NCSoft Korea is jumping in on the MOBA/AOS action with their new game called Master X Master Online. The game features playable characters from various NCSoft titles by such as Aion, Blade & Soul, Wild Star, and more. Would you like to learn more about this game? No problem, I've got your back!
Tag System - The reason it's called Master X Master
The game is called MXM because you're taking control of two characters tag team style. In fact, you must always pick two characters in both PvE and PvP. You can easily swap Masters using the Tab key. However, there is a cool down that varies depending on what game mode you're playing. The tag system is what makes this game special compared to most games because of the various character combinations you can team up with. Let me give you a quick scenario. You're not really experienced with the Master you're using and you're about to die. You press the tab key to tag out and switch to your sub Master while your main Master regens HP. You're really awesome with this Master so you turned the tables around and forced him to swap his Master out. Now both of your masters are on the Bench! You've taken quite a beating, but as it turns out the enemy player switched to a Master that is weak to your character or has skills that heavily requires on skill shots. Well, you can decide the outcome. The nice thing about MXM is that some characters can counter each other depending on their element type.
The Controls - WASD Moving and Free Look Mouse Targeting
If you've played a lot of MMORPG's then the gameplay controls should be very easy to learn. Everything is set nicely on the left-hand side of the keyboard. Some of the controls are as follows. WASD keys to move around, Tab key to swap Masters, R key for the Ultimate or Special Skill, Q key for Skill 1, and E key for Skill 2. No need to reach over to the other side of the keyboard. Your other hand is going to be on the mouse, which controls the direction your character is facing. A moveable cursor or crosshair is visible on the screen. If you were to move this crosshair towards the center and up, then your character will face towards the North. Pressing the "W" key will make your character move forward while facing the same direction. Pressing the "S" key will make your character moonwalk backwards while still facing North because that's where your crosshair is located. In short, players will have to polish their run and gun skills, or hack and slash if you're playing a melee character. This game is all about SKILL SHOTS and you can't LOCK-ON or Tab-target on enemies you'll have to manually dodge attacks and skills. Lastly, each character has four unique active skills, but you're only able to equip 2 out of the 4 during a PvP or PvE session. It would be wise to get to know which skills your enemy has equipped before diving at them!
PvE Instanced Dungeons - Fun and Challenging
I didn't really get into the PvE content much this time around because I was mostly focused on the PvP content. Don't get me wrong, the PvE content is a lot of fun and challenging on the hardest or second to hardest difficulty settings. Trash monsters are able to kill players in one or two hits along with deadly on shot moves from bosses. The first few difficulty settings is extremely easy and casual, perhaps it's setup this way for new players so that they can adapt to the game easily. However, players must work together and obtain S Rank and above to unlock the higher difficulty settings.
S Rank, Piece of Cake? Nope, not in this game! It's almost impossible to get S rank unless you're in an experience pre-made party with good reflex and pattern memorization. Why? Getting an S rank is all about how well your team plays together if someone gets hit a lot, your team rank will drop a lot. If they were to die once, your rank will permanently drop and you will no longer be able to obtain an S rank and above. Speeding through the dungeon also helps in obtaining a higher score along with chaining combos and kills. The most important factor is to never get hit. It sounds easy, but it's really quite challenging. Each character has their own dodge button, but this can only be used once per minute.
PvP Team Death Match 3v3 - Fast Matches
MXM TDM is where most of my time went during the test, I literally played all day long! I played a lot of Ranked matches and my ELO went up and down. At one point, I was so frustrated with matchmaking giving me horrible team members that I almost table flipped! Luckily, I met a very nice team that asked me to do some pre-made matches with them. No one likes to lose T_T. Anyhow, there were only two TDM maps and I kind of got tired of them after 150+ sessions. Yes, I actually played that much! The mode is TDM with a five-minute timer so that probably doesn't need much explaining. As for Ranked TDM your team will BAN one Master for the enemy team and SELECT one Master for the enemy team to play. Give them the crappiest Master or a complicated one and win, lol.
PvP Point Control 4v4 - Where's my team?
This PvP mode wasn't that popular compared to the other two because everyone just ran around ninja'ing and taking control of towers. I was always wondering where my team went! I'm sure they were thinking the same as I ran off capturing towers in my little world. The rules are simple, take control of a tower while it regens points for you. The first team to obtain 500 points or have the most points by the timer ends wins! The more towers your team controls, the faster your team will accumulate points over time.
PvP Titan Mode 5v5 - The AOS/MOBA Mode
Titan Mode went through some drastic changes compared to the last beta in terms of map size, areas, tower placement, and more. At first I didn't really enjoy the new Titan Mode changes, but as I played more matches throughout the beta, it started growing on me. The objective of this mode is to control certain points on the map and push forward into the enemy base. There are no mid towers in this mode compared to the traditional AOS/MOBA genre. All of the towers are located inside of your base or the enemy base. It's called Titan Mode because your team will randomly summon Titans down the mid lane, think of them as Super Giant Extreme Creeps with a lot of power. You can also summon a Titan if your teams meet certain conditions like killing a Large Rare Boss, a similar concept to Baron or Roshan. Lastly, a player can become a Titan for a short period of time! This is very important because you can instantly turn a losing game around given the player users the Titan Super Saiyan mode correctly doesn't waste it on defending a base, hunting enemy players in the middle of the map, or accidentally pressing the self-destruct button.
Item System - What are they for?
At the end of each PvP or PvE session you're going to be rewarded with random items such as runes, crafting materials, etc. These materials are used for upgrading your weapon that is used for PvE missions or Ranked PvP matches. A weapon can only be upgraded to a maximum of three times, so it's not much of game breaker.
The same system applies with the runes, each character can equip a certain amount of runes ranging from various rarity levels such as normal, rare, epic, and legendary. Runes are very important for Ranked matches because they boost your characters stats in various ways. However, the rune and weapon system doesn't work on normal matches. In short, farm a lot of PvE or PvP get good items and start pwning players in ranked matches.
Conclusion - Would Play Again!
Testing MXM was a nice refreshing break from the usual mainstream MOBA and AOS games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2. An easy to understand system that a random Foreigner should be able to enjoy the game once it's released in South Korea or the upcoming Chinese version scheduled to start at the end of this month. All of the characters are unique in their own way especially with skills. Lag didn't pose much of a problem playing from USWest to South Korean servers. The only time it was noticeable was during the mini-games. Overall, I was fairly satisfied with the quality of the game. MXM provided a fun exciting and challenging experience for both PvE and PvP users. I just hope they don't dumb down the hardcore PvE content in the future. That's all for now! Hopefully, the game launches soon as I am eager to start collecting Masters!