The drill is a replicated rescue designed to teach the rat the skills they need to successfully operate on real rescues. In addition to the prospective rat (that's you!), the drill requires a “drillspatch” (i.e. dispatcher for the drill), “damsel” (i.e. client) and an overseer to evaluate and provide advice. The drillspatch, damsel and overseer are all experienced rats that will share their knowledge and offer advice to the prospective rat (ie. you).
Before requesting a drill, the prospective rat (that's still you!) should read and understand the information on this page, read and get familiar with the Standard Operatings Procedures (SOP) for rescues, including Case Red rescues, and have spent time in IRC watching real rescues in #fuelrats and asking questions of other rats in #ratchat.
The prospective rat (yup, that's right, you again) should also have a ship with a minimum jump range of 20Ly equipped with a fuel scoop, fuel limpet transfer controller and at least 8 fuel limpets.
Once the prospective rat (dun dun duuun: you) is ready to schedule a drill they should change their IRC nick to include [NeedsDrill] or [XBNeedsDrill], or other understandable and short variation of them, and ask in #ratchat for an overseer, drillspatch and a damsel. Only the damsel needs to be on the same platform (PC or Xbox) as the rat (prospective). Check http://www.fuelrats.com/roster for a list of overseers.
Special Note for Xbox drills
In order to help reduce the Xbox drill time, make sure that your NAT Type is Open (Xbox settings > Network > Network settings). (achieving an open NAT) on reddit has an excellent guide on
Your privacy settings should also be set to Adult Default (Xbox settings > Account > Online Privacy and Safety), and your profile should be set to Online (the top right button on your profile should read “Appear Offline” as the button is backwards).
If you need to change these settings, make the changes and then hard reset your Xbox by powering down the machine, and pulling the power cable for 5-10 seconds.
So, as a recap: for your (the prospective rat) drill (as well as the actual rescues!) to go smoothly you should have a good understanding of the Standard Operatings Procedures (SOP), have adequate ability to communicate with the dispatcher using IRC while flying to the client's system (this includes route plotting and the actual travelling with fuelscooping and all that), receiving and accepting friend and wing invites, navigating to and dropping into the client's wing beacon (with and without Wingman Navlock), having the fire groups for fuel limpet controllers set, firing the refuel limpets, and finally instructing the client how they will avoid running out of fuel again (Debriefing). And that's pretty much it, no sweat, no worries!
Wisdom from an Old Rat
It is quite very handy to understand the naming conventions for procedurally generated systems! This way you can easily spot if the system client has given is in fact mistyped. It goes like this:
LL-L L#-# or
LL-L L#, where L is a single letter and # is a single, double or triple-digit number. For example
COL 285 Sector HB-G A40-3 is a valid system name, but
COL 285 Sector H8-6 A40-3 is not.
You hardly come across this on your drill, but it is one of those gold piece knowledges a well seasoned rat possess!
Succesful drill includes prompt communication and updates to dispatch, and demostrated understanding of rescue procedures.
If the overseer deems the drill unsuccesful, then don't get discouraged, but rather pick up the advices given to you, observe some rescues more, ask more questions, and focuse on your key areas. Then when you feel like you have understood the feedback, and seen again how rescues happen, ask for another drill.