What’s This Button Do?

June 27, 2013 - 3:14 pm
Irradiated by Stingray
9 Comments

So, as we’re clearly in the filler-or-nothing mode of content, still, it’s my turn to dust off the keys for a bit. For those of you who aren’t warcraft/gaming nerds, go ahead and just pretend it’s status quo and there’s no post. For the rest of you, if you’re happy with your gaming set up, you can probably do the same, because all I’m going to talk about today are mice.

For those who do like warcraft, you’ve probably noticed, “Hey, there’s a metric shitload of things I would like to have quick access to!”, possibly during a raid while a boss is nomming on your face, possibly during pvp while a rogue is making your life miserable. I too found myself in one or both of those situations, and so when I saw the Razer Naga I was all over it. Once integrated into my setup, it quickly became indispensable, though over time it was not without its flaws. The thumb-grid was extremely useful and after a bit of practice reasonably intuitive, but the scroll wheel flat-out sucked on ice; this was the naga’s biggest flaw. Frequently using the wheel to scroll a web page down, the jittery little shit would wind up scrolling up. There was also no side-to-side tilt on the scroll wheel, which is not a dealbreaker, but incredibly useful for in-game movement.

As the naga was first to the scene with this enormous raft of helper buttons, I accepted the limitations and went on about my way. Until one day, Amazon made an actual useful suggestion with their “other people looking at X liked Y” section, the Logitech G600. What’s that? A giant raft of buttons, plus a couple more, and a tilting scroll wheel from a company that specializes in mice and keyboards? Oh hells yeah.

So I jumped on it. And overall, I have to say the logitech is the superior shitloads-of-buttons mouse. For starters, the scroll wheel is not even a little bit flakey, and the tilt function to it covers that shortcoming from the naga. Otherwise, it’s basically the same mouse but with a few minor differences that manage to change and improve the quality of life surprisingly well. Where the naga’s thumb grid is laid out on one convex grid, the g600 instead uses two concave depressions on the side to arrange slightly larger buttons. After getting used to muscle memory of “slide two buttons back, one over to do _______” with the naga, this new arrangement made finding the right button even faster. This also means a couple of buttons I didn’t use for much of anything on the naga were now easier enough to find to take over Vital Functions. It also feels somewhat larger in the hand than the naga – that’s a pro for me, but probably a con for the smaller handed.

Neither mouse really wins in the configuration software department, but the logitech sucks less because you don’t need to create an account to configure anything, or be online, and the profile is stored in the mouse itself, rather than in the software. In the minus column for the logitech, one of the buttons is, for my use at least, more of a pain in the rear than an asset. The far right button, the “g-shift” key, is designed to be essentially like the shift key on a keyboard, and be a on/off to modify the function of other keys. Out of the box, it changes the mouse’s sensitivity on the fly, which, uh, sucks, to put it mildly, when your nice zippy responsive mouse suddenly drives the cursor like molasses in January because you cycled out of the top end of the sensitivity and back down to the sludge setting. The two buttons behind the scroll wheel did the same thing, which was particularly festive when configuring VuhDo for my priest to use those for healing. And it’s ridiculously easy to hit by accident. Even with that button remapped to something more innocuous, I still find myself brushing it occasionally while holding my push-to-talk button and cutting myself off mid-instruction/rant/dirty joke.

Both mice are nerd approved on the grounds of the thumb-grid. The naga’s scroll wheel, after getting back to one that works properly on the g600, would now definitely be a deal breaker for me though, and the current iteration of razer software utterly blows. Got a lot of skills or macros you need in a hurry? There’s worse ways to go about getting to ‘em.

9 Responses to “What’s This Button Do?”

  1. bluntobject Says:

    +1, love my G600. Does nicely for FPSes as well — not having to stretch away from WASD is surprisingly liberating.

  2. FarmGirl Says:

    It won’t work. You got me playing Warcraft but THIS TIME I’m not going to fall for your blandishme…. oh hey that would put all my attacks under my thumb and then I could… NO.

    I won’t do it!

  3. leaperman621 Says:

    I could use one of those suckers for the new game I am playing. You should look it up.

    It’s called Wargame Airland Battle

  4. Old NFO Says:

    Getting closer and closer to the old space balls from the early 80’s… I wonder if one of those would work, or could even be found???

  5. Kristophr Says:

    FarmGirl:

    The raid calls to you …

  6. Tam Says:

    I was going to type something about how cool that looked and curse you for making me spend money, you fiend! but I got thoroughly distracted for a moment there by the two left front mini-buttons on my Naga which I have never clicked before outside of WoW or the calibration software.

    Did you know their default is the forward and back buttons on your browser?

    I just spent a minute or two clicking back and forth between your blog and Logitech’s site, hooting and grunting and staring at my mouse like a monkey at a monolith.

  7. FarmGirl Says:

    So uh… Tam. Look, if you’re gonna buy a new mouse… Maybe your old one needs a good home. You know, those things get lonely sitting in boxes or drawers….

    Oh dear god I just became the epitome of “tech junkie.”

    Where’s rehab?

  8. Chasing Freedom Says:

    You right-handed folks have all the fun! I’m still waiting for more left-handed gaming mice to come on the market. Until then I’ll just try and be content with my Razer DeathAdder – oh how I yearn for more buttons!

  9. Tam Says:

    FarmGirl,

    Remind me between now and then and I’ll bring it out there for you. :)