Raiding Hardware Peripherals – Gaming Mice
Gaming mice have been around for quite some time but last year saw the launch of the first real mmo mouse – The World of Warcraft endorsed Steelseries mouse. More recently, Razer have also launched a mouse designed for MMO players.
I will admit to having tried a lot of mice. I have no idea what I do to them, but I go through mice at an alarming rate. If any companies need their products stress testing, I’m the person. If it’s breakable, I’ll manage it. Prior to my newest mouse, which I’ll come to later, I’ve been using the SteelSeries Ikaris. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that one reason for this was it’s availability in pink. However, after going through three Ikaris in an fourteen month period, all of which developed identical faults, I gave up and decided it was time for a change.
For this reason, I haven’t tried the WoW endorsed mouse. I loved the idea of it when it launched but my prior experiences with the Steelseries mice put me off. A little bit of googling about this mouse has also brought up a lot of poor reviews, although most of them seem to be focussed on the first batch of mice which had (I’m shocked), left and right button clicking issues along with random cases of electrocution (no, really).
Prior to my latest mouse, I’ve had good experiences with the Logitech G9x Laser Mouse. The variations of grips and weights made this a nice mouse by all accounts. But I didn’t keep mine long after spotting this…
The new Razer Naga gaming mouse is developed specifically for MMO players. I knew the instant I saw this that I had to try it out. I’ve always liked the idea of being able to bind skills to my mouse wheel, particularly those that depend on speed of response. However, it’s pretty easy to exhaust the options of mouse bindings and I won’t touch the whole shift+mouse button click ideas.
Feel And Usability
I will admit to wondering how well the button grid would work in reality. The likelihood of my thumb consistently hitting all twelve of the side buttons with no errors worried me, even when considering my relatively small hands. When the mouse arrived, I was pleased to discover it also came with “training grips”. These are small adhesives that can be fixed to certain buttons to raise their profile higher than the adjacent buttons. The idea being that you place these on key buttons to use as a reference for the entire grid while learning to play with it. Despite my concerns, I actually didn’t need these and have found myself picking up the keybinds quickly and reliably. As I’ve mentioned, I do have quite small hands, so whether men would find the grid as easy to navigate, I can’t comment. It’s also ergonomically shaped and in that sense, ideal for MMO players who tend to game for such long sessions at a time. A further concern of mine was regarding the size of the mouse. I’ve generally liked Razer mice in the past because of their relatively small size. I don’t like large mice at all, they make me feel like I’m trying to manoeuvre a house brick around. The WoW mouse is rather large and the Logitech was probably a tad larger than I would have ideally enjoyed. Despite the huge amount of buttons this mouse offers, it’s still compact and lightweight, both definite bonuses for me
Ease of Use and Configuration
My next concern was regarding how the configuration or binding of the buttons would actually work. I read mention of being able to download an addon especially for managing these and that did not appeal to me. Not to worry, it works perfectly fine with Bartender with no addition third party programs. You have two options in regards to the keybindings. You can have the mouse button grid replace your standard 1-0 numbers on the keyboard or, alternatively, you can have it work from the numpad keys. For most players and certainly myself, my prime DPS keys are on keys “`” through to “4”. I didn’t want to play exclusively from my mouse. I have tried this briefly in instances but found chain casting to become quite tiring after the fifth heroic and suspected it wasn’t doing my thumb much good. So, I’ve chosen to let the mice keys replace my numpad keys. These are way too far to the right of my keyboard to ever be used as any useful bindings anyway. Selecting which keys the mouse replaces is done by the flip of a switch under the mouse itself. So yes, this also means you can switch them in an instant should you require. Once you’ve selected which keys the mouse replaces, binding a skill is absolutely straight forward.
(Note:- For those who use the default auto-run key of Numlock, using the numpad buttons for your Naga would require that you switch the auto run binding. Pressing Numlock will obviously effect these buttons and cause your key bindings to “break” until you press the key again. Then again, when you’ve just gained another twelve buttons, binding your auto-run elsewhere shouldn’t be any major hassle)
I can only comment on the configuration using Bartender however, but here’s a few screenshots to show exactly how easy this is.
Firstly, open the Bartender configuration addon in game by typing /bartender. This will bring up a window that looks like the following.
From here, click on the Key Bindings button found at the top of the window.
This will remove the main configuration window and leave you with the key bindings window. As with binding any skill, you scroll over it’s position on a hot bar and hit the key you want to bind the skill too. (Note, hitting escape first will clear any existing bindings attached to that skill). In the case of the Naga mouse, it’s exactly the same, hover over the skill and click on the mouse button you wish to bind it to.
It’s that simple. The configuration of the mouse requires no programmes running in windows and no additional addons. Binding anything to the mouse is as easy as to any other key.
For me, the beauty of the Naga’s additional binding options comes in being able to add skills that are reaction based to my finger tips. For example, I have Wind Sheer and Purge bound to the first two buttons. My magma and searing totem binds both feature on my mouse, along with my Frost shock (all skills I am most likely to be using on the move). As a shaman, I find particular value in the buttons for totem management.
I haven’t used the WoW mouse as I mentioned, but I have dug around a little for reviews and found at least a screenshot of the configuration window for the key bindings. One of the issues I have found is that the key bindings are slightly more fiddly to set up. Below is the shot of the in game configuration for those interested.
In conclusion, I tend to be one of those people who likes new gadgets. I can’t help being curious about new mice, new keyboards and the like – pretty much anything that I can see has the potential to improve my style of play. I consider myself quite picky about mice. The size, the shape, the number of buttons and placement of, adjustable sensitivity and durability all matter to me. I can honestly say this has been the best mouse I’ve played with (and as I mentioned earlier, due to the fact I seem to destroy them, I’ve tried a fair few).
As with all mice, they’re a very personal thing and I can’t honestly say whether the button grid will suit everyone or whether people with larger thumbs will find the keys more difficult to hit reliably. For anyone looking for a new mouse, I would thoroughly recommend this (and as a side note to multi game players, it certainly at least supports Warhammer and I suspect a few more!)
I have one complaint and it’s purely cosmetic (though I’m personally praying to the mouse Gods every night that this will be remedied in a later version), the backlighting behind the button grid, scroll wheel and under the Razer logo can not be switched from blue. Given the recent trend of PC peripherals having customizable back lighting, this slightly disappointed me.