* About soc4ever.com *
Prior to the onset of the world wide web in the mid 1990s, bulletin
board systems were the primary means of online connection for the
majority of the internet. This was the peak time for MUDs, including
Swords of Chaos.
The primary means of playing the game was an individual would use a
dial-up modem to dial into a local BBS. Monthly or use-based fees were
paid for the right to connect to these BBSes. Many BBSes had active
userbases in the hundreds of people, and it was not uncommon to see
an active SoC game with over 100 players.
Eventually, BBSes began to connect their SoC games to each other
through Vircom's DMA Server software. This allowed players from
multiple BBSes to play together on a single server which made the game
that much more fun to play.
Once the world wide web began to grow virally, the BBS scene quickly
dissipated however at an exponential pace, and soon, very few dial-up
BBSes were still available. With the demise of the BBS scene, SoC too
saw its twilight.
From then on, an active SoC game would appear from time to time on a
telnet BBS dedicated to preserving the retro soul of the era, but
none of them ever lasted very long. The hardware, maintenance, and
time required to administer a MajorBBS system became cost prohibitive.
Some endured however, and one of these BBSes that successfully
preserved and even advanced the history of SoC was the Seabreeze
Gaming Network. Seabreeze was run by a long time sysop Jamie who
still occasionally puts up his bbs at seabreeze.servegame.com.
Seabreeze had the most active SoC game from about 2004 to 2015.
For the most part, it was the only place on the entire internet to
play an active SoC game while it lasted. One of the major advances
other than keeping an active game came from Seabreeze's SoC gameop
Naomi. She created new areas to play within the game, called the
"Seabreeze Expansion" which greatly increased the quality and
enjoyability of the game. Seabreeze however went down for in 2015
and lost the entirety of its SoC userbase. (It's worth noting that
it is very likely that SoC would have died a long time ago if it
weren't for Jamie and Naomi and the work they put into the game
at Seabreeze. For that, we are forever grateful.)
Nexace, like so many others, wanted a place to play SoC again that
wouldn't go away abruptly. After scouring the internet for weeks
searching for an active game, it became apparent that there
simply wasn't one. Nexace then decided it was time to create a BBS
dedicated to SoC and SoC alone, and one that would run itself and
not require the hardware, maintenance, and cost of a traditional
This brings us to soc4ever.com.
On November 17, 2015, Nexace launched soc4ever.com on MajorBBS. The
choice of the domain was intentional so as to leave no doubt of
the intent of the BBS: namely the preservation and restoration of SoC.
The stated goal was simply to be the one place in the world where any
SoC player looking for an active game could reliably find one, forever.
Ironically, one of the first users to show up was Omega, who was just
as dedicated to the idea as Nexace. Omega happened to be the perfect
person to partner with in the venture as he was an expert in
networking and server related issues.
The original setup of soc4ever.com was the following: a AWS cloud
virtual server running Windows 2012, which in turn was running a
Windows 2000 virtual server, which in turn was running a MajorBBS
server, which in turn served SoC to the internet. Yea, it was
complicated - and messy. But it worked, and the players started to
At times, the server was laggy, but it was reliable and always there.
It was decided that Omega would host the server on a virtual machine
on one of his business's machines which worked as well. But this went
against the original intent to not have to maintain physical hardware
for the game. It did however fix the lag issue completely. After
about a month or so in that setup, Omega was able to configure a most
creative way to run the BBS with nearly zero cost while also
maintaining the highest level of reliability. And this is the exact
setup the server is running to this day and we don't think we will
be changing a thing.
As of now, the BBS setup is the following: an ubuntu linux cloud
server running domemu, which in turn is running MajorBBS and hosting
the SoC game. It was tricky getting it setup and a lot of scripting
and other modifications were necessary, but alas, its stable!
And now, we have a SoC game that is basically running itself. It
backs itself up and costs almost nothing. Finally! There is a place
where SoC will essentially exist forever and remain available to SoC
players the world over.
And we are just getting started! As of the time of this writing, we
have been around for less than 4 months and already we are seeing
rapid player growth and users logging in from multiple continents.
The players searching for an active SoC game are slowly but surely
finding their way here.
In March 2016 we launched our current website which features an
embedded telnet client, so users can connect to us with one click
through their web browser. We hope that developments like this and
others coming soon will help us find all of the remaining SoC players
out there and bring them to us! We know you're out there and we hope
to see you soon!
Our cloud hosting provider was giving us some customer service issues
so we are no longer using them. Currently BBS is running on an intel
stick, with the same software setup previously mentioned: ubuntu - >
dosemu -> MajorBBS. In fact, the new setup is more stable than before
and we will likely keep this setup for a while until we can get a
great deal on a cloud server in keeping with our philosophy that we
only have nominal expenses to keep SoC running forever!