The escort list is used to highlight important ships in mission. The escort list window is located on the right side of the HUD. It displays the given ship's name and its hull integrity.
Manipulating the escort list
Adding a ship
Adding a ship to the escort list is possible by giving the ship an "Escort Ship priority" value. This value can be changed in two ways.
- In FRED, assign the ship(s) that you want to add, go to the Ship Editor (SHIFT-S), then Misc, and tick "Escort Ship." Give it a value.
- Using the add-remove-escort SEXP.
The more important the ship for the player, the higher its priority number must be. If the number of ships that have an Escort Ship priority exceeds the maximum that the engine can display on the HUD (3 for retail and older SCP builds; 5 for newer FreeSpace Open builds), only the ships with the 3 or 5 highest priority will be displayed on the HUD.
While in mission, the player can add any ship on his escort list by selecting a ship and pressing ALT-E. Ships that are added by the player using ALT-E take precedence over the ones that are added by the mission.
Removing a ship
In FRED, it is possible to untick the Escort Ship option in Ship Edit --> Misc or use the add-remove-escort SEXP and set the ship's priority value to 0. Add-remove-escort is used to remove ships from the escort list that lose their importance during the course of the mission.For instance, there are four transports the player must escort in the first stage of the mission, but in the second one, a Leviathan comes in that is under attack by another cruiser.
Targeting a ship and pressing ALT-E is the method used in game.
Sort by hull integrity
It is possible to sort ships by hull integrity using damaged-escort-priority. Only ships that have an Escort Ship priority are affected by this SEXP.
- If the ship's Escort Ship priority is set to 0 in the Ship Editor, it will be displayed on the escort list, but it will be of low priority. If the ship's value is set to 0 using the add-remove-escort SEXP, it iwll no longer be on the escort list.
- If a ship is disabled, its name will be preceded by a D in the escort list.
- If a ship is hit, it will flash a few times. If a ship keeps flashing, it is under constant attack.
- The "E" hotkey is used to cycle through ships that are on your escort list.
- Interestingly, in retail FreeSpace and older SCP builds, only ships that are on the escort list are attacked by active asteroid fields.