I have had quite a bit of experience, and find that even if i know exactly what i need to succeed every time, it is a rare chance that you get your supper hero survivor god that we all remember.
I personally have had 2, one that still lives on V1.0 with all 20+ levels and have stopped using it, and one on V3.0 which is currently attempting to break the land speed record.
There is only one truth when it comes to Cataclysm, if you do not have a car, you will not survive for long, a car is how you transport your large supply of loot, weapons, supplies, and craftables along with you while allowing you to haul your can right through the town and kill scores of Zombies that would otherwise destroy you. This will always be the 1 truth of Cataclysm, if you do not have a full filled fully repaired car that wont break if you hit a hulk, then you will not survive long. Ever.
At this moment i suggest the Robust Genetic, Quick, Android combo, it gives you the largest chance of getting good luck, if you experience a mutation from a failed CBM instalation, you might get 4-5 mutations, and with Robust, you will most likely get only positives.
All things are second. When you have a strong car, you can ram your way into any installation, IE science labs and military compounds.
This is my secret to getting a character to survive over 100 days, The V.1 character is 5 in game years old at least, the V.3 is around her (Random Char gen) first year now i believe
and as of 45 minutes ago, a damaged startup script will see to their deletion should i be unable to reprogram the script
For V.5 i have had a bit of trouble getting to the high level stage because of the edits to the vehicle spawn, but i have had a few occasions where i found a car with both an engine and a small amount of fule, only to burn out before a gas station.
“Sigh, i keep spacing out before i can finish this thing so i’m cutting off, its a bit late”