In this section of the review we are going to look at the mouse from two perspectives. The first is general use for a non-WoW gamer. The second is for the task it is designed for, where our expert on all things Blizzard and writer of the Cataclysm Blog takes gives his opinions on the mouse as a WoW player.
When using the Cataclysm mouse in general use for the first day or so it does take a little bit of getting used to as we find the best position for our fingers and thumbs. It was, as an example, easy to press the thumb buttons accidentally while we were adjusting to the new shape but after a few hours we had discovered the best hold for our hand that solved this. Our preferred desktop settings were 3200CPI and 7-8 out of 10 for pointer speed and this also served us well for casual gaming where the 14 configurable buttons also work well. For FPS games we found that switching between various CPI levels was easy to do and regardless of our game style, whether it was sniper or all out action the Xai based sensor served us well.
We also wanted to note that although the software SteelSeries use is WoW branded it still functions well for everyday use with every aspect of the mouse easy to find and quick to configure.
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm Use
Any of the in-game commands or action buttons can be bound to the mouse, either via the software provided with the mouse or without leaving the game by using the in-built game detection and key binding options. This experience is very intuitive and the in-game configuration works as follows:
1. Open "Game Menu"
For players who haven’t used a custom MMO mouse before SteelSeries have ensured that the World of Warcraft Cataclysm mouse is simple to set up and at the same time have retained enough depth to provide more advanced players with all the options they require.
In terms of comparisons with a standard mouse, players who haven’t used a custom MMO device before will find the SteelSeries Cataclysm a definite improvement over any generic model due to the flexibility it offers. For players who have used a custom MMO mouse in the past then the SteelSeries Cataclysm version does stand out as a quality product within that market and is more comfortable to use than the original. It’s obviously directly targeted at the World of Warcraft player though and so players of other MMO’s could, if it suited their gaming style, choose to use it for other titles but it wouldn’t quite have the overall experience that the WoW integration offers.
Interestingly while the mouse supports custom macros it provides a warning prior to allowing us to set up any new macros, as well as during the original installation of the mouse software, perhaps because this is an officially licensed product. The warning is a gentle reminder that Blizzard takes a very dim view of any automated play. Automated play is general considered being any actions that can be performed while the player is not present at the keyboard. So, while it may be possible to create some timed macros using the software SteelSeries provides we wouldn’t recommend it.
The mouse itself is quite substantial, being somewhat larger than other MMO mice we’ve used recently. Due to this we found that we needed a reasonable space in which to use this mouse so it is best that before use some time is spent organising the desk area to create enough space for the mouse and pad. Despite this large design the Cataclysm mouse doesn’t feel awkward to use or tiring during prolonged play. The buttons are within easy reach on the mouse and it didn’t take long for our muscle memory to map them out and be able to find them without looking.
Overall the mouse certainly has a quality feel to it which removes another of the criticisms from the original World of Warcraft model. That older version had a plastic-ish feel to it but the new Cataclysm version feels much better in the hand, more solid and robust than the original version.