Thursday, February 10, 2011

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse SteelSeries Review and Tips

I recently acquired a WoW: Cataclysm Mouse, the 14 button monster of a human interface device. My impressions of it have been hugely positive for World of Warcraft, and it's a must have for end-game type playing (which requires the use of upwards of 30 abilities to play effectively).

Not Booting Up

I had an initial issue with the mouse out of the box, where Windows 7 was not recognizing the mouse on boot (although a subsequent cycle of the USB would fix this issue). This was due to the fact that the mouse was operating on an older firmware. There is no option later within the driver settings to install new firmware. When you install the drivers you have to make sure that the mouse is plugged in at that point, otherwise it won't detect and update the firmware. Once I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers and the firmware was updated, the mouse was recognised on bootup without any issues after that.

There are 10 profiles to store on the mouse, but I think it's best to use the WoW in-game native configuration.

Best Method Of Mousebinding

There are a lot of options for mousebinding with the mouse. Personally, I do not recommend using SteelSeries' driver software to do your mousebindings. Working within the WoW interface is much faster for setting up and testing bindings.

I'm a fan of smart selfcasting within the game, and also using mouseover macros in order to direct abilities without changing target. The AddOn Clique allows abilities to be set at 'Hovercast binding' but not 'Global binding' at the same time. This means that if you set 'Hovercast binding' but do not have a target under the mouse, the button won't perform any action. However, it's still possible to create mouseover macros that self-cast under certain conditions using Clique custom macros and 'Global binding'.

For example, I use this macro for my Flash Heal:

#Flash Heal
/cast [target=mouseover,help,player][] Flash Heal

This allows a 'priority' for targets to be targeted, firstly the mouseover [mouseover], then a friendly [help], then yourself [player]. Therefore when I am targeting an opponent, I can easily self heal or target others whilst also doing damage to my target. For this macro to work properly, the custom macro itself needs to be set as 'Global binding' in order to activate.

Does It Work With Other Applications?

The WoW: Cataclysm Mouse is very large, and is not necessarily ideal for other types of applications, particularly if you have smaller hands. Although you might think that there is a huge application for all these buttons, many of the buttons don't function except as a kind of keyboard emulation (as under the SteelSeries drivers). In World of Warcraft, there is an option to activate the rest of the buttons in the default configuration. However under Windows 7, the mouse is only recognised as having 5 inputs (despite there being 14) and only left click, right click, middle mouse and two thumb buttons are active by default. Therefore outside of the World of Warcraft, the extra functionality is limited to just 5 buttons. The SteelSeries drivers seem to only allow macros that input into World of Warcraft, although it is possible to create custom macros. However, this seems to be a very roundabout way to bind keys and is not really ideal.

One thing I did like about this mouse is that it doesn't use hardmapped CPI switches (in other words, DPI or sensitivity), and it's possible to bind any key to switch to a custom CPI. This has some uses in FPS games where you might switch sensitivities depending on what weapon you are using.


The WoW: Cataclysm Mouse is a must have for those who have reached the end-game and want a solution that allows you to play without having to reach all over the keyboard in order to activate abilities. For me it's been a godsend for streamlining endgame healing and PvP.