This online game
is, like e2
, more than that which it proclaims to be.
The guy who runs the site, flux is an extremely friendly English guy living in Georgia, who wants to ensure that soulxchange does not become a stale site.
The original game, was the brainchild of Louis Cypher, and was coded in asp. It was coded as a novelty site back in December 2000. It was not long before the users started pouring in.
Small bugs became very big bugs, and one day in early January, the site went horribly horribly wrong. A quick patch or two and the site revived.
I joined the community back in March, when things had been quiet for a while, then the hackers descended upon the site. Hacking into old accounts and making the price these hacked souls go up by unprecedented amounts.
The hackers were not 1337 hackers, and they were not lame, they came forward and explained exactly how they did what they did, it was apparantly a simple cookie hack.
But the damage to the soul economy (or more precisely the boost to the economy), was irreparable.
A massive boom followed, the value of the soul buck fell and the prices of souls went sky rocketing. Everybody was delighted and a massive scrabble to get into the top 100 ensued.
The server began to fall over and die in non pleasing ways. "SQL log is full!" And the server needed to have the logs purged and a reboot to come back to life.
The downtimes started getting longer and longer...in a game that had grown so intense so fast this meant the players were involved in much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then the front page changed. "We are closing the site down on May 1st." May Day was D-Day. The site was costing Louis Cypher and Plato $750 and the transaction logs were so huge that running it would be impractical.
And lo! the site was saved, Hollywood style, at the last minute, by Lillith and Flux.
Does it end here? Not at all. The economy was exponentially growing. newbies started with 1,500 soul bucks, and the most expensive soul would cost 2,000,000 soul bucks, the top souls owned EVERYBODY who was playing. They were unassailable.
Flux decided that a reset scheme should be in place. But in order to maintain the sense of progression, resets would take the form of ascending to the next level of hell. He based the xchange on Dante's Inferno, with 9 levels to get through in order to escape.
Level 2 came with its own inherent problems. Level 2 souls could still purchase Level 1 souls, so the economy was only mildly set back.
Level 3 came and with no outside level transactions, the economy came to a grinding halt.
Recently the site was at risk once more, the ability to hand out free soul bucks (termed pinging) was causing the transaction logs to fill to 16Gig at a time. Eventually (last night in fact) Flux, killed the ability to ping for good.
The site is now looking to the future, selling webspace to its users to help cover the costs.
Update 3 October 2002
The points in level 3 has reached maxint. Flux left soulxchange and it was taken over by another guy, Jon. Everything has come to a grinding halt.
Update 1 November 2002
Soulxchange go bye bye. The game was reset, then the hackers came and deleted everybody's accounts. After this, the admins closed the site down. However, somebody acquired the source code from Flux and is writing a new version. Much in same spirit as everything he has dubbed the project 'S2'.
Update 27 April 2003
The S2 project was completed, but financial problems ensured it never went live. S3 is postulated, but the author does not wish to end the project like S2. In October 2002 I stayed at "Flux's" house. Meaningless trivia I suppose, but to me that was the equivalent of staying over at Dem_Bones' house so I had to mention it.