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Notification Methods

Hello, Seals! 

A few weeks ago, I asked you to fill out a survey about how we currently provide notifications for cases. While we’re still investigating possibilities, I wanted to just provide a few points of comment on what the early results say. I wanted to thank the 18 of you who filled out the survey, as it is only through your feedback that we can chart the best path forward.  

The majority of you rely on Discord’s own notification system in order to know when cases come in. This was a truth that we were already aware of, but it is good to have solid data on this. We’ll continue to support Discord pings in the future.  

A number of you had expressed interest in a dedicated Hull Seals app for various platforms, or integration with an existing notification service, or even sending SMS notifications. Unfortunately, we do not have the budget to offer a SMS-message based notification signup service. However, we are taking your feedback into account and seeing if we can integrate a push-based notification framework into the next iterations of HalpyBOT and services. We are also beginning preliminary investigations into potentially developing a Hull Seals API which could allow further expansion and integration with other services in Elite. 

A few of you expressed frustration with case pings being moved to Trained Seals instead of Case Notify, or the lack of specific breakdown by platform for cases. I wanted to spend a moment and expand upon why these decisions were made.

The lack of segregation between platforms for pings is because the ping serves not only for Seals for the specific case but also for Dispatchers. Any seal can (and should!) Welcome a client. Dispatching doesn’t *require* specialized training, and while we offer Dispatch training it is not mandatory to take the course in order to take the hat.  

The migration of Case Notify to Trained Seal pings came about after a number of cases in short order across all platforms failed because no seals responded - or sometimes, not even welcoming or dispatching the client. In a few of these instances, multiple seals were active in chat and seemingly ignored the case! This wasn’t an acceptable situation, and unfortunately the only recourse we had was to widen the net of who was pinged. Without responding to cases, the Seals don’t exist. It has long been our policy that if we get back to a state where cases are responded to reliably and our numbers grow to a level that the staff are comfortable with, we will revert back to using the Case Notify system. Unfortunately, we are not there and cannot afford to cast this smaller net. 

Thanks for reading, and as always, please let me know if there are any questions!