Question about sheltering from Portal Storms

My last few plays have been the crashed helicopter start, my favourite ones are when it crashes on a 5 map-tile island.
However, my attempts to survive and maybe even get off the island take time, and during this time, a portal storm is guaranteed to bring it all to an end.
I do try not to google things about CDDA because spoilers, however I am finding it difficult to commit to my latest island start without some idea of if this is even survivable. I know that sheltering is an option - but there is no shelter on these islands, and not the material to build one, as far as I can tell.
Basically the resources are some times a mutant insect, mosquito or water-strider, trees (not many), a boulder or two, grass, cat-tails and what can be gotten from foraging the few shrubs or digging. Usually the helicopter wreck only has scrap metal and a pipe if I am lucky.
I usually start with national guard so I have some MRE and multi-tool, sleeping bag.
Anyway, just wondering what people think.

If it not considered a survivable start, I am wondering if there is a world setting that disables portal storms so that I can just enjoy the island start.

So there is not a setting to disable portal storms and is unlikely to be one anytime soon.

The first couple of portal storms should not be that dangerous, annoying sure but I’m pretty sure none of the early monsters do any physical damage.

You can debug cancel a portal storm if need be. You’ll have to map the debug menu key then use it and choose game, then activate EOC. Then choose EOC_CANCEL_PORTAL_STORM

My understanding is that any shelter will do, even a lean-to one (I’ve never built one of those in the game, though, but it ought to require a couple of branches and something to cover it with, probably things like pine boughs [although spruce would work better, but I don’t think that exists in the game]).

Also, I believe being inside a vehicle counts, in which case the wreck ought to do if it has something that counts as inside tiles.

Thanks for the replys.
I think the helicopter in this particular game might not be able to function as a shelter because all parts that have a roof, the roof is XX. Dunno if that is correct assumption on my part.
As far as lean-to’s go, I don’t think I have the mats for that as all the trees are oak or willow.
Anyway, I will play it through, see what happens and possibly might try the debug thing if a storm starts up. If I know myself however, once I start going down that road I usually lose interest in that character, on the other hand though, I can let myself get away with it in experimental so… :slight_smile:

You are correct. for a vehicle to count as “shelter” it needs to have solid / usable roofing. (And I believe you need to have it in a 3x3 thing too). Even then the monsters can still spawn outside and can still hit at your car (or walk into it if your doors are open or you have no boards/quarterpanels, same with houses and open windows and doors.).

For the time being I don’t see the Portal Storms becoming “optional”. They want feedback on it so we’ll have to endure it until the project is either complete or someone gets tired of working on it. Although personally I think it should become a toggle / mod thing considering how it is, essentially, a way to force the player into playing the game in one way at one pace that isn’t their own.

My opinion on this feature went from “huh this is interesting” in the beginning to “OK, artificial game length stretch.” to “this really isn’t fun anymore”. Because it really isn’t.

1 Like

Not allowing portal storms to be optional makes sense. From what I gather - if you can find shelter you are fine, and if not… well my experience of them is not good - I do survive them but die shortly after, usually. I imagine some kind of delay, or evolution setting like with monsters will make it in once there has been more balancing.
Having starting scenarios that are fundamentally un-survivable due to portal storms is I would say undesirable, and as the crashed helicopter on island is one of my favourites I will keep trying and giving feedback.
It is day 67 and I have pretty much demolished the wreck and scouted the island. I am a long way from being able to make any kind of shelter so we shall see…

As of now, while gathering feedback, that’s “fair”. Personally I’d strongly suggest making it an optional feature (just like Wandering Hordes is) once 0.G is out. At best, Portal Storms are an increasing annoyance. At worst, they’re a “screw you, you lose.” die roll. And then of course, there’s the “realism” part of every argument: countless things are stuck to being mods because they aren’t “realistic” or didn’t fit the “selective realism” the game is supposed to offer, despite being somewhat more “realistic” than Portal Storms. But that’s a different rant.

Except you really aren’t. You still get “fun effects” from them, including the one which makes you become ethereal for a moment and all your equipment drops to the floor, which adds even more fun if you are driving / auto-driving or if that happens when you stand on a pile of rubble. Also the fact that the monsters that have no eyes or ears will still continue spawning outside and most likely wander inside because logic I guess.

1 Like

Well, I just got three log walls completed when a portal storm hit at midnight on day 68.
It was quite a short storm - the first one where I didn’t have shelter that has not left me in a dying state. So fingers crossed that this play-through could last a bit longer than my usual island starts.

Hmmm. Now a few days later I have completed most of what I imagine to be a log cabin, I find the only roof that I might have the mats to build (thatched) requires a survival skill of 7. I can’t do anything to get it past 4.
Without nails, a lot of stuff is unavailable, which makes sense of course.
At least it hasn’t rained yet …

Wait, are portal storms in 0.F stable?
If so, that’s a good thing for me to know LOL

I don’t think so. This is experimental.

Personally I don’t like portal storms at all and would disable them if it was at all possible. I’m not thrilled by the switch from zombie apocalypse to eldritch doomed horror (and I’d get rid of the nether horrors as well, if it would be possible to disable them). In my view, the fungii (in particular the nerfed ones) is much less undesirable than portals, and they can be disabled.


I would say the portal storms probably need some kind of carrot/reward in order to make them more appealing to players. This could be by providing artifects or something that provides slight eldritch/reality warping powers to the player which could be a lot of fun. Another way would be by having it mess with enemies especially the zombies and nether creatures as they are partly interdimentional. This could make for a interesting dynemic where if you find a way to protect yourself from portal storms while outside (dimentional anchor, artifect) you could walk into town and be less bothered by the zombies as the storm does all kind of supernatural shinanigans to them.

Zombies already “fight” against some of the Portal Storm’s entities. Considering we’re on 0.F and monsters still don’t suffer movement penalties from Heat or Cold or have no stamina themselves, or the fact that monsters that can’t breathe can smell you (or monsters with no Brain somehow can process audio cues too), and seeing how most of the effects of almost everything is to harm the player, I doubt anything else will happen that “may” help the player even if involuntary.

Also, Artifacts are too “old”, and should’ve been obsoleted ages ago, alongside Strange Temples and other artifact locations - they serve no purpose other than being (yet another) “oops you die” die roll 90% of the time (the other 10% being effects that will probably slowly kill you without you even realising it).

I don’t think a “carrot” is needed. Looking through Reddit (old and not-so-old) posts about Portal Storms, some people like it, others don’t. The people that like Portal Storms will keep using them, the people that don’t like Portal Storms and only want to play the game and have uninterrupted, genuine, at-their-own-pace fun will turn them off. Nothing is lost in either case. I do think that the system should be re-thought, because the “only” things that protects the player from the effects of the Portal Storms are 2 pieces of Armour that you cannot find anywhere else that isn’t a Science Lab Finale (assuming you can even get to that specific Finale without the game crashing on you due to the two Tears in Reality and the millions of Spawned Creatures that will occasion try to spawn on top of eachother or inside walls) or killing Phase Shriekers/Skulkers, for a low % chance of getting one that “may” not even work. And this is if we just ignore the fact that said items require a medium and heavy plutonium fuel battery respectively to even work as well.

I agree with PALU’s post above: the way the game has departed from a “original story of a zombie apocalypse with nuclear disasters sprinkled in based on a conspiracy theory that blames a rival country” towards a “totally realistic otherwordly-being that cannot be described but allowed reality to blend with other realities and more things we’ll come up with soon™” is rather concerning and, to an extent, somewhat off-putting. But then again, I do understand that this is just another thing from another game that’s being put into Cataclysm - although I really kinda hoped that trend stopped after the “realism Era” of the game…


From my perspective, I am relatively new to CDDA so I have no comparison to how it was before 0.F.
I have found it to be a good balance of realism and weirdness as a character, and a good mix of complexity and playability as a player.
As far as portal storms goes, I am happy as long as they are either survivable*, or if not then it is possible to learn how to prepare to survive them in later games a good percentage of the time. For any other game I would say 100% of the time but there is something a bit darker than a standard rogue-like that appeals to me about CDDA.
What I am discovering with this crashed-helicopter-on-island start is that as things stand it may not be survivable in any meaningful or enjoyable way. So either some change as to what is available or doable on the island, or a change to portal storms, or both might be in need of consideration.

I think is should be easier to build a shelter from what is available, although I do only have a few tens of playthroughs experience, the longest of those being maybe three or four months in-game. So I may be missing something.

  • By survivable, I mean die-able-in-an-interesting-way-able Not, you know, actually surviving…

I am quite happy to have made it to day 75 on my island. Been living on cat-tails and boiled water.
Have also managed to construct 11 wooden walls, which make up an enclosed area 2x2 with space for a door. I cannot actually make a door, or a roof, but what I have built might provide some protection.
The main problem now would seem to be food - cat-tails won’t last forever, and eating the odd bit of mutant water-strider isn’t much of a supplement.
Will update when I die, or if anything interesting happens.

1 Like

I believe you can plant more cat tails.

Good point - it will give me something to do at least. :slight_smile:
I am also enjoying rope-making. And carving. I also imagine I am growing a beard and my trousers have gotten all ragged around the ankles…

I have survived a couple more portal storms since I built my walled enclosure. So I think that, for this starting setup at least, portal storms are not automatically a killer. I will probably try this again as a combat mechanic or something - I have a feeling that being able to deconstruct the helicopter wreck might make a huge difference.