As usual, I tested out each peripheral for review for no less than a week of actual WoW gameplay and learning, trying out the gear on my main as well as new alts created for the express purpose of learning with a new peripheral from scratch. Here's my week with the SteelSeries WoW MMO Legendary edition gaming mouse.
Incoming bullet list of features from SteelSeries:
- In-game setup for both Mac and PC
- Bind all 11 buttons using the WoW interface
- 16.8 million color options with four levels of intensity and pulsation (you only really need one color, though -- red)
- Sleek design, comfortable buttons
- Drag-and-drop software makes macro creation easy, or just drop in over 130 preset commands
- Quick-start guide
- SteelSeries stickers for you to put wherever you like stickers
A quick disclaimer before we begin that has to do with hand size, personal preference, and all that jazz: I am reviewing this mouse based on its size relative to my own hands and my own preferences for input hardware. My review is all about my own personal experience, and yours may vary, because we all have different hands. However, I can promise you that I do not have little dainty 4-year-old hands, nor do I have Rossi-sized bear paws that are capable of felling a wild boar. My hands are average.
The original Steelseries MMO gaming mouse offered little to me in terms of design and button placement. It was not as well-received as the company had hoped, I would imagine, but the mouse had an untold amount of potential because, frankly, the world needs more MMO mice. The only competitive offering out there was the Razer Naga, which is a powerhouse in its own right, but the button configuration isn't always for everyone. The Steelseries mouse has a much more traditional button layout that fits a bit easier on hands that have traditional mouse experience.
I didn't hate the original Steelseries MMO gaming mouse. It just felt a little light, like I might break it if I pressed too hard. I am confident in saying that the Legendary edition of the MMO gaming mouse, years after its predecessors, feels solid in the hand. It's a heavier mouse with better buttons and a better-feeling thumb design.
One feature that I did not anticipate liking so much is the thumb buttons. The Legendary mouse has the traditional forward and back thumb buttons that you press by rocking your thumb forward or backward, as you would expect. There is a second thumb button rocker that adds two more buttons when you rock your thumb right or left. It was a pleasant surprise, easily adding two extra buttons that were thumb-accessible that didn't feel out of place.
The in-game configuration of the Legendary mouse is easier than you would expect it to be. Since the product is a licensed Blizzard peripheral, there are lots of hooks that the Legendary mouse has caught into the WoW interface. You would never really have to live in the mouse utility outside of the game, if you were so inclined. You'd miss out on a bunch of macro features and other cool things built in to the software, but the basic stuff is all contained within the game itself. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Being a licensed product and getting to work with Blizzard designers is a pretty nice boon.
Characters and profiles
The Legendary's software is a real gem. Each button is easily configured using a simple interface with a ton of preset functions available to players that are directly from WoW itself. Having the game's own commands right there in the software outside of WoW is an excellent feature and makes the software that much more powerful.
One of the coolest features of the Legendary mouse software is that you can sync your character from the WoW Armory to your mouse profiles. For instance, my tanking profile could have my tank attached to it with picture and all, versus my hunter who is on profile 2. It's not the most useful feature, but it makes the Legendary and its software feel like a real addition to your game experience. Your characters live in and out of game, in your profiles and the mouse.
The true strength of the Legendary mouse is how the mouse and game interact in an almost seamless fashion. You will be hard-pressed to find a peripheral that syncs up better with the game that it is intended for.
A drawback or two
I did find two minor drawbacks with the Legendary mouse that, again, are issues specific to my hand size, so you might not experience these same concerns. First, the mouse is larger than most mice I've used from both SteelSeries and Razer. As someone who likes to wrap my hand around the mouse's body, I felt like my hand was riding the Legendary mouse like at a rodeo, minus the bucking bronco. The mouse was not really designed for the way I like to hold my mice, but I don't hold my mice like everyone else does anyway. The Xai mouse, another awesome mouse from SteelSeries, has a much smaller, much smoother body that I can rest my hand over and surround with my thumb and pinky, versus the more open-palmed flatness I was getting with the Legendary.
The second issue I had was the 11th button. There is a button on the Steelseries Legendary mouse that I have absolutely no use for because, for the life of me, I couldn't find a comfortable way of hitting it. The button lives under your pinky on the right side of the mouse -- in my case, right under the top knuckle. Try as I might, it was the one button on the mouse that just wasn't doing it for me. Ten out of 11 ain't bad, though.
Connections and user interface symmetry
My time with the SteelSeries Legendary MMO gaming mouse was enjoyable and carefree. The true strengths of the Legendary mouse lie in the connections and user interface symmetry that exists outside and inside the game while you are using the mouse. The external software is powerful stuff, but you'd never need it if you want the mouse to perform its basic functions since it's all configurable from inside World of Warcraft. It's a sturdy mouse, leaps and bounds ahead of the old models of the MMO gaming mouse, and acts admirably as an everyday pointing device. While a little large for my tastes, the Legendary mouse is a marked improvement and a solid peripheral from a company already known for solid stuff.
Breaking it down in bullet point form:
- Score: 8/10; if you like the aesthetics, you won't be disappointed.
- A little large, but my hands are pretty "medium," anyway.
- Thumb buttons easily hit, especially the up/down rocker.
- Sturdy design; hefty piece of equipment.
- Colors! Lots of colors to set!
- Still no idea how I can hit that 11th button, but you might have better luck.