Second in this series of Massively Multiplayer Online gaming peripherals is the World of Warcraft Cataclysm (WoW) mouse. Produced by Steelseries and Blizzard Entertainment this mouse is designed to synergistically work with the game World of Warcraft more than any other mouse could. Out of the box the mouse has almost all of its 14 buttons mapped to specific in-game tasks, and each button can be re-mapped at the user’s discretion. The mouse is designed to look like the scales of Deathwing, the killer dragon from the Cataclysm expansion, and its pulsing backlights give it a serious look. So the mouse looks great and has a ton of buttons, but is it any good? In short, yes it’s pretty much awesome.
The mouse is larger and heavier than its traditional counterparts, and given its sensitivity this may be a good thing. Despite its size the mouse fits well in the hand, and although the button layout at first seems a bit chaotic it begins to make sense quickly. Working on both PC and MAC, the software that comes with the WoW mouse sports some powerful features including:
- Bind all buttons without leaving the game
- Over 130 preset game commands onboard
- Use WoW commands to write macros and bind them to the mouse
- Store your in-game profile
- Up to 10 unique profiles
- 16 million colors with four levels of backlight intensity
Although having millions of colors to choose from seems a bit silly, the rest is really powerful. Setting up the mouse is also fast and easy. After plugging in the mouse and downloading the configuration program the default profile is already set up and ready to go. The default button settings control in-game tasks such as:
- Opening the map
- Targeting friends and foes
- Opening bags
- Opening your character sheet
- Several social commands
Customizing button functionality and key binds is simple. Since the mouse is made specifically for WoW, all of its buttons are recognized by the game automatically and can be bound from the game’s user interface. This prevents the necessity for creative and unusual binds that get unwieldy and impossible to remember. Macros and their subsequent binds are as easy as writing them in the game. If you can write a WoW macro, then you already know how to set one up on this mouse.
Although the mouse is clearly designed for World of Warcraft, the 10 custom profiles allow for more varied use. I myself have different profiles for WoW, Rift, D.C. Universe Online, and of course work. The profiles are easily switched by accessing the mouse configuration software via the system tray, and the standard mouse functionality can also be customized here including sensitivity, pointer speed, scroll speed, and double-click speed.
From a World of Warcraft perspective this mouse easily stands above the rest. As for other games and more common uses the Razor line of mice can compete, but even then the WoW mouse shines.