NCSOFT Reveals New Action MOBA MXM, Coming In 2016


If you enjoy the competitive aspects of the MOBA genre but long for something different when it comes to gameplay, NCSOFT has something on the way later this year that you’re going to want to check out.

Officially revealed today, MXM (short for Master X Master) is what the company is calling an action MOBA, earning that name not only because of its Tag System — each player selects two characters and can swap between them on the fly — but also because instead of simply clicking to move and activate skills, you’ve got to move with the keyboard and aim attacks and skills with the mouse. While its focus is very much on competitive multiplayer, the game will also offer PvE stages and boss fights like an action game that can be tackled with up to four players.

It all sounds great in theory, but I actually got to play an early build of MXM at a recent NCSOFT press tour in New York, and while I’m no MOBA master by any means, I can report that the game struck me as something that will intrigue both fans of the genre and people who’ve never really gotten into it. Using the keyboard to move and the mouse to launch attacks felt fluid and natural and kept me fully engaged even doing basic attacks. Swapping characters is as fun as it sounds, with just a simple flick of the scroll wheel on your mouse bringing you a fresh Master when one runs low on health.

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Despite my embarrassing lack of skill at MOBAs, I was able to contribute to the battle I participated in, which featured a three-lane map. (Disclosure: I had someone from the dev team on my side, and we were playing against bots.) There were the usual spawns and towers to overcome, but every defeated enemy minion and Master earned a team points toward unleashing a gigantic monster who would push down the middle lane. Outposts on the other lanes would also send smaller monsters toward the enemy base once their NPC guardians were defeated.

NCSOFT says that’s just one of a number of different PvP maps and modes being worked on for MXM, and even as a raw novice, it was easy to see the potential for combos that skilled players will be able to pull off using the Tag System. The PvE content also sounds promising, as even the boss battle during that build’s tutorial was fun.

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The cherry on top of the MXM sundae for fans of other NCSOFT titles is that characters from the company’s previous games (like Blade & Soul and Guild Wars 2) will be included in the planned roster of 30 Masters available at launch and be considered when more characters are inevitably added down the road. There’s no release window set for the game yet besides “second half 2016,” but you can keep tabs on its progress at