The Steel Series World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse combines the functionality of 13 programmable buttons with a sexy armoured look that's sure to catch the eye of even the most discerning WoW player.
Officially licensed by Blizzard from the cutting-edge accessory creators at Steel Series, the World of Warcraft Gaming Mouse seeks to deliver a winning combination of form and function, with a special WoW-themed configuration tool that lets you do everything from creating complicated macros to handle in-game actions to customising the colour and intensity of the device's LED glow.
Is the ambitious little device worth the US$99 asking price, or should World of Warcraft give it a pass in favour of more traditional control methods?
Plate-Armor: Steel Series did an excellent job of making the WoW Gaming Mouse look the part, with segmented plastic and a blushed metal surface that brings to mind epic plate. The fully-customizable led glow beneath the device's carapace is completely ridiculous, yet I find myself messing with colour combinations constantly.
The Total Package: A love for packaging? From a gift-giver's perspective, the treasure-chest design of the WoW Gaming Mouse's packaging is sure to bring a grin to any fan of the game upon being unwrapped. It doesn't effect the device's performance, but it beats the hell out of a plain rectangular box.
Easy To Configure: Once you download the driver software, the WoW Gaming Mouse is extremely easy to set up, even for a rather novice macro creator like myself. The default set up provides many useful functions across the device's 15 buttons, from dismounting to setting your spell focus - a mechanic I never really utilized until I started using this mouse. The interface for the drivers, designed to look like a Warcraft window, makes the user feel at home in the unfamiliar environment of a mouse configuration screen.
Packed With Options: Along with copious amount of World of Warcraft-specific macro-creating goodness, the WoW Gaming Mouse also comes with plenty of options to customise performance as well. You can adjust the DPI from 800 to 3200, change the scroll, double click, and win-pointer speeds, and you can even adjust sensitivity individually on the Y and X-axis.
Works Like A Charm: After a slight struggle getting my fingers used to the strange button configuration, I found that I could completely change the way I played the game using the WoW gaming mouse. I was never big on macros previously, but now I cannot imagine living without them, especially on my priest, who can now cast healing on any member of the party with a click of an assigned button. While it's nothing new for players who have already modified the hell out of their UI and set up 200 macros in the game for every possible spell and ability, but for a guy who has pretty much relied on the tools Blizzard gave me for the past 4 years it makes a big difference.
A Bit Uncomfortable: While using the WoW Gaming Mouse for its intended purpose works well enough, using it outside of Warcraft is a bit uncomfortable. The additional buttons aren't active outside of the game, leaving you to rub against all of these strange protrusions as you try to go about your day.
Too Much Focus: As an officially licensed product, the WoW Gaming Mouse is pretty much focused on use within World of Warcraft. This is a mouse for the type of person who plays this one game the majority of the time. While the additional buttons can be mapped for other games, more casual players won't be able to do much outside of the supplied Warcraft-themed toolset.
The Steel Series World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse is a tool with a specific purpose. Steel Series makes an entire line of keyboards and mice that are perfect for the normal PC gamer, but this particular product is targeted at one group and one group only. It's more of a companion piece to World of Warcraft than it is anything else, and as such it functions admirably. With the limited functionality outside of World of Warcraft and the $99 price tag, I couldn't recommend it to anyone falling outside of that group. It's lovely in Azeroth, but outside it's just a rather garish-looking, slightly uncomfortable gaming mouse.
If you've a World of Warcraft player in need of a special gift, or are looking to add some stylish functionality to your own game, the Steel Series World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse is an expensive treat.
The World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse. was co-developed by Steel Series and Blizzard, manufactured by Steel Series. Retails for $99.99. Used mouse as PC mouse for a week, played countless hours of World of Warcraft during testing period, creating multiple profiles.
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