After playing with the Steel Series MMO Gaming Mouse for about a year its about time someone did an in depth look at the pros and cons of the product. First off it’s Steel Series! You know it’s a rock solid piece of hardware! The flickering customizable lighting incorporated into the mouse give it a one off look, also the ridiculous amount of buttons really sets it off. But its not all about the looks. In my opinion when I first got the product I could see people were going to have a slight learning curve. If you are not sure what the term “key mapping” is just forget about buying until you learn (which I will explain shortly).The software is fairly straight forward, you click on a button and assign a command to it. With 15 programmable buttons it takes a good amount of time to set it up the way you like it. For each character you have there is a nice feature that you can set up a “Profile” for each of your characters (up to 10). The MMO Mouse does come with standard “Button Assignments” such as auto run, map prompt, character screen, bags, your basics of WOW. As for mapping the keys in World of Warcraft to the MMO Gaming Mouse Software I found it was easier using a 3rd party addon to locate my “Button Assignments” easier. I use the addon Dominos which is a light weight and easy set up addon that replaces the World of Warcraft UI with a fully customizable one. If you stay with the WOW UI you will also be fine. Personal choice is the greatest strength of this product. Your free to click, drag, and drop your way to macro and quick click success.
Turning our attention to the software package that is downloaded straight from Steelseries.com is a quick and painless install. At first glance the loading screen of the mouse can be a bit overwhelming. 15 buttons with labels, 3 extension tab windows and also 10 profiles!!! What do you do with all the buttons?! Lets take it slow, starting from left to right there is a “Mouse Properties” tab that holds the true power of the mouse. With a drop down window you can choose from a DPI (dots per inch) value of 600 all the way to 3200! If you have not played with a mouse with this kind of DPI, hold on! 3/4″ stoke side to side will clear a 22″ monitor. Also in this tab you will find “Double-Click Speed,” “Scroll Speed,” “Win-Pointer Speed,” and also advanced Sensitivity for X-Axis (side to side) and also Y-Axis (up and down). Max them out for lighting fast movement. Next on the list of toys in the software is the “Profile”. The profile buttons are very handy when dealing with more then one level 80. You can customize each individual character with a new macro or button mappings. By clicking on the numbers 1-10 then clicking on the portrait the MMO software will ask you for your character name and also server you play on. That easy now it has a link to the character in the game for a easy reference for the mouse programmer (you!). After getting your character loaded up now its time to check out the buttons. Like I have said many times in this review 15 buttons! The buttons I find are laid out fairly well besides the right side where your pinkie / ring finger press. They are quite a stretch from me and I hardly ever use them. To assign a button simply click on the button you would like to change and then, the button assignment tab on the right side of the software prompts. With that you can see your “Game Commands” and also change DPI, Profile, or add a Custom Macro. With simple in game tasks like “Target Self”, and “Assist Target,” you can get yourself set up to heal, tank, or even get your mad DPS on. Inside of the same Button Assignment tab you will find Movement Keys, Chat Functions, Action Bar Functions, Targeting Functions, Interface Panel Functions, Camera Functions, and of coarse Miscellaneous Functions. So if you cant find a command out of the hundreds to choose from you can always write a macro that suits your needs. Finally the Illumination tab! Another nice feature of the mouse. The full color spectrum is at your disposal. The Intensity of the LED’s and also there pulsation rate can be changed to fit your mood. Playing Horde its red, switch to your alliance character okay there’s blue or gold.Ladies even pinks, purples, and baby blues are there for your enjoyment. See not that bad if you take it slow. Overall the mouse has a real tough look and mean details for you WOW fanatics.
Although I am talking this mouse up a lot its time to cut it down to size just a little. The software has come along way, I say this because the first time I set up the mouse and tried to install the “kernel drivers” wiped my mouse completely out of Vista. I did get it to work after talking to the okay service department. I was very discouraged to see how little the folks at Steel Series really helped. I learned to solve the problem by asking people in forums and chats. Steel Series sent me 3 mice thinking they were defective when really it was a software conflict with Vista. The other thing i really don’t like is that you must alt tab out of the game to work in the mouse software interface. Its not so bad when you have a dual monitor set up like I do, but I’m not the everyday WOW player. Also the software is to advanced for the “average game player” 11 year old. The mouse is also made for a larger hand. Like I stated earlier some of the buttons are played so far away from a comfortable playing position. Also the price is pretty high everything considered. Your getting a good solid piece of hardware with a slightly shaky software. New updates are coming along every 2 months or so working on the software issues.
With all things considered I would have to say this is a great mouse for the die hard WOW enthusiast! Especially the ones engulfed in PVP and Raiding! A quick overview a lot of hardware goodies, a lot of custom options, and a lot of confusing setup. I would give this product 3.5 gears out of 5!
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