SteelSeries WoW: Cataclysm MMO ReviewManufacturer: SteelSeries
UK Price (as reviewed): £63.58 (inc VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $99.99 (ex tax)
SteelSeries’ latest and largest sacrificial mouse offering to the gods of MMORPGs sports one of the longest product names for a mouse. As such, we’ll simply call it the Cata-Mouse. It isn’t just the name that’s massive, though; the Cata-Mouse is a giant with 14 customisable buttons, some fancy rusted armour plating, custom lighting and official in-game support from the mages over at Blizzard’s headquarters.
The Cata-Mouse was clearly designed with a very specific end user in mind. If you play World of Warcraft and (more to the point) the new expansion pack, then SteelSeries is hoping you'll be ready to part with a significant amount of dosh.
The Cata-Mouse sells for £63.58 over here, which is a lot of money for a game-specific mouse unless it's seriously good. This becomes even more apparent when you ultimately realise that the Cata-Mouse isn’t very good for anything other than playing Cataclysm. It’s easy to wrongly click the left-hand cluster of buttons when the in-game action heats up, and although this improves with practice, it means the Cata-Mouse isn’t ideal for other games, or for daily desktop use. This is okay, though, as it doesn't pretend to do anything else.
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What's more, if you don’t have reasonably large man-hands, then you're likely to find the Cata-Mouse rather intimidating. Ergonomically, it’s too large to use comfortably unless your mitts are of a similar size to the paws of some of WoW’s larger creatures.
That said, the effort that’s gone into customising the profiling, in-game support and ease of use is where the Cata-Mouse scores highly. Blizzard has even included an in-game menu option for the Cata-Mouse in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, which allows you to choose an action bar and map direct commands in real time to all of the mouse’s 14 buttons. Simply dragging and dropping spells, macros and basically whatever else you want onto your chosen WoW action bar leads to instant gratification. This is very slick indeed.
The downloadable software that accompanies the Cata-Mouse is very comprehensive too. A huge amount of customisation is possible, including on-the-fly resolution adjustments (the mouse supports 800-5,000dpi), a selection of three different USB polling rates, three levels of lift and several different colours for the built-in LED lighting system.
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There are ten profiles from which to choose, and each one is able to connect to WoW’s Armoury and drag your character’s credentials into the control panel. Meanwhile, on-board memory also allows a selection of custom profiles to be stored and used on different machines.
The Cata-Mouse is a giant among peripherals, and it will only appeal to hardcore WoW players who don’t mind shelling out a lot of money for a mouse that doesn’t fare well anywhere other than inside Azeroth. However, the physical design provides a great extension of the WoW experience and the plethora of features supported by Cataclysm is truly stunning. As with all things WoW, though, it comes at a price, and not a cheap one, meaning this mouse is strictly only for wealthy WoW-fanatics.
- Connection Wired (braided)
- Material Plastic
- Buttons 14, scroll wheel
- Sensitivity 800-5,000dpi
- Extras Custom illuminations, on-board memory, in-game integration