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Filed under: Hardware

Steelseries MoP Anniversary sale

Steelseries Mists of Pandaria Anniversary sale
One year ago today, Mists of Pandaria launched in the US and EU. It hardly feels like a year has gone by! In celebration of Mists of Pandaria's one-year anniversary, game gear specialists SteelSeries are hosting one heck of a sale on all World of Warcraft gear, marking it all 50% off for the next 24 hours or so. This includes both the SteelSeries World of Warcraft Legendary Edition mouse, and the World of Warcraft Wireless MMO Mouse, as well as a selection of QcK mousepads designed with Mists of Pandaria in mind.

At 50% off, these gaming peripherals are an absolute steal -- and this presents a perfect opportunity to snag some gear for yourself, or get that holiday shopping for your favorite gamer out of the way a little early this year. But if you want to get your hands on the goods, better hurry -- the sale ends tomorrow, September 26, at 11:59pm GMT. Head over to SteelSeries official website to get your fill of Warcraft gear.

Filed under: News items, Hardware, Mists of Pandaria

A true World of Warcraft: 3 things to know when playing on the road

A true World of Warcraft 5 things to know when playing on the road

When the boss says "I need you overseas next week," replying "but I've got a raid!" isn't really an option. I've just completed a two-week whirlwind trip, and I've discovered that with some mild preparation, it's quite easy to get in your regular WoW time. Dailies, raiding, pet battles PvP; whatever your choice of fun, don't let geography keep you down.

Choose your weapon

"Honey, why can't you take my old laptop on your trip?" "Because it only gets 10 FPS in Val...erm, because I want one that can Skype with you well without any slowdowns!"

First, you're going to need a machine to play on. If buying a new laptop isn't an option, it's not the end of the world; WoW can run on some positively ancient hardware, if you're comfortable with playing on lower graphics-quality settings. After installing it on a few laptops during my last trip overseas, I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that any dual-core system should be able to at least run the game well enough to login, chat, and browse the Auction House. (In chronological terms, that means any system since about 2010 or so, and some higher-end 2008-2009 systems.) Of course, if you want to do anything more vigorous than posting auctions and talking in guild chat, you'll want a better hunk of plastic. Raiding and battlegrounds, in particular, will heavily tax your system, so try it out on your machine BEFORE you go. Trust me; learning Alysrazor tornadoes was challenging by itself, learning them while playing as a healer moving at 5 FPS was even worse.

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Filed under: Hardware

Steelseries debuts Wireless World of Warcraft mouse

Steelseries debuts Wireless World of Warcraft mouse
As someone who has been using a SteelSeries mouse for over a year now with no complaints, I was interested to discover that SteelSeries is producing a wireless model coming October 8. Branded specifically for World of Warcraft, it has eleven buttons for ease of keybinding, 16 hours of battery life and a USB recharge feature that allows you to use the mouse as a normal gaming mouse if you happen to exhaust that 16 hours (and man, if you do, go take a walk or something). My Cataclysm mouse has lasted me through some fairly hard use, so I'm interested in picking one of these up and seeing if it is as durable and flexible.

Of course, if you'd rather a tethered mouse, there's the World of Warcraft Legendary Edition, and the Cataclysm edition mouse (the one I'm still using) which has endured my hamhanded approach since December of 2010. And if you're buying a mouse anyway, why not pick up a new mousepad? SteelSeries has you covered there too, with two to choose from. I can't swear to it, but I think they're both Chen.


It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: News items, Hardware

Macs, heat, and WoW: How to fix and prevent heat issues in 5.0.4 and beyond

Macs, heat, and WoW How to fix and prevent heat issues in 504 and beyond
It's no secret that Macs, and especially Mac notebooks, run pretty hot while playing WoW. However, in the wake of patch 5.0.4, a lot of Mac users are reporting dangerously high temperatures, and worried players have flooded the Mac Technical Support forum.

A player named Growltiger believes he/she has found what's causing the problem, and has even devised a fix that's seemed to work really well for the people who've tried it. Blizzard's acknowledged this and is working on patching the issue as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I thought that, in addition to including Growltiger's solution here, it might be a good idea to run an article on how to fix and prevent heat problems with Macs. We write for a pretty computer-savvy audience here at WoW Insider, and odds are good you'll find some people in the comment section who really know their stuff. I won't claim to be one of them, but I hope some of the things that have worked for me will also work for you.

Even if you're a novice computer user, you should find a few tips here. However, if you're one of the players looking to implement Growltiger's fix, fair warning: It's not for the faint of heart.

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Filed under: Hardware

Review: SteelSeries Diablo 3 headset shines

Review Steelseries Diablo III headset shines ANY
There is a lot to like about SteelSeries' Diablo III headset, giving players a solidly built peripheral that sit snugly on the ears and provide strong sound. I'm the kind of gamer who never wants to take off his headset because of the activity going on around me -- it's one of the only ways to get any semblance of peace and quiet. In addition, voice chat and Mumble have become hangout tools rather than just gaming features, making a good, durable microphone that much more important.

This isn't the first time I've tried out this particular offering from SteelSeries. When I went to BlizzCon 2011 and stopped by the SteelSeries booth, the representatives wanted me to try it on immediately. Something about ear cups and weight displacement, I don't know. There was a lot going on. To be honest, the biggest factor in choosing a headset for me is whether or not I can wear the thing for, like, eight hours straight. So, that's what I did. For you.

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Filed under: Hardware, Diablo 3

SteelSeries announces World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse at E3

SteelSeries announces World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse at E3
The new World of Warcraft Wireless Mouse, codesigned with Blizzard, has been announced by SteelSeries at E3. The mouse is due to be released in the third quarter of this year. Some of the features include:
  • 11 programmable mouse buttons
  • An interface in WoW
  • A docking station for charging
  • Can be plugged into the computer as a wired mouse to charge while playing
  • Optional pulsation
  • Compatible with both Mac and Windows
  • Works in all current MMOs
The press release is after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Hardware

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

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

World of Warcraft no longer compatible with Windows 2000 in Mists of Pandaria

Community Manager Bashiok made an interesting announcement this morning -- as of the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion, World of Warcraft will no longer run on machines using Windows 2000 as an operating system. Microsoft itself ceased supporting this version in 2010. Those who are currently using Windows 2000 should upgrade before Mists is released, if you'd like to continue playing WoW.

One of the big benefits to playing World of Warcraft has always been that it can be played on a variety of systems, from the exceptionally small and outdated to the current, top-of-the-line models. I always found that a fascinating phenomenon, and it made good sense -- after all, if you want the max number of players able to play your game, you want to make it available with the widest software and technology possible. Yet there's a drawback to this; if you want to continually make that content available for older systems, there's only so far you can go updating content.

As a game that just celebrated its seven-year anniversary, WoW absolutely needs to keep updating in order to remain competitive. With new MMOs coming out all the time, a game that is seven years old starts to lose its shine. Continuous updates make sure that it stays just as fresh as it did in 2004. You can't keep those updates rolling if you're trying to support an operating system that is now 12 years old. I think, however, we're safely in the territory where most people have moved beyond Windows 2000, so this shouldn't affect a huge majority of players, particularly when Microsoft itself has already phased out support for the operating system. What this does do, however, is make me look forward to Mists of Pandaria and what it has in store.

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Filed under: News items, Hardware, Mists of Pandaria

Reviewing the SteelSeries WoW MMO Legendary edition gaming mouse

SteelSeries makes some cool WoW-inspired gaming peripherals, and the World of Warcraft MMO gaming mouse is no exception. The newest iteration in the lineup is the Legendary Edition, a brand new design that takes what worked from the previous versions of the MMO gaming mouse and iterates on core concepts, resulting in an overall sturdier build and better product. The new mouse fits more comfortably in my hand than the old MMO gaming mouse did as well as provides two new thumb buttons that I didn't anticipate liking as much as I did.

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.

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Filed under: Hardware

Reviewing the Razer Nostromo: A comfortable place to rest your hand

Back in July, I featured a submission on Reader UI of the Week from reader Steppinrazor which featured a dual-peripheral setup of the Razer Naga MMO mouse and the Razer Nostromo. The Razer Nostromo is a peripheral that acts as a keyboard for input commands, with buttons for clicking, a D-pad, a scrollwheel, and much more. In my discussion of Steppinrazor's UI, I made note that I was not privy to the Nostromo, having never had the pleasure of resting my fingers on its keys. Now, however, I've spent considerable time with the Nostromo and can tell you my story. Here is my review of the Razer Nostromo.

The Razer Nostromo features:
  • Ergonomic form factor and tournament-grade layout
  • 16 fully programmable Hyperesponse keys
  • Programmable eight-way directional thumb pad and scroll wheel (can be used as keys)
  • Instantaneous switching between eight key maps
  • Unlimited macro lengths (this is really cool)
  • Storage of up to 20 different game profiles
  • Adjustable soft-touch wrist pad for exceptional comfort
  • Backlit keypad and scroll wheel for total control, even in dark conditions
  • Enhanced Razer configurator software
  • Works with Mac or PC

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

Left-handed Razer Naga in the works?

Let's face it -- the Razer Naga is sort of iconic now as the mouse of MMOs and WoW players alike. One of the biggest concerns about the Naga is that it is functionally only available to right-handed players, because the number pad interface on the mouse is controlled with the right thumb. Some lefties have come up with interesting ways of using a right-handed Naga, but the problem still exists.

Razer has offered up a left-handed version of its Deathadder mouse, but MMO players have been without a left-handed option ever since the Naga released. As many people in the community (including myself) would tell you, the Naga is a powerful tool, much like the other MMO-centric mice out there.

So why talk about this? It looks like Razer is entertaining the thought of creating a left-handed version of its popular MMO mouse. On its Facebook page, CEO Min-Liang Tan posted a faux propaganda poster and description soliciting comments from left-handed raiders to make this happen.

The biggest downside to gaming mice is that they are not very good at being universally acceptable products for both righties and lefties. Inclusion is essential, and good tools for gaming are important, especially to WoW players. Let's hope this happens.

Filed under: Hardware

Reviewing the Razer Anansi MMO keyboard: A tricky little spider

Razer has very graciously sent me one of its Anansi MMO keyboards to review for you fine people. My previous experience with Razer products has been positive, mostly because its MMO-centric wares fit well into my own MMO-centric lifestyle. I face this simple fact every day -- I play a lot of games. In fact, I play a lot of World of Warcraft. When you play a game this much, you get the tools made for it.

How about some features in convenient bullet point form?

The Razer Anansi MMO-Gaming Keyboard:
  • 7 thumb modifier keys
  • 100+ programmable keys
  • One-button profile switching (awesome for backlighting your Alliance characters blue and Horde characters red ...)
  • Five additional macro buttons
  • Media keys
  • Gaming mode option

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

The Razer Switchblade concept slithers its way to GDC 2011

Razer was on hand at the Intel booth on the GDC expo floor with a sealed-off concept unit of the Razer Switchblade, the company's new small-form gaming PC. Travis Wannlund, Razer's global community manager, gave me the ins and outs of the hardware. The unit has a touchscreen to replace the pointer and also accepts a USB or Bluetooth mouse as an input device. The keyboard is made up of small LED screens that work as contextual keys, changing to ability keys with pictures, alphabetical keys, arrows, and more.

The Switchblade was cycling through games, showing off different context-sensitive key setups depending on the game. Quake Live placed down a row of abilities ranging from grenades and rockets, alongside buttons for walk and crouch. A WASD array also popped up, and presumably a mouse would facilitate the view space. I couldn't touch it, of course, as the machine was guarded by a nefarious plastic box, but it was there, working, and impressing the heck out of everyone who stopped by.

The Switchblade looks very promising, even in its concept stage, showing that Razer intends to push a whole lot of boundaries with its new little darling. It is almost as if the machine were built with the express purpose of playing a game like WoW on the go, with other games as an added bonus. Now we just have to watch and wait, hoping this little beauty goes from concept to production as soon as possible.

Filed under: Events, Hardware

Reviewing the Razer Naga Epic mouse: 12 buttons you never knew you wanted

The Razer Naga gaming mouse is one of those designs that, at first glance, you scoff and laugh at -- because frankly, the thing can look a little ridiculous. A second glance, however, becomes one of cold adoration, slowly letting the fact sink in that Razer, a company already known for quality gaming products, put what amounts to a number pad on a mouse. A third glance is silent wonderment. The number of skills you wish you could have bound to your mouse begins to take hold. "What if I put my tanking cooldowns on the second row, and let the top row deal with movement based abilities like Intervene and Heroic Leap?" I'd think. "No, it's too risky. I'd have to learn an entire new system of button presses and get an entirely new feel for a foreign mouse."

But I did. For you. What follows is my week with the Razer Naga Epic, the newest product in the Razer Naga line that takes the Razer Mamba's wireless successes and adds them to the Naga's MMO-focused capabilities. The result is an MMO mouse that is solidly built, gorgeous on the eyes, and -- after the initial shock of change to the Naga's own brand of world view -- a customizable powerhouse that has your thumb doing acrobatics you never thought it could.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

Mobile version of the site back up and running

We've been getting tips from people for several days that i.wow.com, the version of the site for users surfing from mobile devices, has been continuously redirecting to the regular webpage. That's obviously not something we want it doing, but our editors have been on the case. It looks like the problem was part of a network-wide issue that should be fixed now, so for anyone out there surfing from an iPhone or other mobile device, you should now be experiencing considerably less frustration (until you read one of my articles, but that's Working As Intended).

If you'd like to check WoW.com from a mobile device, just remember to bookmark and use either i.wow.com (optimized for iPhones) or m.wow.com while you're surfing. Either should make it considerably easier to navigate the site on a small screen!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, News items, Hardware

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