Planetary Rescues (Code Red only)
Because a fuel limpet requires a minimum of 50m underneath a ship in order to travel and attach, it's impossible to refuel a ship that has gone CR while landed on a planet's surface using traditional SOP. If the client is not CR, they simply need to provide 50-100m distance between the bottom of their ship and the planet's surface for the limpet to attach. They can either do this when the Rats are close or if they have enough fuel they can leave the planet's orbit before the Rats arrive, making it a normal rescue in space.
PC Planetary Rescues - Horizons Not Required
The safest way to perform planetary rescues is to have the client and rats log in to a 1.6 version of the game (non-Horizons version), which will give them the option to teleport into orbit. Once there, the rescue can be performed normally even by non-Horizons players.
Limpets cannot get under ships that are landed to refuel them, and if a client attempts to lift-off and runs out of fuel they will crash back into the planet as a CR.
Console Planetary Rescues
In the case of a CR ship on a planetary surface, the only option is for the CR ship to be flipped over by a rat (i.e. "Tactical Spatula") so the limpets can access the underside of the hull. Suitable ships for the rats include: FDL, Conda, and the Python (for their wedged shape). The Krait MKII is unsuitable, as it was found to have zero collision on the front 'prongs'.
A CR ship resting upon a planet's surface with the landing gear down is entirely unable to be flipped. However, it is possible for a fully CR ship to activate their thruster launch sequence and 'hop' from the planet's surface briefly. Furthermore, it is possible for a CR ship to disable their landing gear while midair, which prevents them from fully re-locking themselves on the planet's surface upon reconnecting with it. A CR ship landed in this fashion without landing gear is able to be flipped, although the limpets must be timed carefully as a nudge typically results in a continuous and uncontrollable spin. A second rat might be able to counteract the client's spin and leave them resting upside down.
Client missing Jumponium (Horizons)
Occasionally, clients use Neutron Star/White Dwarf or FSD boost materials to jump beyond their normal maximum range — and fail to leave themselves enough materials for the return trip. If a client does not have a SRV this is particularly problematic, as they cannot easily find more boost materials.
If a client is in this situation, have them check their maximum jump range on a site such as http://t.fuelr.at/coriolis and see if they have a route that would be viable if their tank is near-empty. If so, either they can scoop on the other side or we can perform a rescue there.
If that option fails, it’s worth noting that ships can scoop mined minerals from planets if they’re careful and the main difficulty is locating those materials. Thus, rat(s) can survey planets that the client is capable of reaching and — upon determining that the correct materials are possible to acquire — can use their SRV to shoot meteorites/etc while the client follows in their ship scooping up the resulting materials. It's important to keep in mind that especially in larger ships targeting surface materials is very difficult. The scan range for surface materials is extremely small and they can only be targeted within about 5m of the ship's cargo hatch. Finding as flat a portion of the planet as possible and getting the client's ship as low as possible to the surface is important. Because the materials are difficult to target, manual directions from the rats to the client is a good idea. It may also be a good idea to practice the technique on un-needed materials as some of the rarer materials can be difficult to find, especially on low percentage planets. Keep in mind that many ships have the cargo scoop behind the cockpit, so once the material is "behind" the cockpit the directions needed for the CMDR to turn are reversed (i.e. if the material is physically left of the scoop, the ship needs to rotate right, and vice versa).
Certain jumponium materials such as Germanium can also be located in asteroid belts around planets (i.e. pristine metallic rings) so if the rats have a mining laser, it's possible to get certain materials without the need to scoop on planets.
Based on information collected by the Rock Rats and other Fleet Comm members, the following is a list of suggestions related to Asteroid Belts:
- Metal - rich belts are pretty good for materials
- There are 4 medium material asteroids in the large 12-asteroid clusters. Those are the best place to look first
- Each belt has a different list of materials compared to other belts in the same system (if you don't find materials needed in one, don't give up, check the others)
- Don't bother with ice belts because they have such low yields of materials
- It's believed that only G1 to G3 materials can be mined from rings and belts
Once jumponium materials have been collected, make sure to plot a route back to safe space with a high enough density of stars for the client to continue their journey. If multiple rats are assigned to the rescue, one technique is to have one rat plot a route back to safe space, making a list of each jump (also noting jump range) including systems that need jumponium to reach, while the other rat(s) stay with the client and start making jumps when a clear route is identified.
A demonstration video of the ship scooping is here.
Client Being Attacked by NPCs
If the client is being attacked by or is in proximity of an NPCs, there are a number of actions that can be taken. Keep in mind that we are purely anti-PvP while on rescues, so attacking other players isn't what we do.
- If the rat(s) haven’t reached the client yet, have the client log out. Note that combat logging is discouraged, but a logout with the 15 second timer should be fine.
- Many rats use lightly shielded/armored and/or unarmed ships. Because of this, it is advisable to send additional rat(s) to distract the pirate ship(s) so that fueling can begin on the client and they can relocate to a safer location to complete fueling and for debriefing.
- If the rat(s) are currently fueling the client when a pirate appears and the rat(s) are armed, the rat(s) can attempt to secure the area if they are properly prepared. While doing this inform dispatch and have them direct the client to an SC Hop to a safer location. If enough fuel has been transferred having the client jump to another nearby system to complete fueling is the safest course of action.
- If a rat is capable of tanking NPC attackers for at least a short time, they can attack the NPC once to get it to stop attacking the client while the client gets at least one successful fuel transfer and escapes to supercruise.
- If the rat(s) don’t have any weapons and/or the client is CR (with sufficient remaining O2) and the rat(s) haven’t arrived yet, the client can log out to the main menu and wait 1-2 mins. This will result in NPCs jumping away from the instance.
In any of these situations, it’s important to notify dispatch what is going on and of the rat(s) anticipated actions
Resource Extraction Sites or Combat Zones
Resource Extraction Sites and Combat Zones add an additional level of threat to the client and rat(s) on the case. These are similar to a pirate attacking a client, but with more numerous and more powerful ships potentially interfering with the rescue. It’s critical to get the client to a safe location to complete fueling and debriefing. In these situations notify dispatch immediately.
Client Ran out of Fuel In/Near a Station
It's not uncommon for a client to run out of fuel just before docking at a station. They may be close or even in the same instance as the station. It happens, and if the client is calling us, they're going to be Code Red. Because we know that they'll log in 10 km from the mail slot, your initial instinct may be to drop into the station's instance instead of following normal SOP. However, that'd be wrong. Due to the intricacies of instancing, this may work, or it may not. To improve the odds, follow standard procedure by getting the client to turn their beacon on and wing with their Rats, who will drop from SC using NavLock (just like a normal rescue).
If the client is inside the station when they run out of fuel, they'll still have the station's atmosphere so won't be on emergency o2. It is important for them to log out before they get fined and attacked by the station for loitering. Although it would be possible (and pretty darn cool) to launch a limpet a client inside the station.
Long Range Rescues
Long range rescues are rescues that are over 1,000 LY from the bubble. Special procedures for this are covered in Long Range Rescue Standard Operating Procedures.