Mad Catz Cyborg M.M.O. 7 gaming mouse hands-on
The first thing we noticed about the M.M.O. 7 were its bright orange highlights -- with the exception of the standard left and right clickers and a dpi switch, every single button, scroll wheel and rocker on the mouse pops with vibrant color. The orange accents extend to the device's metal undercarriage, as well as to two of the unit's three swappable palm rests and one of its three pinkie grips.
The bright color almost acts as a "what's new" indicator, drawing attention to the seven new inputs available on the mouse's thumb rest. Here you'll find a familiar round nub that was once the RAT 7's precision aim toggle -- the M.M.O. 7's new five-directional rocker still does the "sniper button" trick, but it also offers four more inputs over its predecessor. Flanking the 5D's sides are two additional toggles, as well as one more skirting the edge of the thumb rest's bottom. Combined with the legacy buttons on the rest's top lip, these additions give a thumb access to ten toggles at any given time. A pair of ActionLock buttons hug either side of the mouse's horizontal scroll wheel, each toggling a constant input of their respective clicker when activated -- as well as a mode indicating LED color change on each button's edge.
Most of the new rodent's changes are welcome, but we couldn't help but notice a few minor tweaks that seem to detract from the device. The standard RAT 7 mouse features a DPI adjusting rocker just below the scroll wheel, allowing the user to kick the peripheral's sensitivity up or down with a north or south toggle -- the M.M.O 7 doesn't discard this feature, but instead swaps the bi-directional rocker for a standard button. This isn't a major inconvenience, as there are only four levels to switch between, but being able to step up and down was a bit more convenient than cycling through all four settings just to drop sensitivity down a notch. Still, the one-way rocker gets the job done; we didn't have any trouble hitting any of our pre-set configurations in the M.M.O. 7's 6,400 dpi range.
The M.M.O. seems to suffer a slight disadvantage on the customizability front as well -- although it features all of the same movable parts as its predecessor, the angle of the mouse's thumb rest can no longer be adjusted using the unit's included hex key. Although the mouse's pinkie guard and the thumb rest's sliding mechanism still use standard hex sockets, adjusting the thumb rest's pivot resistance now requires the use of a phillips screwdriver. This screw-swap is likely the device's largest fault, and while it's strange (and somewhat annoying), it's a minor inconvenience at best,
Using the mouse is a predictably familiar affair -- its movable parts molded to our hand just as comfortably as Cyborg's earlier models, so much so that we almost had to remind ourselves we were playing with a new beast. New it is, though, exemplified by its bright colors and wild collection of new buttons. We downloaded Cyborg's pre-configured MMO profile pack and fired up some old game accounts, casting spells, firing phasers and looting our fallen foes with ease. With ten toggles within reach of our thumb, accessing inventory items, abilities and action slots was a breeze. Things got even easier when installed the M.M.O. 7's custom World of Warcraft plugin, a handy add-on that gave the mouse an in-game drag and drop interface for on-the-fly customization.
As great as the RAT / M.M.O. 7 hardware is, the peripheral owes a lot of its wonder to its companion software suite -- it allows users to load dozens of well crafted, freely available game profiles, or build their own custom control setup complete with keyboard mapping and macros. All of Mad Catz' Cyborg mice use the same program to customize their three "cyborg modes," or profile configurations that users can switch between on the fly. The M.M.O. 7 takes this a step further, adding a "mode shift" button just above the pinkie guard, effectively adding three additional profile configurations that can be toggled at any time. This gives the mouse up to 78 programable commands. Yowza. The M.M.O. 7 has enough room to program in all your major skills, and then some -- just knowing that competitive PVPers have access to this kind of technology makes us tremble with fear.
Suffice to say, hardcore MMO gamers won't have any problem finding a place to bind their favorite macro. Just because you can bind anything to the mouse's 13 programmable buttons six times over doesn't mean you should, however -- when using the MMO mouse for not-so massively multiplayer games, the temptation to over-customize got in our way, leading us to accidentally open a menu when we only wanted to activate precision aim. The software can do almost anything, but there's no accounting for bad profiles. A carefully crafted control scheme, however, is a beautiful thing.
The M.M.O. 7 holds the distinction of being the most different of the Cyborg mice. Although it shares the familiar customizable chassis of the RAT 7 and 9, it augments the original design with a host of new buttons, new features and a new programmable mode. It adds more than it takes away, and it takes very little. Although FPS-minded gamers familiar with the RAT series of mice may be put off by the 5D precession aim rocker's new position, this is ultimately a device built specifically for massively multiplayer online games, and it fits the bill. The plethora of programmable buttons and swappable profiles make managing the overwhelming options that MMO games offer a breeze, and manages to pack a lot of easily accessible functionality into a relatively small space. Like its predecessors, it's a premium mouse -- one with an MMO bent. It just leaves one question: is it worth the premium price? At $130, it's no snap decision -- but let's put it another way, hardcore gamer. How much have you spent on World of Warcraft over the last seven years? That's what we thought. Enjoy your new mouse.