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Master X Master - A New Direction in the MOBA Genre

Garrett Fuller Posted:
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Master X Master is the latest entry into the MOBA market for NCSoft. The game separates itself from the classic MOBA design by working a very strong action RPG style into its build. Players will not only be able to compete in matches, but also play through scenarios in co-op mode. Adding these two mechanics into a fresh MOBA design along with fun characters from NCSoft classics like Guild Wars and Blade & Soul, and you have a new direction in the MOBA genre.

A few weeks ago we got the chance to sit down and check out NCSoft’s latest MOBA MXM, short for Master X Master. The game takes both original characters and some classic NCSoft favorites into a combined world where players can compete in matches across different maps. Aside from the traditional MOBA style the game offers some PvE elements which will give players the chance to enjoy the game without having to face off against the hardcore community of MOBA players.

We sat down for the demo of MXM and had a great time playing through the basic tutorial to get started on our first match. The game feels a lot more like an action RPG than a MOBA at its core which really separates it from the bigger more RTS-like games out there. You can choose from a cast of characters that are both original and have some NCSoft favorite from Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2.

The tutorial demo helped getting us ready by showing basic attacks, area of effect impacts and allowed for us to boost our teamwork when facing foes. This co-op mode will be available right from the beginning of the game and keeps to the action RPG fans happy. Fighting different monsters as well as a boss at the end felt a lot more like a dungeon than a MOBA. It is this reason alone that MXM should stand out beyond the market. These types of instances make for some great gameplay.

Once inside the match we set up in the normal team dynamic for a MOBA. Each player got to choose two characters, if one character was in trouble you could quickly switch. This tag-team feature kept you in the game a lot longer and gave our team much more freedom when facing up in different scenarios within the match.

The game played out in normal MOBA fashion, attacking towers and NPCs while facing the other heroes on the map. We did well, I switched between two characters which made it fun. One was a ranged DPS style, the other a tank like brawler who pulled targets in and then beat them up. It was a nice mix going into the game with both styles.

The official reveal trailer

MXM will be an interesting addition to the MOBA market. There are a slew of new games are coming out right now with League of Legends and DOTA 2 pulling in such high numbers, so it'll be interesting to see if MXM can compete. The game really does separate itself with the the ARPG elements giving players some fun environments to explore and play PVE in as well as PVP. If the team continues to expand on this aspect while keep the MOBA portion fun and exciting, NCSoft could break into a very difficult and saturated market right.


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.