I've been playing Baldur's Gate EE for the past two days. Not in the sense of actually playing, but in the sense of deciding what sort of party I want to play. I have some tentative conclusions, and am curious to hear feedback before committing myself to playing these characters. I'm playing a "multiplayer" game because I want to design my entire party.
I don't want to control six characters, as this would be a hassle; three or four seem like the ideal number.
I think Mage, Cleric, and Thief should all be represented in the party.
I dislike dual-classing. I understand the mechanic, but it makes no sense. In role-playing terms, it makes no sense to lose one class's ability when starting to study another. In game terms, it makes no sense to play as one class, then as another, in order to eventually play as both in the endgame, when you can just play a multiclassed character and have a strong and flexible character for the entire game. I understand that it's the only way to play both a kit and another class, and I like the kits, but I don't think it's worth it.
I like multi-classing. To get a character from level 6 to level 7, you need ~30k experience, which can buy you 6 levels in another class instead. A character with 6 levels in two different classes is better than a character with 7 levels in one class. (These numbers are approximations: mages need only 20k to go from 6 to 7, which would buy only 5 levels of Cleric or Fighter; also, the levels gained in the other class do not contribute to HP, which for multi-classed characters get averaged.)
So I'm thinking that a good 3-person party would be:
2 fighters, 2 mages, 1 thief, 1 cleric, 3 melee characters, 3 casters.
The other option is to play a 4-person party and not worry so much about what makes a good party, but just pick 2 or 3 classes that I subjectively like, and use the other character(s) to shore up on the party's weaknesses. That would look something like:
Dwarven Defender (Fighter kit)
Archer (Ranger kit)
But whichever I pick, the grass might end up looking greener on the other side (doesn't it always?)
I'd like to hear your thoughts. Any suggestions? Am I overlooking something?