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MXM - PAX East 2016 Hands On with NCSoft's MOBA

By Robin Baird on April 26, 2016 | Previews | Comments

MXM - PAX East 2016 Hands On with NCSoft's MOBA

During PAX East I met with NCSOFT to get a hands on first look at their new MOBA Master X Master and the four heroes they are unveiling today Taejin, Sizuka, Cagnazzo, and Demenos.

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Taejin is a soldier who specializes in mid-range combat. He’s never been to Earth before and has mostly come here to find new challenges and things to fight. Taejin is mostly useful when fighting a large number of opponents and in team fights because he has really strong AOE.

Sizuka has lived on Earth her entire life and is fighting for the survival of her home. She’s a high damage Assassin who wields two blades which she made from fallen Synd. As is normal with most Assassin type characters she doesn’t have a whole lot of health so using her in a strike and retreat pattern works well.

Cagnazzo was raised as a gladiator and now fights back against his former oppressors with the chain and hook which had formerly bound him. He’s really good at dealing large amounts of damage as AOE around himself.

Lastly is Demenos who is a member of the elite nobility and can fill the roles of support, healer, or ranged damage. For example, he has a lightening attack which deals damage when it passes through enemies and heals allies it hits.

For the demo of the PvE stage I chose to use Taejin and Cagnazzo, which ended up being a pretty good combination.  Taejin was particularly useful when the enemies were lined up because his shots will go right through all of them. Cagnazzo was especially useful on the boss because it was one big guy who liked to be in melee a lot. Plus, per hit Cagnazzo seemed to do more damage than Taejin.

After that we went to do the Co-op Blackram Supply Chain, which felt like it had been lifted directly out of Blade and Soul; there were even the B&S style portal doorways in the zone. Of course the bad guys there are all Blackram. For this run I picked Cagnazzo again and Sizuka. She was a lot of fun because her abilities are very mobile and quick. The final boss here was also very mobile though so having an option of someone who can hit at range would have helped.

The last area we played was the 5v5 Titans Ruins which is a traditional MOBA map (three lanes, side objectives, and destroying the other team’s tower wins the game). I went back to Taejin here and since I am mostly a Guild Wars 2 player currently I decided to pick Rytlock as my second Hero because I was curious how he felt in this game. The short answer is Rytlock felt great to play, his abilities seemed really familiar and felt like they fit with him well. Plus, he was pretty effective running around the map killing things which is always fun.

Being able to switch between two heroes in a MOBA setting is something I thought might be problematic, but it works really well and is pretty fluid especially when you pick two heroes with different strengths and weaknesses. Currently each team can have up to three of one hero chosen, but that number might change depending on what is needed for balancing. Sort of makes sense each team would be allowed to have some repeats since each player picks two heroes instead of just one.

You can find out more about Master X Master on the official site and stay tuned as we learn more about what’s planned for this game.