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MXM, An Action MOBA With A Sad Hench Ghost

MXM [official site] is NCSoft’s action MOBA involving characters from games like Guild Wars 2 as well as new folks. It’s been in beta for a while in Korea but it’ll be coming to Europe and North America later this year. In case you’re about to head straight to the comments, hear me out…

The “action” part refers to the fact you control the characters with WASD rather than a click-n-move arrangement, but its main point of difference lies in the hero-swap mechanic. They’ve called it a “tag” system and what happens is you can swap between your two chosen heroes as you play. The heroes are actually called Masters, though, which explains the MXM of the title – it’s short for Master X Master.

It’s this swapping which has made me curious – like, can you be your own initiator and follow-up damage in one package? I haven’t had a hands-on yet so I can’t tell. What NCSoft’s own info tells me is that you kit each of them out with weapons and abilities and so on and then, while in a game you’re able to use the mouse wheel to swap between them. The video says “at any time” but reading around there’s a cooldown of maybe 10 seconds so you can’t just spam it.

It also looks like their health and other resources are independent of one another so you can avoid death by switching to your other character.

So for me that’s the interesting part. The rest is kind of… eh… at the moment. There’s talk of 5v5 lane pushing and 3v3 deathmatches and minigames for PvP – the latter seems to involve a side-scrolling platformer in a candy kingdom? With the lane pushing there’s a point system and a titan summoning thingummy and alternative victory conditions. My main takeaway from it is that matches last 25 minutes at the most and you can just be the team with the most points to win.

There’s also PvE stuff where you can play solo or co-op. The video optimistically declares it “entirely new to the genre” but Battleborn is also offering a similar combo of PvP and PvE stuff with a character-centric MOBA bent so y’know. If I wanted to be *really* snippy I’d point out that Dota also had a story mode what with all that Warcraft 3 business. I’m hilarious while waiting for the coffee to kick in…

Looking at the four characters they’ve chosen to hero in talking to the EU/NA audience they’re as follows:

Taejin

Taejin seems to be a starter-friendly hero and falls into the guy-with-a-gun mould. He reminds me of how Blizzard did Raynor for Heroes Of The Storm.

Sizuka

Sizuka is more of an assassin/rogue flavour who’s about slashing and critical hits and the like. Somewhere between Valla from HotS and Katarina from LoL maybe? The splash art for her is incredibly butt-centric so between her and Taejin’s military man I’m really not getting anything non-generic from the game so far. HOWEVER I’m reading her lore at the moment and apparently she joined a bunch of fighters known as the “Slag Hearts”. I am kind of assuming NCSOFT are not familiar with British slang, although that would be a really good name for my girl gang. She’s been trained to have no emotions and do killing which… yeah. You’ve heard it before. I hope there’s more variety on the horizon.

Cagnazzo

Cagnazzo is a beefy blue gladiator who can hook people towards him and then duff them up. I feel like there’s bits of Pudge and Ursa from Dota 2 in here and maybe a bit of Fiddlesticks from LoL. His lore has him as a kind of lesson in institutional steroid abuse?

Demonos

Demonos is a sort of lightning manipulator who looks like the top half of a really sad, really hench ghost. Sad hench ghosts are more interesting to me in terms of visuals than the other three masters. It’s like the bottom bit of Dota 2’s Enigma got destroyed in a wood chipper and he got so sad he left to be in a different game. I’ve thought about that too much. ANYWAY. His skills revolve around lightning bolts, some paralysing enemies and others giving friendly units more movement speed and health recovery and whatnot. His lore bit also explains that he is rich and aged 35. Actually, his lore summary reads kind of like a personal ad for a patronising hench ghost investment banker. I’m weirdly on-board with that simply because it’s new.

And that is all my MXM news.

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Philippa Warr

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