard that gets a C&D...then everyone can reevaluate their UO emulation lives...but I would think (if we take Blizzard for example) that such a course of action would go after a big shard with a substantial population first.
 

john burns

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Mar 12, 2014
726
23
48
Michigan, USA
vachiadroylia.dynu.net
Shard Name
Vachia Droylia
True. As soon as any of us here of a shard that gets a C&D...then everyone can reevaluate their UO emulation lives...but I would think (if we take Blizzard for example) that such a course of action would go after a big shard with a substantial population first.
I can think of a few free shards with large populations but have not been shut down yet.
And I don't think EA even cares about us. They made us money. And they used some of our ideas. So we are good.
 
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Vorspire

Vita-Nex: Core
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ServUO Developer
Jul 29, 2013
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United Kingdom
core.vita-nex.com
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Ultima Shards: Multiverse
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Jesus wept...

Our shit doesn't smell because there's no one around to smell it...
EA don't give a shit what happens with their files/client, or if it is redistributed.

Frankly, you can't copyright the map files in UO because they're not in a standardised format that can be easily read by common applications... they are not bitmap images, they are not artwork that can be attributed in a similar legal way. They are a sequence of bytes specifically designed to be read by the UO client and nothing more.
The fact that they can be interpreted as images doesn't change anything, you still have to parse and interpret, then reorder and write the data as an image, which will result in a completely different data pattern in the new file.

The art, sound and gump files are a different story, they're actually compressed images, which can be copy-righted.

Maps use data points to determine which art should be shown and where when interpreting and rendering, but they don't inherit the copyright protection when they do.
 
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Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
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It is well established all of us don't mind taking what we want to do what we want. Now someone is just asking how to download files from that site that seems somewhat incomplete.

It says Darkshard but the domain name is BloodIsles?
 

TheDoc

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Jun 16, 2014
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Atlanta, Georgia
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MAGA
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He was working hard on that last map. I was really looking forward to it. I had bought all his other work and loved it. The guy had talent. He will be missed, he was a good man, a loving father, and he was a saint to all of the animals. I can just picture him now, frolicking through the streets of Minas-tirath petting all of the elves. Lok'Tar Ogar!
 
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