The World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse from Steelseries was designed in conjunction with Blizzard for its 11 million subscriber strong game. The configuration software is closely modelled on the UI from the game, and has to be downloaded directly from the Steelseries website.
The software is intuitively designed and allows assignment of custom macros or one of over 130 WoW commands to any of the mouse’s 15 buttons. We’ll talk about why (and how) the mouse has so many buttons in a moment, but let’s focus on the excellent software tool for a few minutes more. The software lets you customise the three sensitivity settings at any points between 800 and 3,200dpi. You have to assign two buttons to cycle back and forth through these three settings, but these can be any two buttons you like.
The configuration software allows further adjustment to the X and Y axes, and to the overall pointer sensitivity, via three sliders. You can add character details to each of the ten profile tabs, allowing you to set up different sets of macros for all your characters and keep track of what’s what. The software is simply brilliant and - combined with the mouse and its myriad of buttons - has the potential to imbue your WoW experience with a new level of depth. Scary stuff for already hopelessly addicted.
Configuring the WoW Mouse is like playing the game itself
The WoW Mouse sits at the end of an anti-tangle, 1.5m-long, braided USB2 cord and is made mostly of plastic. A four-way button-pad is positioned underneath your thumb (assuming you’re right-handed) but is tricky to use accurately because there’s little distinction between the closely-packed buttons. Above this is are two more buttons, but these are so sensitive that glancing in their general direction is enough to click them. The positions of the other buttons are easy enough to reach, but with so many of them, it takes a while to used to using them all.
This mouse is also a far cry from the hand-hugging curves of many of Logitech’s models, and even the Microsoft Sidewinder X8 and Gigabyte GM-M8000. The sides of the mouse that lead to the left and right click buttons are angular and widely set; meanwhile, the two buttons either side of the scroll wheel split the two main buttons to an uncomfortable degree for our index and middle fingers. Furthermore, the engraved ‘wings’ provide little support for the rest of your digits, and so only serve to make the mouse resemble a squid.
The WoW Mouse might look squid-like with the lights on, but turn off the lights and it's a different story
Our first test of the WoW Mouse hit a huge problem - it didn't track well at all, with intermittent jittering no matter what surface and PC we tried. We contacted SteelSeries, who told us that "We did have some problems with some mice from the first batch, from which you probably received a sample – the feedback was somewhat similar to what you're reporting, which means that your mouse is simply faulty in a way." If you've already bagged yourself a WoW Mouse, read this blog post to arrange a replacement.
Our second sample tracked faultlessly, so it seems the issue has at least been addressed.
The SteelSeries WoW MMO Gaming Mouse isn’t going to win any awards for comfort, and possibly not for aesthetics either, but the integration with WoW could still win it many fans. With so many configurable buttons, and separate profiles to store character-specific macros, SteelSeries may just cash in on some of the 11 million or so WoW players around the world. However, the mouse is horrible to hold for extended periods of time, and is expensive too. You'd need to be a seriously hardcore WoW player to want this mouse.