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Steelseries Diablo III mouse is built for intense clicking

When I think about Diablo and peripherals, two immediate concerns spring to mind. The first is how well the peripheral stands up to being thrown across the room at high velocity because of an unending string of deaths on Inferno mode in said Diablo game. The second concern is how well the peripheral withstands the immense amount of mouse clicking and movement required of me by the genre. While the first concern is not something that I'm willing to test (mostly because it would come out of my own dime), the second concern has an almost poetic answer.

The Steelseries Diablo III mouse is simple joy. Not only does it feel light and glide smoothly across my gaming mat, but the simple design doesn't overwhelm me with button choices that pull me out of my element. Make no mistake, the Diablo III mouse is not an MMO mouse. You are not getting Naga-level button matrices here, but you are getting a solid, simple, and almost infinitely clickable mouse for rough gameplay.

Here are the specs:
  • 7 programmable buttons
  • Drag-and-drop software to map buttons with unique Diablo III interface
  • 10 million clicks per switch -- this mouse is built for clicking
  • USB, Mac or PC
  • Ambidextrous design for lefties or righties
  • Licensed Diablo III product with Diablo III lighting and graphics


So why review a Diablo III mouse for an MMO website? Well, the obvious answer is that probably 70% to 80% of you all are waiting for Diablo III as much as I am. Secondly, I am the kind of person who believes that peripherals need a life outside of the game they are licensed for. Sure, the Diablo III mouse might be great for Diablo, but is it worth it if it can't compete elsewhere?

Hand disclaimer 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's hands, nor do I have Rossi-sized bear paws capable of felling a wild boar. My hands are average to large.

It's no secret that I love the Xai, the mouse that the Diablo III-branded mouse took much of its identity from. The Xai was designed as a StarCraft mouse, offering players unparalleled APM and a sturdy mouse that kept on clicking. The same design has been moved over into the Diablo III mouse, making it perfect for nonstop clicking and movement.

Durability

One of the hallmark features of the Steelseries Diablo III mouse is its durability. The thing is designed to be a monster when it comes to clicking and clicking and more clicking. The driver software even tracks how many times you've clicked the mouse buttons. The side buttons are easily reachable and have a nice click to them, something I feel is missing from a lot of mouse side buttons.

The Diablo III mouse also features customizable response times for your mouse, in case you are one of those awesome crazies who loves to tinker with that sort of thing. Click, click, click. That's what this mouse is best at. As I was playing Diablo III with the Diablo III mouse, I could imagine myself in the shoes of a product tester, mashing the buttons as much as I could, if only to feel a little power over the device. Everything worked as normal. I was not startled by the breaking of plastic or the snapping of parts.

Kim loves Diablo

Kim Rom is a very enthusiastic guy. That's pretty much the best way I can describe him. He's the guy who sold me on mechanical keyboards in 2010 (and more specifically, the G6v2 from Steelseries) by ripping off the space bar and showing me that there were no dumb springy metal parts that will break on me in 30 days. When I saw Kim again in 2011 and he was as excited about the Xai and the Diablo III mouse, I had a feeling I would like the mouse.

Kim also loves Diablo. I had a roommate in college who absolutely loved Diablo and even borrowed an extra monitor that I had to play two games at once. Diablo has been around me or a part of my gaming life for a long time, and having a peripheral made for this game that gets at the heart of one of the game's motor concepts (as opposed to just macros and more buttons and bulkier design) gives me hope for peripherals in general that work to enhance gameplay, not just slap on buttons.

What about outside Diablo?

My favorite mice for MMOs have always been gamer mice, not because I don't like MMO mice but because I am old and set in my ways. I used a Logitech MX-518 for a long, long time before swapping over to the Razer Mamba, which has served me well for a good while. The Steelseries Diablo III mouse is threatening that position.

The key to making a product that works across multiple genres is make a simple product. Too much of a thing just confuses people, because we want each and every button to have a function. I liked the simplicity of the Razer Nostromo because it was all too familiar as a keyboard layout. For the MMO gamer, the Naga keypad is a familiar construct, but not to the FPS gamer. The Diablo III mouse is so simple and symmetrical that it just fits whatever game you're playing. It has the hardiness required for Diablo III with the added bonus at being good at everything else too. The mouse is sized in such a way that it even accommodates multiple grips on the mouse itself.

I've been using the Diablo III mouse heavily in WoW, SW:TOR, League of Legends, Diablo III, and more for over two weeks, and I can't put the thing away. I love simple mice like this.

The software

My only gripe with the Diablo III mouse is the software, and it has nothing to do with function. The software functions remarkably well, allowing for easy drag-and-drop mouse button selection. Mouse software is expected to be good these days, and Razer, Steelseries, and the rest are putting out solid software suites for their products.

My gripe is with the UI. While I know what I was getting into with a licensed Blizzard and Diablo product, I should have expected a Diablo III-themed UI. Does this change my opinion of the mouse? No. It says Diablo III on the mouse itself. Do I think that I would like the option for a more slimmed-down configuration UI so that my mouse stays a little more timeless? Sure. I guess in that case I could just get the Xai, but the cool markings ...

Smooth and simple

I loved the Diablo III mouse. If you have the chance to put your hands on one at a display counter or store or something, you won't be disappointed. It's a really smooth, slick, and simple device that accommodates lots of hand grips and sizes, as well as any game type. Will it make you better at Diablo III? I wouldn't know -- I'm already amazing. (Not really.) But the mouse certainly clicks like a champ and shows no sign of slowing down.

Likes:
  • Simple design, great all-around mouse in addition to being a click-monster for Diablo III
  • Durable body, light construction, great cable
  • Software that works well and is Diablo-themed
  • Made by people who really like Diablo
  • Mac or PC
  • Ambidextrous for righties or lefties
  • Actually has a release date (now), unlike Diablo III
Dislikes:
  • Nothing, really
  • Not the mouse for anyone looking for a multi-button behemoth like the Naga
  • Not a timeless look (better found in the mouse's brother, the Xai)
The Steelseries Diablo III mouse retails for $69.99 MSRP.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

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