SteelSeries World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Review

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  • Brand: Steelseries
  • Model: World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Mouse
  • Website:  http://steelseries.com/us/products/games/world-of-warcraft/world-of-warcraft-wireless-mmo-gaming-mouse
  • RRP: £100 (At time of review)

Many companies these days either have a gaming brand, or focus primarily on gaming.  With many different products, with many different designs and colour combinations available, there is always something for everybody in this huge market.  One such company is SteelSeries, founded in early 2001, they have been at the forefront of competitive PC gaming for over a decade and have helped the competitive gaming community get where it is today.

World of Warcraft is one of the most popular MMORPG’s of all time and for years, SteelSeries have been producing some of the finest WoW products for many years now and today I want to introduce their latest World of Warcraft endorsed product, the World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Mouse.  It is modelled around the latest expansion (Mists of Pandaria) and features 11 programmable buttons, on the fly FPI switching and an estimated 16 hours battery life.

How will the mouse perform in World of Warcraft and in any other game thrown at it?  Will it be a one trick pony or a true delight for a multitude of games?  Let’s find out, starting with some specs of the mouse…

Specifications

– Weight: 115 grams (0.25 lbs)
– Height: 40 mm (1.6 in)
– Width: 81 mm (3.2 in)
– Length: 115 mm (4.5 in)

– Frames Per Second: 12000
– Inches Per Second: 150
– Counts Per Inch: 100 – 8200
– Acceleration: 30 G
– Lift Distance: 1-5mm
– Wireless Band: 2.4GHz
– Wireless Range: 3m (10 ft.)

Device Type: Mouse
Wireless Receiver: USB wireless receiver
Width: 8.1 cm
Depth: 11.5 cm
Height: 4 cm
Weight: 115 g

Input Device:

Connectivity Technology: Wireless
Interface: 2.4 GHz
Max Operating Distance: Up to 3 m
Buttons Qty: 11
Movement Resolution: 8200 cpi
Performance: 30 G maximum acceleration, 12000 fps, 150 inches per second
Features: Programmable buttons, Macros, illumination

Expansion / Connectivity:

Interfaces: 1 x USB – 4 PIN USB Type A

Starting with the front of the packaging, you can predominantly see the World of Warcraft MMO wireless mouse in the centre which is displayed in a circle of illuminated runes.  It shows the mouse is an officially license by Blizzard Entertainment, which are the creators of World of Warcraft and that this mouse is based from the latest expansion, the Mists of Pandaria.  The colour scheme follows a dark and gothic theme, which has dark greys, light greys and resembles tribal patterns.

On the rear, we have a feature list in the following 4 different languages; English, German, Spanish and French.  I am interested that they left out Chinese, which is the most spoken language in the world, but the retail packaging gives me the impression that it’s geared more towards the European market.  There is also another illustration of the mouse in the top right corner with a couple of screenshots underneath depicting different features.

Here we have one of the design aspects of the packaging, a gothic ruin style chunk with a clear plastic viewing window so those who want to, can peek inside.  This is a really nice touch to the packaging and shows SteelSeries want to give World of Warcraft gamers who buy the mouse the full works.

After opening the flap, as you can see, there is a much larger viewing window in which we have the mouse itself and the base, which looks elegant and magnificent just sitting there.  The flap is held on with a small Velcro tab and wraps 2 sides of the box.

Taking a closer look at the flap, we have 2 illustrations on each of the sides; 1 of the mouse itself which has another brief overview of the mouse itself and the other has a diagram depicting the different parts of the mouse including the base.  It also includes what is included in the box.

After taking all the contents out of the box, here is what is included:

1 x SteelSeries booklet

1 x SteelSeries sticker

1 x Quick start guide

1 x USB charging cable

There is no software disc included but you can download the latest version of the SteelSeries software direct from the website.

 

At first glance of the World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mouse, I was instantly drawn to the World of Warcraft logo which illuminates blue when switched on; I really do like shiny shiny things and being a World of Warcraft fan boy myself, it’s a pleasure to view.  The mouse itself is ergonomical which means it’s suited for either left or right handed people which gives it added versatility and will appeal to all types of WoW players.

Here we have the mouse from the left hand side, as you can see there are 6 side buttons in total, each one of them is fully customisable via the SteelSeries software which I will get into later on in the review.  The entire mouse is made of plastic and feels solid in terms of build quality; the sides do feel softer but I can confirm this is just very smooth plastic which gives a softer type of feel.

From the front, we have the left and right mouse button which is standard, 2 inner buttons on either side of the mouse wheel, the mouse wheel itself which has a resistant feel to it when scrolling and is made from rubber and a FPI switcher which is the big button above the mouse wheel in the picture.  There is also a nice curved area for your thumb to sit during use which should make this a really comfortable mouse to use; I will test that theory out later on in the review.

On the right hand side, we have the same black plastic as the left hand side, but only 1 button which being a right handed player myself, is designed for the pinkie but as mentioned the mouse is ergonomic.

Here we have different angles of the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mouse to show you a more all-round picture of the product.

One of the nicest features of the mouse in my opinion is the gorgeous map decal design which covers the centre part of the mouse.

On the base, we have the copper contacts which connect to the contacts on the charging station allowing the mouse to regain its juice.  There is also information regarding the serial number, model number and information regarding the mouse’s manufacture; it was made in China.  The sensor used on the mouse if I’m not mistaken is the Avago 9800, which is a very good sensor and will attribute greatly to the overall cost and performance.

Also there is a connect button, which allows you to pair it to the charging station; very handy if you’re in a room or at a LAN and someone has the same mouse as you, it allows it to connect to your base and your base only.  No wireless mouse would be complete without an on and off switch, which does exactly what it says on the tin.

To aid in grip to your chosen surface, we have 3 x Teflon surfaces; this gives a great amount of glide but again, it depends on your chosen surface.  The mouse features a whopping 8200FPI laser sensor, 30G acceleration and 150IPS which makes this a pretty impressive mouse, or should do!

 

At the front of the mouse, we have a mini USB port, which allows you to charge the mouse direct instead of the docking station; this is useful if you’re running out of power mid game and want to quickly get back in the action.  The estimated battery life of the mouse is 16hrs which is great but I would still advise returning to the docking station when not in use.

This feature in my opinion gives gamers the flexibility to use the mouse wireless or wired, which is makes it versatile and it’s glad to see SteelSeries doing what it can for all the beloved gamers out there.

Here we have the mouse in its docking station displayed in all its glory.  It looks magnificent in my opinion but obviously looks and design are down to personal preference.  The key highlight for me is the actual design of the mouse itself; the blue illuminated part of the mouse resembles the maelstrom on the map which if you play World of Warcraft, you would know instantly.  SteelSeries have paid great attention to detail and a superb looking base, which contains runes which illuminate blue also.

In the top left hand corner of the mouse, you can see that when the mouse is charging in its docking station, there is a little red light that comes on just to confirm the mouse is being charged.

On the base of the docking station, we have 4 rubberised tabs on the end of each column which keeps the mouse gripped firmly to the desk and avoids slipping and sliding.  Dead centre, we have the pairing button which connects the base to the mouse using the 2.4GHz wireless technology that the mouse comes equipped with.

Here is a final illustration of the mouse and base side by side, illuminated in all its glory.

 

To demonstrate the SteelSeries software, which is named the SteelSeries Engine, I took the liberty of illustrating the menu’s and decided to briefly explain it, so people looking at purchasing this mouse can see what the software is capable of.

Starting off with the main screen, we can see the World of Warcraft themed design, which gives the software a nice touch and makes it look fantastic.  On the left hand side we have a universal menu which lists the different profiles and this appears on all the different menu screens; the mouse comes loaded with 2 profiles, the SteelSeries default profile and a specific World of Warcraft profile.

On the default SteelSeries profile we can see the button assignments whch has keys 6-10 disabled (11th button changes FPI which cannot be programmed).  This allows you to have a basis for your own profile, allowing you to change the buttons to suit your particular game etc.  In the bottom right hand corner throughout using the software, it gives you hints and tips which I find a fantastic touch.

On the next screen, I decided to select the World of Warcraft profile to show you the difference, as you can clearly see there are a lot more button assignments and no button has been left idle.  You can also change your button assignments to more suit your play style if you wish but for testing, I will leave it as it comes.

Another feature with the SteelSeries engine is the fact you can assign a button to a specific macro; great for those wanting to key bind trinkets and cool downs etc.  Another testament to the brilliant software SteelSeries are renowned for.

On the settings section of the software, it allows you to customise the FPI of the mouse.  The big button below the mouse wheel is the designated button for on the fly DPI switching and this allows you to choose and configure 2 settings.  I would recommend one for slow mouse movements and one for fast.

The polling rate basically is how many times the mouse reports its movements to the computer in a second, so 125Hz = 125 times and second; the more times the mouse reports the information, the faster the computer will process it, this can also make the mouse more responsive in certain situations.  This is customisable from 125Hz all the way to 1000Hz (the maximum possible via USB).

You can also change the illumination of the mouse if it is annoying, personally I love it and it gives a subtle glow to it, especially the base which looks fantastic.  There is also an option to change the pulsation speed.

Here you have the option to assign the game to an application or game, which basically means the software/mouse, can detect when the game is open and thus activating the relevant profile.  An example would be to set the application to World of Warcraft so when the game is detected upon opening, it will automatically activate the chosen profile which I think is an ingenious idea.

Here we have the typical statistics part of the SteelSeries engine.  What this allows you to do is record the number of key presses during games, applications and even general browsing.  Once you start the timer, it will record each button click.  In terms of gaming, it allows you to find under used and over used buttons so you can customise them to your heart’s content.  A pretty niche inclusion but a very welcomed one nevertheless.

Overall, the SteelSeries engine never fails to disappoint and with it being World of Warcraft themed, it will certainty appeal to those WoW addicts among us, but now it’s time to test the performance of the World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mouse, so let’s get started…

To test the performance of the mouse, I will be testing the in-game performance in World of Warcraft, DOTA 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

Starting with mouse acceleration, the SteelSeries World of Warcraft has it enabled and can be disabled if needed in the Windows control panel.  I like mouse acceleration personally as I can control the cursor a lot better; if I need to click something fast or spin round I can do so with a quick flick with little to no effort at all.

World of Warcraft:

In terms of gaming, the first game up for test is no other than World of Warcraft itself.  Now I recently got back into the game last month after a 9 month hiatus (spending more with the kids), so although I wasn’t rusty, I wasn’t exactly raiding top tier content like I once used to.  Taking that into consideration, I took it upon myself to start levelling one of my older characters which includes dungeons; just to test the capabilities of the mouse and how the 11 buttons correlated in terms of performance.  While levelling I took the opportunity to level my priest and more specifically, I decided to enter a dungeon.  For this I queued up as a healer (Priest) and went into my add-ons, specifically Healbot and assigned my mouse buttons to perform different functions.  With having 10 fully customisable buttons it allowed me to not only fit all my heals onto the mouse but also a couple of cool downs which means I can keep an entire party alive with one hand, you can even move while healing which is fantastic.  The same experience was had in Raid Finder, with this being an 25 man occasion, it was a pleasure to play Mage while having macro’s, cool downs and trinkets assigned to buttons.  Being able to click a mouse button instead of looking for it on my keyboard probably increased my DPS slightly but if it did, not by much and depending on your particular play style, you might also feel more comfortable having a mouse which can do so much, but feel like so little, it’s amazing.

Not just focusing on the amount of button configurations, I wanted to talk about the comfort of the mouse itself.  Personally I love the feel of the mouse, it’s comfy, quite lightweight and each click feels like a click so you definitely know when you have pressed a button.  My thumb is a perfect fit to the curve on the left side of the mouse and all of the buttons are in easy reach of all my fingers in all of the relevant places which puts my opinion so far of this mouse up quite a notch as when you’re playing a game like World of Warcraft, it’s one of them games that you need to put a fair amount of time into and in my honest opinion, comfort is one of the paramount qualities I would look for in this type of mouse.

The 2.4GHz wireless capabilities of the mouse was astounding and I didn’t experience any drop-outs in signal which is awesome; with most wireless mice I have owned, I have experienced multiple drop-outs of signal in the past so it’s a rare pleasure that I have one in my possession which does the trick.  Alternatively, those wanting a wired mouse can have that too, as the charging dock USB cable can be plugged directly into the mouse, this not only charges the mouse but allows you to use it like a wired mouse giving gamers added flexibility.

DOTA 2:

The same principles applied to DOTA 2 as they did World of War craft for me, I customised the profile to suit my needs and went onto my charge of DOTA 2 domination.  With 10 buttons, I thought it was a bit ambitious going for the full 10 so I decided to stick to the 4 main abilities of my chosen character.  One thing I did like about the mouse while playing DOTA 2 was the acceleration, it might sound silly but when you’re in the middle of a crowded team fight, it’s always good to be able to flick your mouse to quickly select a weaker player and vanish them from the game (well for 45 seconds or so at least!).  Overall my experience in DOTA 2 was much like that of World of Warcraft, great!

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2:

To see how versatile the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mouse was, I decided to fire up one of my favourite FPS games and one that should certainly put the mouse through its paces due to the high speed action.  The performance here was a mixed bag as the mouse is quite a bit chunkier than what I’m used to in FPS games; 1 extra button for knife attacks is all I need and I’m set.  Comfort was great but with the amount of flailing my right hand was doing to at least put a dent in the enemy; I would probably not recommend this mouse to those hard-core FPS fans.  The mouse did perform ok but nothing special and I do feel it’s unfair to mark it down on this due to it being a MMO mouse specifically.

Overall the mouse performed brilliant, it even performed ok during an hour or 2 of Black Ops 2 but it certainly isn’t suited for FPS games in my opinion, not meaning that you can’t use it for them of course; personal preference takes precedence.

Now it’s time for my final thoughts of the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Wireless MMO mouse and having had the chance to thoroughly test it, it’s time for my final thoughts, how did it perform?  Let’s find out…

Starting with the aesthetics and design, I have to say my mind has literally been blown, from the detail of the illumination, the decal on the mouse, the runes on the base even down to the packaging, SteelSeries definitely have a winner in this department and being a WoW player myself, I really do love it.  For those hating on it, it really comes down to personal preference but what you see with this mouse, is what you get, a stunning World of Warcraft licensed mouse.  The main aspect of the design which I feel is the main compliment other than the looks, is how comfortable the mouse is during long MMO/MOBA sessions, my hand is cramp free and although I don’t feel it with my current weapon of choice (CM Storm Havoc), I most certainly have with other mice in the past so it’s always a pleasure to use such a well thought out and comfortable product.

Touching on the software, it was also a great pleasure to use with many different options ranging from polling rate, to CPI and even down to being able to configure the 10 programmable buttons; everything you could need is there.  The software doesn’t come supplied on a disc, which can be disappointing given the price of the mouse, but personally as I mentioned in the unboxing video, I prefer to download the latest software direct off the website anyway.

Performance wise, you would be crazy in thinking that this mouse wasn’t going to be great for its purpose (World of Warcraft) and in my opinion, it’s pretty versatile up until you hit the constant FPS gaming in which you are clearly using the wrong mouse for the job anyway.  You wouldn’t buy this mouse to play with your clan mates on CS: GO so I feel it would be unfair to judge the mouse based on that.  However, for its purpose, MMOs and even MOBAs; this mouse completely fits the bill and performs outstandingly.  From levelling in WoW all the way to raiding and destroying noobs on DOTA 2, the mouse does the job in a way you congratulate that painter and decorator for making your living room looking like Buckingham palace.

Price wise, the mouse is expensive coming in at around £100, but think of it this way, if you’re an avid World of Warcraft player, do you want what I would consider to be one of the best mice on the market for it?  Not because it’s branded for the game, but because it actually does perform brilliantly.  It has oodles of features, it’s 100% wireless or can be wired if you so wish, has 16hrs of battery life and looks like something that drops off an end game boss, it has it all in my opinion.

Overall it’s a solid World of Warcraft mouse and I’m really glad I had the pleasure of using it.  Without a doubt the mouse deserves our Design award due to its marvellous looks, comfort and overall feel.  Based on my experience with World of Warcraft which the mouse is designed for, the Performance award is more than justified and also for being such an amazingly crafted mouse.

Many thanks to SteelSeries for sending it, I look forward to seeing many more SteelSeries products in the future.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value

Summary

If you’re an avid World of Warcraft player, then this is the mouse which is designed for you and my lord, it performs like a true legendary weapon ever could. From the amazing design to the precise detail that this mouse has, the mouse is a real diamond and if you have £100 spare, then this should certainly be top of the list for any MMO player looking for a new mouse.

4.2

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