A couple of days back, NCsoft started the “global” beta test phase for its first self-developed MOBA title, Master X Master. Technically, the beta test is for players from South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, all sharing one same server. The English server will launch at a later date. Master X Master features several characters from NCsoft games, though over half the roster now are new characters.
The current version has just 3 PVP maps: 3 vs 3 training room, 5 vs 5 MOBA, and a capture the flag map. The first 2 comes with the convenient AI option, and I can’t seem to find anyone playing the last map. There are a few story PVE maps with co-op, just like a normal MMORPG, with storylines and boss fights. In all, there is something for both PVP and PVE players in this unique game.
Combat in Master X Master is rather frustrating, as most characters’ normal attack has a “overload” system, which means players are not able to spam normal attacks. The 5 vs 5 map has way too many objectives to handle, infusing elements from Heroes of the Storm as well (sight structure capture, boss room, collect items to transform into a Titan etc). The map is also way too big for comfort.
Being a fan of League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm, Master X Master to me is like taking a step back. While developers of competitve games are trying to optimize competitive games for faster end times and more action, NCsoft has just thrown every element into the 5 vs 5 mode. It seems like NCsoft is not only late to the mobile game race, but it is way behind in the MOBA fight as well.