Benefits of multiplayer?

So I’ve been playing Fallen London for maybe three weeks now, and I have all my skills up to at least 50. For the most part, I seem to have done alright on my own, and have made steady progress without any participation in the multiplayer aspects of the game.

However, more and more often the game tends to advertise multiplayer opportunities to me, so I suppose I would like to ask - how beneficial are these particular endeavors? I don’t have any friends who play the game (and I don’t think I could convince them) so it’s more hypothetical than anything else, but I am very curious as to what I’m missing during my solo experience. Thanks to anyone who is willing to take a moment to educate me!

There are two types of multiplayer invites. Some invite friends in the Neath and some invite friends on the Surface. The Surface ones can be profitable if they’re accepted, but usually not something you do too often. The Neath ones can be very convenient. Of particular note are second chance-gathering actions and menace cure options. In addition to these, there might be a few more, but it’s definitely possible to play the whole game solo. There’s even some threads in this section for finding opponents/partners for some of them =)

For more info you could take a peek at the wiki guide for them =)
edited by Aximillio on 7/23/2014

You don’t need friends from the Surface. You can make new friends down here (and ‘acquaintances’ too, which are considered closer friends). You don’t even have to get particularly involved with anyone if you don’t want to. While you can certainly communicate with others by adding a personal message with every social action, that’s not necessary, so you can just fire away a social action and hope for the best. Like kicking a ball to someone.

The social actions can reduce menaces when they’re high enough that you can ask for it, or increase your skills faster, particularly if you become a protégé of a patron, but also if you just use the regular actions from your lodgings (coffee at Caligula’s, game of chess, bout of sparring, and loitering for Shadowy, which reduces Connected to: Society as well as Making Waves, so not very popular). Those actions give second chances, which you can then use in a non-social action that gives you 1-50 CP to the related quality for five second chances. And every week your free evenings are reset to five, so if you spend all of those on Private Suppers you’ll add 25-35 CP to Persuasive. Pretty good deal for just five actions.

Then there’s a bunch of various social actions that give items (The Neath’s mysteries card that you can draw at your lodgings) or enhance your life with games (Pass the Cat, the Tournament of Lilies, Knives and… uh… yeah… knives). The Affluent Photographer can be interesting and rewarding too, and requires that you either spend Certifiable Scrap or send a request to someone else every time you want to build your progress. (Confused me at first when I kept getting the same card with no new options. Have to play it 2-3 times before the story develops further. Much cheaper to get help than to pay Certifiable Scraps, which is what I did the first time around.)

Social actions can be very useful for certain aspects of the game. They are one of the only ways you can farm second chances, which can be used to help succeed at difficult challenges or boost stats. (Seriously, if you haven’t already, use them for stat gain. They can take you up a whole level in one action if you’re lucky.) Social actions are also good for boosting Waves, if you’re into the Notability game (which becomes necessary for attaining various professions). Specific relationships, such as patronage or marriage are really good too. Player-to-player marriages give a +1 boost to the four main stats and patrons are really useful for stat grinding. So yeah, social actions can be really helpful.

If you don’t know any friends who play, you can check out the social actions thread in the forums, or pop into the IRC channel for a quick chat. We’re always willing to lend a hand.

Edit: wow, sniped. I should’ve checked for answers before posting.
edited by dismallyOriented on 7/23/2014

Note that even at higher levels, Second Chances continue to be by far the best way to grind levels. If you’re done grinding story content (which you aren’t; keep doing that until you hit roughly 100) start spamming random people with social invites.

Much obliged, you guys. Seems like sooner or later I’m going to have to get involved on the multiplayer front for the benefits. Thanks!

I feel like I should probably explain this a little, so: story content begins to lock up as you gain more and more levels, presumably because the PC begins to feel that such things are below them or because people begin to recognize you enough that they aren’t willing to waste your time with smaller jobs or whatever. It’s best to take things slow and go at a normal pace until you hit about 100, at which point the rate at which things lock up slows down considerably.