When the expansion hits on December 7th, World of Warcraft-ians can pick up some new non-virtual gear to help in their quest to kill the new virtual dragon. If you’re finding the Xai gaming mouse to be lacking some buttons for the keybind-heavy MMO, then the new Cataclysm MMO Gaming Mouse might be worth checking out. More than just a technical upgrade, the SteelSeries R&D team actually took the feedback of the customers of the original MMO mouse and sat down with Blizzard in order to redesign the ergonomics of the mouse. This brought the number of buttons down to 14 as opposed to 15, but all the buttons are easier to reach. As for the technical aspects, the mouse is very similar to the Xai, with 12,000 FPS (Frames Per Second) and up to 5001 CPI (Counts Per Inch). If you don’t understand what these metrics mean, just trust me when I say that these numbers mean that the mouse is incredibly accurate, precise, and responsive. The Inches Per Second has also been brought on par with the Xai at 150 Inches Per Second, up from the 65 of the old World of Warcraft MMO mouse. This translates to about 400 Haste rating.

For gamers on the go, bringing the mouse also lets you bring a profile that’s saved into the hardware. This feature is also one that’s borrowed from the Xai and really handy if you play at LANs, tournaments, or at a friend’s house. There are up to ten software profiles that you can save as well, of course, so that you can have one for each class.
The entire keyboard is your sandbox

The entire keyboard is your sandbox

In addition to the new mouse, SteelSeries is also branding a keyboard for Cataclysm. Based on their Shift keyboard layouts, which uses their Z Engine software, the Cataclysm Shift will provide 8 extra hotkeys along the top as well as a predefined keyset for players to maximize their play. But really, the entire keyboard is nothing but hotkeys as every single key is customizable. And if you’re a player like me, you’ll often want to be holding Q or E while pressing ctrl+shift+C (yeah, I use a LOT of keybinds), so the Shift’s anti-ghosting feature that allows you to press 7 buttons at once without clashing is really handy. You can even record macros on the fly with delays between keys so that you can time your Moonfire spam with your GCDs built in. Right on! Another really cool feature about the keyboard is that it has a statistics engine so that you can calculate your actions per minute. No more relying on that harsh APM calculator in StarCraft II. The standard features, such as media keys and gold-plated headphone and microphone connectors, are also included. In fact, the only thing missing seems to be a LCD screen to tell you who’s talking on Ventrilo and when you’re receiving whispers!

If those two products are still not enough to fill every inch of your desk with Deathwing’s mighty jaw, SteelSeries is also releasing some of its high end Qck mousepads with various Cataclysm art designs. I use one of these unbranded mousepads and let me tell you: Not every mousepad was made equal. I didn’t believe a mousepad could make a difference, but it does! The crappy ones that the Collector’s Editions of World of Warcraft and its expansions come with are so unresponsive compared to the SteelSeries one and I highly recommend you try one out to see if it’s worth the money for you.

Here are some official links to the mouse, keyboard, and mousepad, and check out the gallery below for more pictures.