Looking first at build quality we have a product where SteelSeries have clearly listened to customer feedback from the original model which some consumers felt could have had a better finish. As a result SteelSeries made this a priority area for the Cataclysm model and even list the improved, higher grade surface as one of the key differences between the models. As always it is good to see nice touches such as a braided cable or gold plated USB plug and in addition to these the use of the award winning laser from the Xai mouse further improves the quality of the overall product.
In terms of mouse design there really isn’t anything like it on the market, other than the original model and the new ergonomic design with improved comfort from the new side sections really does elevate the Cataclysm mouse to a level above the original model. When we add to that a better looking finish and some nice customisable lighting the Cataclysm mouse really does look great. The only minor issue is the overall size of the mouse, it is the largest performance model that we have tested and does take some time to adjust to. That said there are no problems with weight as SteelSeries have kept that to a minimum.
Performance wise there is very little to fault about the World of Warcraft: Cataclysm mouse as the Xai laser used by the product is proven technology which many enthusiast gamers already use. With settings from 800-5000CPI, 1000Hz polling and the option to change sensitivity, acceleration and lift distance this is essentially a high spec gaming mouse in a unique body. The mouse is enhanced further by on-board memory which allows us to configure and store up to ten profiles and the interface ties in well with the WoW brand whilst still being easy to use. Where the mouse really excels though is its integration with World of Warcraft, being able to configure the buttons from the game interface sets it apart from any other model and the use of 14 buttons with macro capability gives huge flexibility on the commands which can be assigned. Our only minor issue is that the default CPI and acceleration settings feel a little low when the mouse is first installed.
So to value and for that we really need to look at two other products, the Razer Naga and SteelSeries own Xai. At £67 the Cataclysm mouse is priced at an almost identical level to the Naga, its direct competition and so seems reasonable value. In terms of the Xai comparison we have a £20 price difference which seems a touch on the high side. Finally, it would have been nice to see SteelSeries include a carry pouch with the mouse to add some extra value, maybe even some nice WoW case stickers too.