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Posts with tag peripherals

Breakfast Topic: What peripherals do you use to play WoW?

Breakfast Topic What hardware do you use to play WoW
I started a bit of a discussion on Twitter yesterday, rather by accident, by talking about trackpads and their use to steer your character in WoW. I was writing outside, on my laptop, and wanted to log into the game to check something. It took me an age to steer my character over to the flight path in the Shrine, hop on a kite and head over to the PvP vendor to verify what I needed to check, and I momentarily glanced back to my first ever day playing WoW, when I used a trackpad. Man, that was hard. I quickly graduated to a normal mouse, and then onto a Razer Naga, and have never looked back.

As far as keyboards go, I'm still searching for the perfect one. I play on a laptop, and love the shallow travel, small reach and flat keys of my laptop's keyboard. I have a couple of external ones, so that I can play on a larger monitor, but haven't yet found one that replaces the laptop keyboard for sheer comfort and speed. The closest I've got is a Logitech super-flat keyboard. I'd use a Mac keyboard if all the keys weren't in the wrong places.

But how about you? Do you use a trackpad? External mouse? External keyboard? If so, which ones? And are you the mysterious, as yet unseen player who has played WoW on one of those mice that is a little rubber joystick in the center of the keyboard?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

What are your gaming peripherals?

Breakfast Topic What are your gaming peripherals
Recently Frostheim AKA Brian Wood recommended peripherals for use with playing WoW over on Warcraft Hunters Union. He detailed which mouse, keyboard and headset he uses and why. He eschews anything wireless as a fraction of a delay can mean life or death in certain in-game situations.

Personally, I agree with him. Though I dislike the inconvenience of being wired to my computer, I also have a non-wireless mouse, keyboard, and headset -- all of mine Logitech. I'd like to upgrade to trying out Steelseries or Razer, but my pocketbook hasn't allowed for that. I can say that my peripherals have taken a beating over the years and are still working fine, if a bit disheveled.

I also concur with Frostheim's opinion that gaming keyboards should be lit, for ease in seeing the keys in low light. If you tend to use keyboards until they fall apart like I do, illuminated keyboards have the added benefit of not having the letters rub off. My daughter's hand-me-down keyboard is missing several letters, and she isn't a touch typist (yet). I guess it's time we upgraded her.

How about you? What are your gaming peripherals? Can you recommend them or are you just slumming it until you can afford something better?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Reader UI of the Week: Peripherals take center stage with Steppinrazor's UI

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Reader UI of the Week is an interesting experience for me. There are moments of awe, moments of sadness, and (more than you probably would guess) moments of utter perplexity. Today's submission from Steppinrazor features a peripheral that many players have been asking me to do a spotlight on: the Razer Nostromo. Once developed by Belkin, the Razer version is the updated model, still created in partnership with Belkin but featuring spiffy new features.

Many people ask me about peripherals like the Razer Nostromo, and while I would love to have an answer for them about the usefulness of something like the Nostromo, I can't give the best account. I'm a keyboard and mouse guy, through and through. However, there is nothing on the books that says I can't bring in someone who seems to know what he's doing with a peripheral as versatile as the Nostromo.

If you've got an interesting UI setup that features peripherals out of the keyboard-and-mouse box, let's see them! Email your UI along with an explanation of your addons, setup, and other details to readerui@wowinsider.com. The community will love you for it, I promise.

Read more →

Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Razer unveils special edition Naga MMO gaming mice

How do you improve on awesome? That's a tough question, but the clever folks at Razer seem to have come up with an answer: Add some molten lava or a raging maelstrom. The gaming peripherals manufacturer announced today the Razer Naga Molten and Razer Naga Maelstrom special edition mice. Both mice sport the same specs as the original 17-button Razer Naga plus the addition of new, pulsating designs -- a swirling, cool blue maelstrom or glowing hot lava. If the themes seem familiar, it's probably no coincidence that these mice arrive just in time for Cataclysm, which is set to launch on Dec. 7.

The Razer Naga is designed specifically for MMO gaming, with a special addon for World of Warcraft, allowing players to bind their spells and abilities to the mouse's numerous buttons. The mouse also supports key mapping, the way most full-featured gaming mice can be configured, and also comes with drivers for the Mac. The new designs take the place of the current pulsating Razer logo on the palm end of the mouse, adding a different level of cool to the popular mouse. Either version of the special edition Razer Naga gaming mouse will retail for $79.99 -- about the same price as the regular version -- and will become available for pre-order on Oct. 12.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

World of Warcraft Tap Chat now available

The World of Warcraft Tap Chat, or The Gaming Peripheral Formerly Known As Voice Tap, is now available. Essentially, it's a hotkey for your foot -- or some other appendage other than your fingers. Designed primarily as a push-to-talk button to pair with the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft headset to allow players to devote their hands to the game, this USB device can just as easily be assigned a macro or as a hotkey. This means players can actually assign the Tap Chat to an ability like Hammer of Justice, to add a realistic feeling of crushing your opponents underfoot.

Players willing to spring $29.99 for the edge of one additional button -- notably a non-hand-activated one -- can head over to the Creative or Blizzard online stores, where the World of Warcraft Tap Chat is exclusively available. Although sold out at the Blizzard store as of this writing (barely a week after it was made available), players who manage to get their hands (or foot) on the product also get exclusive World of Warcraft logo lenses that can be used to customize their matching World of Warcraft headset.

Filed under: News items

Mac drivers to be available for all Razer mice


World of Warcraft players using a Mac should be pleased to hear that gaming peripherals manufacturer Razer pledged their commitment to supporting the Mac gaming community at the Game Developers Conference. They announced that all upcoming Razer products will come with Mac driver support, including the Razer StarCraft 2 peripheral suite scheduled for release later this year.

Prior to the Razer DeathAdder Mac Edition in 2008, all Razer mice and peripherals only had native Windows support and drivers. While these products would generally work with a Mac through its plug-and-play technology, customizing them was more difficult and in some cases, impossible. In order to configure my Razer Lachesis to make all its buttons usable on my Mac, I had to configure it on a PC and mapped some of the buttons as little used keyboard keys because the Mac wouldn't recognize click-throughs from more than a few mouse buttons.

This situation improved with the release of the Razer Naga, which shipped with native Mac support, although the key-mapping functionality for the Mac came several weeks after the PC version. Currently, newer mice come with basic Mac support, although Razer promises the same functionality and customizability as their PC counterparts through future updates. Razer also promises to release Mac drivers for all existing products, which presumably includes their line of headsets and keyboards. While Mac gamers have always been treated as second class citizens by most peripheral manufacturers, it's encouraging to see a major player pay the community some attention. I mean, the Magic Mouse is awesome and all, but there's nothing like having a real gaming mouse to play WoW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Creative WoW headsets now available for pre-order

Creative unveiled an official licensed World of Warcraft gaming headset back in last year's BlizzCon, and we even got a quick look at the product prototypes when they stopped by the annual WoW.com reader meet-up as well as when they invited us to their booth to check it out. Readers also got a chance to win a pair when we ran contests all throughout the last quarter of 2009. if you've been slathering over one of these fancy peripherals but never lucked out in one of our contests, you might be pleased to learn that the Sound Blaster World of Warcraft headsets are finally available for pre-order from Amazon starting today, February 1.

The headsets we previewed back in August were mere prototypes, and the finished product looks far more refined. The headsets follow the same design principle as the Steelseries WoW mouse, with a faux metallic finish and etched runes. The headsets also have interchangeable 'headset lenses' which feature either the Alliance or Horde logo to show your allegiance. Creative also says that they'll be releasing additional lenses in the future, the first set of which will feature the ten classes of the game. As with the official World of Warcraft mouse, the headsets also have a dazzling 16 million programmable color illumination options.

The fully customizable headset comes in wireless or wired versions, with THX TruStudio PC technology for a more immersive gaming experience. The wireless version reportedly carries up to 9 hours of battery charge as well as a standard, detachable USB connector that can also be used to charge it. The headset microphone is detachable to allow the use of the headphone for communication or merely for listening. The World of Warcraft headset can also be configured to match different character profiles, accessible through what appears to be an in-game menu. The Sound Blaster World of Warcraft wireless headset retails for $159.99 while the tethered version is available for $119.99. Creative is also offering a complementary accessory called VoiceTap which allows players to program their push-to-talk key or even a macro to it instead of to their keyboard or mouse, allowing full hands-free communication.

Filed under: News items

Steelseries WoW mouse not so wow-worthy?


Reader Richie mailed us a review of the Steelseries World of Warcraft mouse some time back, but it's gotten to the point where his frustration made him put a post up on his own blog. Some of his major concerns involve the custom software remapping his keys, such as making his character jump when he presses 'M' to bring up the map. He also claims that some of his buttons now stick, instead of springing back into place as they should after a few days of playing. He writes that he's contacted customer service several times and was told that it was "a known issue" and was told to "snap" his buttons.

How has your experience with the Steelseries mouse been? Are you one of the lucky Europeans who won one in Blizzard's Holiday giveaway or managed to snag one of these lately? There aren't too many reviews over the web by players who actually play World of Warcraft, so it's interesting to see if Richie's is an isolated case (although a couple of posters on his blog concur with his findings). The mouse doesn't have a driver for the Mac, and Steelseries doesn't seem to be producing one soon, so I haven't popped out the $99.99 (or more expensive 89.99 EUR) for it. After reading Richie's review -- or rant, rather -- I'm not certain I still want to, either.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Hardware

World of Warcraft mouse available for pre-order


Although we'd heard about the World of Warcraft mouse as early as a month ago, there weren't much details about the reportedly $100 mouse and what made it so remarkably expensive. But tipster Marco wrote in today to point us in the direction of the new SteelSeries World of Warcraft mouse designed exclusively for the game. Although I recently bought a new Razer hoping to improve my PvP, this steeply priced gadget looks so remarkably, temptingly sweet that I just might pre-order one today.

Aside from the unique form factor and slick brushed metal enclosure, the $99.99 price tag will give players the ability to make macros with up to 160 characters, a whopping total of fifteen (oh man!) programmable buttons, the ability to drag-and-drop macros, and -- get this -- 16 million illumination choices with 3 intensity and pulsation levels. I have absolutely no idea what that last part means, but it sounds pretty wicked. Probably unnecessary and overboard, but wicked nonetheless.

The mouse, the first ever designed purely for playing World of Warcraft, promises to be beneficial to all players regardless of style or level of play. [CLARIFICATION: It probably works for other applications or games, but it's the first mouse designed from the ground up specifically for playing WoW] Looking like the bastard love child of a Worn Turtle Shield and Tim Burton's cocooned 1989 Batmobile, the mouse will start shipping on November 13 -- around the same time as some sort of game expansion, I think. It's all pretty cool, and I'm just about sold despite the stupefying price tag... I've just got one question: will it work on a Mac?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Hardware

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