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SteelSeries WoW mouse dangerous in no uncertain Terms (of Use)

We had an article here not too long ago about the SteelSeries WoW mouse, purportedly das ubermaus, replete with glowing fissures and lookin' all like a Templar helmet. We actually had kind of a hard time finding out just how the mouse performed -- it was advertised months before it came out, and it doesn't appear that many gamers actually got to use the mouse prior to pre-ordering it and did so based on Blizzard's official licensing of the WoW name on the product.

The few that did use it, those that played around with it at BlizzCon, actually reported to us that it felt cheap, flimsy, and about to break. That was a bit disconcerting to read, of course, and it wasn't actually an isolated incident--all of the emails we've received about it thus far have been negative reviews. Folks complained of broken buttons or strange key reassignments with the accompanying software.

Now, our sister site Engadget just released their own impressions on the device and they appear to like it, offering a large size, good weight, and robust software among their list of pros.

The inconsistency in reviews of the product thus far isn't what really bothers me, though. It's the fact that the mouse is a WoW-licensed product that performs functions that are against Blizzard's policies.


Vyndree (multiboxing pro and longtime follower of mine from when I first explained Blizzard's policies on multiboxing as Belfaire) sent us her own review, in which she expressed two things -- first, that the mouse didn't live up to the hype surrounding it, and, more gravely, that the mouse and its accompanying software make use of delayed, timed, or looping scripts. These types of scripts come up all the time in conversations about peripherals like the G15 keyboard, and the overwhelming response from Blizzard has always been that those features are against the EULA and Terms of Use. This is not up for debate.

And yet the features are advertised in the manual of a WoW-branded product without any kind of warning that those very features are against the rules of the game. It doesn't really make any sense.

I posted a thread on the WoW Customer Service Forum (old habits, folks) about it and the response was simply that you "shouldn't use those features" while playing WoW. This is the response I would've been required to make, of course. It's not a customer service issue. It's a PR and Licensing screwup. But saying you shouldn't use the features of a game-branded piece of merchandise in that game?

Well, of course you shouldn't. If you're familiar with the EULA or the Terms of Use then you know that. But for someone who doesn't actively read up on policies about esoteric stuff like hardware use, someone who just knows Blizzard means quality, Blizzard's name on a product is a gospel endorsement. That should be enough, and it's not with the SteelSeries mouse.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

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