This is WIP and likely to change.
This page is a work in progress, and is subject to changes.
Dispatch Standard Operating Procedures
Dispatching is a job often taken up by rats who aren't able to be in-game at the moment, or as a break from the rat racing to deliver fuel to the client. It is an important job, and one that can at times require a cool head, a capacity for multitasking, and attention to detail.
Dispatch is the client's primary point of contact, and handles the case on the IRC channel, while the rats take care of the in-game communications and the actual fueling of the client. We won't say that Dispatching is the most important job, but it is important to do it right.
For Newer Rats
Dispatching is a job that requires experience in both procedure and game mechanics. Although some rats are capable of learning simply by watching, it is strongly recommended that you gain ample experience before picking up the hat. Un-drilled dispatchers can volunteer for dispatch in drills, or practice informally with dispatch-drilled rats in the drill channels to gain dispatching experience.
Preparing for dispatch
In most cases, there is only one active Dispatch on #fuelrats. The role and responsibility of Dispatcher is passed from person to person as needed, and is in Fuel Rats colloquium called "Having the hat". To simplify seeing who has the hat, most Dispatchers tag themselves with the [DISPATCH] tag after their nickname on IRC. It's not a requirement, but it helps to keep people aware of who has the hat.
Don't leave the hat on if you aren't at the keyboard!
If you have tagged yourself as Dispatch, it is considered poor form to go off and do other things that don't allow you to respond within a few seconds to a Ratsignal. If you have to go away for a while, consider either hanging up the hat, or notifying #RatChat, so that someone else can prepare the client if a case arrives while you are gone.
Check the Board for inactive cases and familiarize yourself with them; if necessary, ask rats assigned to the case on their status, or in #RatChat if none of them are online. You may also want to bring up the web based Dispatch Board to help track cases, or equip yourself with pen and paper, in case things get busy. Having an open Private Message window to MechaSqueak can also help.
99% of our cases arrive through the webpage, and are thus announced onto the server by RatMama, with all the relevant details of the case.
<&RatMama[BOT]> Incoming Client: Testclient - System: Fuelum - Platform: PC - O2: OK - Language: English (en-US)
MechaSqueak responds to this by creating a case for the client, and triggering a Ratsignal that should highlight rats and notify them of the new case. Unless the client skipped entering any information, everything you and the Rats need to start the rescue is presented in that line of text - the CMDR name of the client, their system, what platform they are on, and their O2 status.
Automatic Code Red information
If the client has indicated that they are on Emergency O2 on the login form, MechaSqueak tells them to log out to main menu automatically. However, you should confirm with the client as soon as possible that they have in fact logged out.
Your first action as Dispatch should be to !prep the client, which has Mecha tell them to power down their modules and come to a complete stop. (See the MechaSqueak Command Reference)
Client's Preferred Language
When connecting through the Kiwi IRC, MechaSqueak and RatMama will announce the language that the client's internet browser is set to. It's advisable to confirm with the client what language they are comfortable using for the rescue as many players are comfortable with English. If a language other than English is preferred Mecha is has built-in translations for commands and fact. It's a good idea to utilize a rat that can speak the client's language as dispatch (even if undrilled as dispatch) and for the debrief (the IRC channel #debrief can be used for this). Currently, Mecha has translations for the following languages (add -xx to the end of the command or fact for each language):
|-en||English (default for all commands/facts)|
At this point, rats should call their jumps to the client, indicating both their willingness to go on the rescue, and how far away they are from them. For a normal, non-code red rescue, one or two rats is sufficient. Two rats are preferred and is the standard for all non-CR rescues. If it's slow, and the rats for the most part have the same jump count, feel free to assign more. Using the !assign or !go commands, send the rats on the rescue, cafnd if necessary instruct the client on how to add the rats to their friends list, using the platform-dependent !facts. While underway to the client, the rats will report back when they have received the friend request (Or the lack thereof), and you can have the client add them to their wing, and then drop the beacon.
To remove rats from a rescue, use the !unassign command.
Once the rats arrive in the client's system, they will report this and whether they have the beacon in sight. Sometimes, the client may be in the sun's exclusion zone, which may require a SuperCruise hop, which is performed by having the client reenable their FSD and thrusters, go to SuperCruise, and head away from the star for a few seconds before dropping back down.
Barring any instancing problems, the rats should then be able to drop on their beacon and deliver fuel. They will indicate this with the fueling, refueling or fuel+ report. Once they do, you can safely !close the case. Instruct the rats to perform debrief and paperwork, and thank the client for their custom.
We usually include the catchphrase "Fly safe, CMDR o7" and ask the client to tell their friends about the Fuel Rats, to help ensure no Commander needlessly dies due to lack of fuel.
Dispatch SOP Quick Reference Sheet
Standard Rescue (Client not on Emergency O2)
- !Prep the client.
- Assign rats to the client.
- If needed, give instructions to client about friend requests/wing invite/beacon.
- If the rat(s) don't get instance, perform a SC-hop.
- If still no instance, have all rats and the client restart the game (no need to close the launcher), test comms from main menu and try again with rats in SC ready for beacon and wing.
- When clearing a case, assign the rat that got first limpet to do the paperwork. (Use !close <case> <rat> )
- If the client disconnects or otherwise disappears before we can successfully rescue them, file the rescue as normal, under the "other" category.
- If no rat was assigned or it was a duplicate case, use !md to add it to the deletion list.
Code Red Procedures (Client on Emergency O2)
Ensure that you have the client's system, and that the client has logged out to main menu.
- Make sure they don't log in until told otherwise.
- CRs are usually (but not always) performed by 3 rats to raise the chance of successfully instancing with the client.
- Get the client's location in system, and place rats accordingly. If we do not have an accurate position, see the Bearing and Distance section below.
- Give the client instructions on how to set their beacon and send wing invites, and have them log into open play.
- If client is too far for the rats to reach in short order, let the rats get a bearing and distance and log them out to main menu again until rats are in position.
- If the rats can't get instance, distance to beacon can be helpful to see if client is in exclusion-zone. In any case, log client out again.
- If client is in exclusion zone (EZ), rats need to perform a TFP (tactical faceplant).
- If client is not in EZ, let all involved parties restart the game (no need to close the launcher). Have the client send text messages to each rat from main menu, and try again with rats in SC ready for beacon and wing.
- If client is in open space (not close to any structures), one of the rats may wait at the drop in normal space for next login of client and do a short SC-hop followed by a nav-lock-drop if the client doesn't respawn right in front of them.
- If this also fails, the client may not be connectable due to NAT problems. Follow the NAT Troubleshooting guide. (Not implemented yet)
Having the rats create the wing and inviting the client might sound like a good idea to save time, but it is not SOP due to it actually reducing the likelyhood the rats will successfully instance with the client.
Bearing and Distance
On a CR-rescue or when client is very far away from star, it can be necessary that the rats get a bearing and distance to the wing-signal before client logs out to main-menu.
- Bring wing-signal of client to the center of your HUD. You can check if it's dead-center by rotating your ship along it's stern-bow-axis. Don't move the controls until you are in position of client.
- Check the distance to client and to the star so you can get into position of client by calculating the correct distance from star after the wing-signal has gone.
Tactical Faceplant (TFP)
If rats are unsure how to perform this as it is actually very seldom:
- Rats should be a bit away from the star so that they can circle it if necessary. A rule-of-thumb would be a speed of 2c.
- They have to bring the wing-signal and the center of the star into overlap and try to keep that until they automatically emergency-drop.
- Even when they only see a signal after drop, they shall start boosting towards it. It often takes 20-30s for the client to actually pop-up in the game.
Mecha Command Reference
These are some of the more common Mecha commands you will use during a rescue. For more thorough reference how to use mecha during rescues, see Mecha Interaction - For Dispatchers
|!prep <name>||Sends information to the client to power down modules and come to a complete halt. Your first command in the rescue workflow.|
|!pcquit / !xquit <name>||Instructs the client to log out from the game to conserve fuel reserves. Important on long range rescues, or clients about to go (or already on) Emergency O2.|
|!assign / !go <case> <rat>||Sends a rat on a case. You can refer to the case by nickname or by case ID|
|!pcfr / !xfr <name>||Sends instructions on how to add rats to friends lists, for PC and Xbox respectively.|
|!pcwing / !xwing <name>||Sends instructions on how to add rats to a wing.|
|!pcbeacon / !xbeacon <name>||Sends instructions on how to set your wing beacon|
|!sys <client> <system>||Updates a client's system location, if it should be incorrect|
|!cmdr <client> <cmdrname>||Updates the client's CMDR name|
|!xb / !pc <case>||Sets the platform of a case.|
|!close <case> <firstlimpet>||Closes a case, and sends the paperwork link to the indicated rat who got first limpet.|
|!md <case> <reason>||Marks a case for deletion.Use only for duplicate cases, or cases where rats never got assigned before the client left. See When to !md and !delete cases|
|!sc <client>||Instructs the client to perform a SuperCruise Hop, to get out of exclusion zones around planets and suns.|