Color me unimpressed

It’s sort of a muddy, lavender with hints of bile.

Really not an attractive color, let me assure you.

I went out yesterday and got the SteelSeries WoW mouse.

Here’s the pitch:

Co-designed specifically for World of Warcraft® by Blizzard Entertainment and SteelSeries, the World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse is fully scalable to meet the requirements of even the most discerning World of Warcraft gamer and delivers:

– Incredible customization with 15 programmable buttons, advanced macro creation, and 10 profiles each with unique illumination scheme

– Superior performance, comfort and control for in-game dominance

– An amazing experience for World of Warcraft gamers of all levels and play styles

Easy to use, drag and drop software allows you to:

– Program all 15 buttons with over 130 preset game commands

– Create custom macros (supports in-game macros)

– Develop up to 10 profiles, each with a unique illumination scheme

– Choose from 16 million colors, all with 4 levels of intensity and pulsation

And here’s reality:

Co-designed?

Possibly. Of course, it includes some features that are against the EULA/TOS. If you’re smart enough to get it all figured out, you will be smart enough to realize you’re doing something that could get you banned. It’s a Blizzard licensed product, but I don’t know how much input they actually had on the design specs and functionality.

Incredible customization with 15 programmable buttons?

There’s the normal left and right click (2), a toggle button on the right (2), a directional sort of pad on the left (4), two more buttons on the left (2), an inner left and right by the mouse wheel (2), two buttons below the mouse wheel (2), and the mouse wheel itself (1). So I can’t argue that there are 15 things to play with.

The mouse wheel has no left/right tilt, which I’ve grown accustomed to on my other mouse. The scroll function was a little jumpy but the sensitivity of the mouse wheel click was superior to my other mouse (the only thing that I can say really was better).

The right side toggle button was too far away for my little pinky to reach.

The two buttons below the mouse wheel felt awkward.

The directional pad was “soft,” in that it was possible to think you were hitting one button but it was registering another. It was also situated too close to the other buttons on that side, leading to multiple buttons being pressed (which did really tweaky things with which data was actually sent to the game).

Advanced macro creation?

Yes, advanced enough to get you banned, yet basic enough to keep you from doing anything useful.

The macro section allows for things like delays in input and is rumored to allow multiple actions with single clicks – big No-Nos in the EULA/TOS. Matter of fact, when you’re working with the macros it pops up a warning that you are responsible for following the EULA/TOS in regards to macros and automated play. Scary.

Macros are created in a chat pane and then can be assigned to buttons – but the macro works by accessing your in-game chat pane. So without really complex scripting, you are basically limited to single-line macros, such as “/poke” or “/s ur a idiot” or “/cast Slow Fall”.

Problems are 2-fold.

None of my macros are single line bullshit like that.

Here’s my (modified) Counterspell macro:

/stopcasting
/cast [mod:shift,target=focus][] Counterspell
/run SendChatMessage(“Counterspelling “..UnitName(SecureCmdOptionParse(“[mod:shift]focus;target”)), “PARTY”)

(My normal counterspell macro is actually a clicked ability – don’t shoot me – where it goes to the target for left click and my focus for right-click.)

I tried pulling this into the macro editor and it shoved it all onto 1 line.

So I could create the macro in-game with the shift modifier line and then bind one of my 15 mouse keys to it, completely bypassing the mouse-based macro system, and use it just like any other programmable mouse on the market… not what I was expecting for $80 and “advanced macro creation.”

The other issue is not new to the mouse – if you happen to have a chat pane open and you press a macro, it doesn’t just enter a keybind like you would get currently. I’m sure we’ve all sent/received things like, “/p inc!wwwdddddddd1333332111111”. With this delightful mouse you could send things like, “/p inc!/cast Ice Block”.

(And I can’t even make an Ice Block macro since I want a stopcast in it. When I want to Ice Block I want to Ice Block NOW.)

10 profiles with unique illumination schemes?

Yep. That seems to be accurate. It was even so kind as to get my character picture from the armory when I told it my character name and server.

The lights are kind of spiffy… if you like sitting around and staring at your computer peripherals all day. Other than that, not a terribly useful feature unless you need to tell at a glance which profile you’re in.

Superior performance, comfort and control for in-game dominance?

It didn’t seem to be any more responsive than my other mouse and I found some of the button placements to be awkward. The overall size of the mouse body was doable for me, but wasn’t any more comfortable than my other mouse. I did not notice any in-game dominance; no peons prostrating themselves at my feet or nubile young women throwing themselves in my path. I’m sure Arioch gets lonely from time to time, can’t blame a guy for dreaming.

Easy to use, drag and drop software?

There was some ease of use if you wanted to use the presets, the drag and drop did work.

But on the whole, the interface was completely unreliable.

I had one button that would randomly change what it displayed as its function, but always behaved correctly in game.

When I realized how rudimentary the macro system really was (staying within the EULA/TOS) I tried to make a “/poke” macro.

A dozen tried later, it finally worked. Created another macro just like it for another emote. Again, a dozen tries before it works.

The help documentation for creating macros is so sparse as to be nonexistent, probably to protect themselves from players getting banned and writing strongly worded letters to the mouse manufacturer.

Some changes would take effect immediately in the game (playing in windowed mode for ease of configuration) while some changes required me to close the configuration app and reload it, but there was never any rhyme or reason to it.

Over 130 preset game commands?

I didn’t count them, but there sure were a lot. Pretty much every item on the Keybind list in the game. So your character pane, the world map, toggling open all your bags, etc.

Because you need to pull up my talent tree in the middle of combat! That button must be right there at the tips of your fingers!

Seriously, there was nothing listed here that you couldn’t bind just as easily in the game. And none of it is of a purpose that requires being accessed quickly.

ZOMG have to open the map so fast that I can’t press “m” on the keyboard, must press mouse button!

The character pane is one of the binds that comes pre-loaded on the default profile.

I press the appropriate button.

Nothing.

Press it again.

Nothing.

Hmmm…

My character pane is not mapped to the standard “c”, it’s actually mapped to Alt + C. Wonder if that’s an issue?

Open up a chat pane and press the button.

Look at that, I get a “c”.

So it’s not even integrated, it’s just using character mappings. Character mappings that you can assign to any other programmable mouse.

I use the add on Dominos for my action bars. This is a point of no discussion. I love this add on and it would be very hard to convince me to change.

One of the biggest perks of Dominos for me is the ease of setting up keybinds. I want that square on that action bar to be the click on the middle mouse button. (This is actually my Blink bind.)

So I open up the keybind window, hover over Blink on the action bar and click the middle mouse button.

Presto!

No such luck with the new mouse.

As far as I could figure, my options for each button were to map to a preset game command, map to a character on the keyboard, or disable.

So to get Dominos to recognize that I wanted to use the middle mouse button, I would have to map the middle mouse button to something else on my keyboard and then map that in Dominos.

That’s not what I want.

Out of all those preset game commands, they were really stingy with the action bars.

I had action bar 1, action bar 1 again but forcing the cast on myself, and then a couple action bars that I couldn’t find.

I activated every bar in Dominos and assigned different spells to the first button on each bar.

I then put the first button of all the weird bars on different mouse buttons.

Start pushing buttons.

Nothing.

Maybe if I was a druid with forms or a warrior with stances they would have been usable, but I couldn’t get it.

Choose from 16 million colors, all with 4 levels of intensity and pulsation?

Who fucking cares?

I fought with it for about 3 hours and then very carefully nestled it back into its packaging for its return trip to the store.

WTB back my wasted evening.

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11 comments on “Color me unimpressed

  1. telanarra says:

    all i have to say is LAWL. And sorry u wasted an evening

    Like

  2. smart001 says:

    I don’t think you could have an unattractive color…You have even had purple hair… /hehe i said you was perty…

    seriously though, that mouse shit sucks. it is not fun buying a peripheral and finding it does not do what you want or is so overinflated with useless shit you end up not using it anyway.

    Like

  3. Rurjaos says:

    A friend got this one too. Poor marketing victim. I had to install it, tried to integrate it into her game… neat but almost useless, every advanced logitech gadget is better. couldn’t even bind or to a button. ergonomic failure. nice thing to light up someoneelses desktop… just lay around and pulse…

    Like

  4. Rurjaos says:

    oups…. comment system swallowed CTRL and ALT between “bind … or … to”

    Like

  5. jong says:

    “I did not notice any in-game dominance; no peons prostrating themselves at my feet or nubile young women throwing themselves in my path.” haha

    I was disappointed with the mouse too, but I kep it because my other mouse was cordless mouse that dies on me during immortal runs.

    Like

  6. Delerius says:

    Wow so I’m not the only one that puts the character pane on Alt-C? Awesome. C is just such a great button to use in the middle of combat, no point in suddenly bringing up your character pane. (Btw, C is Frost Nova on my mage, what’s yours?)

    One thing I can’t stand though is messing around with “B” You’re really not going to hit it by accident in combat (I hope) and it’s convienently been the most useful non-combat button every since level 1. I have several friends that make “B” their pvp trinket… which makes it hilarious when I try to help them out. I’ve trinketed for no reason I don’t know how many times now…

    Anyone else use control+L for their Lifeblood? My friend… needs help.

    Back on topic, I’ve never tried Dominos but I have Bartender. Have you tried it? Do you have comparisons, reasons for one or another? I’m getting a little frustrated with Bartender not changing when I switch forms/stealth (yes I’m a druid now) and I’m wanting to get my keybindings in an easy-to-use place. Give me a sales pitch for Dominos and I’ll try it out.

    Like

  7. Nagu says:

    Yeah… have you seen that new headset they’re pushing?
    It works just like any other headset! It even has a mic! Oooh and look, it glows on the side! Because you’re totally going to see… the outside… of your headset…

    And that sucks about the mouse… definitely not buying one now. Thanks for the warning!

    Like

  8. Tebla says:

    My wife got me mine for Christmas.I was very happy because she bought me both expansions at the same time. Good Christmas. Mouse took some time to get used to, I was expecting more from the advertisement. Also the first gen mice had a button issue where the Steetseries site actually told you to “pull up on the button until you hear a cracking sound”. As scary as that sounded, it worked fine. And the mouse has been working great ever since.

    Flash forward a couple of months. I realized early on that the interface for the mouse looked cool, but the functionality sucked. I have incorporated all of the buttons now and I mostly use macrros created in the mouse interface, but they are simple ones. For example, I have one called Number One, which has Num 1 in it. Then I have a hidden Bartender action bar that has, say, Fire Ward mapped to the numpad 1 button.

    I love it now and I would hate to go back to a mouse that had fewer buttons. There are limitations to the software, but you can get around those.

    The new razor one looks better, though. It’s all about the buttons.

    I just didn’t want everyone to think that no one likes it.

    Like

  9. Tebla says:

    Yeah, I have gotten so used to utilizing every button on the mouse that going back to another mouse would suck. I like having a button mapped to tab or wards or assist or throw Blizzard (the skinny one just to the right of the mouse wheel is perfect for that) or one to use quest items that make trying for the bombing runs in Outland infinitely easier, etc. I love being able to keep running and pop up my map real quick,

    I’ll come back and let you know if anything changes after the patch.

    Like

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