Good day and welcome to my basic guide to looking for other players to play multiplayer with. This guide covers the Original BG and BG:II as well as the Enhanced versions of BG and BG:II. In fact, it can cover just about anything, really, since it's pretty basic. However, after looking through a page or two of this multiplayer section it would seem that a lot of people run into the same "walls" when looking for others to multiplayer with.
Ok, lets get started!
1) First, it is vitally important to include the bare bones, basic, information about what kind of multiplayer experience you are looking for. This normally takes two forms:
Multiplayer versus Environment, or MPvE. An MPvE campaign will focus on beating the game flat out. Group composition and balance will take precedence and gear will often be distributed based on were it can be the most effective. The most effort will be put into minimizing and maximizing various stats in order to be as effective as possible.
Role Playing, or RP. The focus of role playing is to explore the game from the perspective of your character and to interact with the other players ICly (in character). These campaigns are usually slower and little to no emphasis is put on "clearing content" or leveling. It's all about the story, character interaction and experiencing the world around you through your character.
2) The second most important thing about looking for a multiplayer group is to find people who are online and available the same time you are. As I have mentioned in other posts here on the multiplayer forums, finding the perfect group to MP with means absolutely nothing if you are never online at the same time. You don't have to give a complete schedule breakdown of your personal life or free time, but at the very least it is a basic necessity to list your time zone and basic availability, such as "West Coast of North America, typically available early and late evenings most days." This seemingly simple sentence will make or break your ability to find others to MP with, guaranteed.
3) The third thing on my list deals with software and communications. Once you've outlined what kind of MP you're looking for and your availability, you want to let people know how to contact you. This is, of course, subjected to how much personal information you want to give out as an individual. Some people may be comfortable giving out their Email or IM information publicly, whereas others prefer to do it via PM. At the end of the day, however, if others can't contact you then you will not be very successful in finding an MP group.
Basic forms of Communication include:
- Private Message on the forums
- Messages in Steam or steam ID information
- Email addresses
- Instant Messenger names
- Skype or Ventrilo
Another good piece of information to share is your version of Baldur's Gate, and in some circumstances, your operating system. However, your OS is really only important if you're running an OS that the majority of others are not, such as MacOS or Linux, etc. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a Mac vs PC debate (I have both at home and at work so I am not bias) but the simple fact is that windows machines usually MP together easier and faster.... sometimes! The following "types" of Baldur's Gate are common:
BG - Baldur's Gate (the Original release)
BG:II - Baldur's Gate II (the Original release)
BG:EE - The Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate
BG:II EE - The Enhanced Edition of Baldur's Gate II
Additionally, it is also useful to include whether or not you've purchased your copy via Steam, Beamdog or other third party distributor. There have been issues, at times, with various retailed copies not communicating properly or receiving different levels of support/updates. While there is almost always a work around it is usually best to know this going in so you can be prepared to start looking for those work around should a problem arise.
4) The fourth, and last thing, on this is list is what kind of character you want to play. Half Orc Cleric, Human Dual class Kensi/Mage, Gnome illusionist or Elf Ranger. It doesn't really matter. The game can be, with various degrees of difficulty and success, soloed with every race and class combination; thus, group composition isn't vitally important. Sure, it's a pain in the @ss
to not have a thief to disarm traps or open locked chests, or to not have a Mage nuke a group with a fireball, or the lack a Cleric who can drop a timely heal; but they're not absolutely essential. There are "perfect" groups, yes, but unless you're treating your MP games like a hard core raider (MMO-reference) you'll do fine with whatever you want to play.
You're certainly free to go ahead and mention it, especially if you're a Role Player, but it isn't nearly as important as the information outlined in points 1 through 3.
So there you have it, the three major points (1-3) and one minor point (4) to consider when making a post looking for others to MP with. It is important to remember that, like many things, you will only often get out of an experience what you put in. If you approach a MP game with some energy and dedication you will draw in others with energy and dedication and probably have a great time playing with others. If you're lackluster and don't really care that much about it, then you'll probably end up playing solo for a while.