Geek Gifts 2011: World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse

Read what WoW fan Wally Bahny has to say about the World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse.

New from SteelSeries and Blizzard Entertainment for the launch of the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft is the World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse, which brings the high-grade laser mouse technology and the Deathwing stylization together in one powerful peripheral.

While not quite a R.A.T. gaming mouse, the World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse is larger than your typical mouse. In addition to the standard five buttons, there are three buttons at the thumb, four buttons on either side of the standard left and right buttons, a button below the wheel, and a button where the ring finger rests. Each of these 14 buttons is fully configurable within the downloadable software, or you can pass the configuration control in-game for direct triggering of specific events. If the mouse is configured in the downloadable software, it can be configured for any game or application; if the software is set to allow configuration "in game," it's locked to World of Warcraft.

In addition to assigning keys to each button, the software allows the user to choose specific in-game tasks, make mouse adjustments, or create custom macros via a slide-out pane and assign those to any button. The software has another slide-out pane to configure the basic mouse properties, including sensitivity, click speed, scroll speed, and pointer speed. You can also adjust which color it emits from between the "scales," as well as how bright it is and whether it pulsates.

Product specifications and features

  • Box contents: The mouse with its woven USB cord, a Quick Start Guide, a booklet from SteelSeries advertising its products, and a SteelSeries sticker.
  • Movement technology: Laser
  • Buttons: Standard five-button wheel mouse with nine additional buttons
  • Connector: USB 2.0
  • Configuration software: Allows you to configure all 14 buttons, adjust mouse settings, change illumination, and create macros.
  • Price: $99.99 (,, and others)
  • TechRepublic photo gallery of the World of Warcraft Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse.

What I like

  • Comfortable: The mouse initially seemed large in my hand, but I quickly got used to the feel of it.
  • Additional button layout: The way the additional buttons are spread around the mouse it allows each finger except the pinky to participate in clicking.
  • Sensitivity: The laser technology makes the mouse's movement much more sensitive and thus more accurate.
  • Woven cord: This is something you don't see in standard mice. The woven USB cord feels like a shoelace, and it is more flexible than a standard plastic-sheathed cord.
  • Configuration: Every button can be reconfigured either within the downloadable software or in the World of Warcraft game client.

What I don't like

  • Right-hand only: The additional functionality of the mouse is fairly useless to left-handed mousers. The buttons on the left side would rely on the pinky, and the button on the right side would be out of reach of the thumb.
  • Last thumb button: The forward-most thumb button is slightly out of reach, which requires users to make a small hand-position adjustment. Moving all five thumb buttons back about ¼-½ inch (about the width of the vertical ones) would have improved that greatly.

Geek bottom line

With the ability to configure each button either in the downloadable software or in the World of Warcraft game client, gamers -- especially World of Warcraft gamers -- will enjoy this mouse's functionality and layout. Also, with the Deathwing stylization, it adds some extra decoration to your desk top.

Geek gift score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ****
  • Geek factor: *****
  • Value: ****
  • Overall: ****

For more reviews of tech gadgets, gizmos, games, and books, download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.