New Toy

I’ve been using one of these bad boys for quite awhile, now. That’s a Belkin Nostromo n52te speedpad, for those who are reluctant to follow links.  I hadn’t really thought about getting a gaming mouse to go with it because a basic 5-button did all I needed. But I bought my sister a fairly nice mouse (Razer Death Adder) for Christmas because her old mouse was busted and I’ve sort of been eying one ever since.  I opted for this Cooler Master model (CM Storm Spawn) rather than the Razer, because a) it was on sale for just under $40, taxes and shipping included, and b) it has 7 buttons to the Razer’s 5. It’s taken some getting-used-to, but I think I’ll like it. It’s extra-wide, which suits my hands better than a normal mouse, and it has both side buttons on the thumb side, which, after an initial adjustment period, has come in very useful. It’s much easier to slide my thumb up than to try to pull of the awkward “squeeze the right side button with your pinky” maneuver. The Spawn uses a “claw grip” (rather than the typical palm grip you’re probably used to), but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. The more upright grip actually seems a little easier on my wrist (which is prone to pain from repetitive stress injuries – maybe, just maybe I play too much). I’m beginning to get the hang of the 2 extra mouse buttons, and right now my biggest problem is figuring out what to put on those keys. I’ve experimented with various combinations of defensive, mana regen, and movement CDs and that seems to be working pretty well for now (the 2 extra buttons actually give me several extra easy-access keybinds because of shift, ctrl, and alt). Traditionally, I’ve had the side mouse buttons mapped to “Tab Target” and “Pet Attack” but I may replace pet attack with a more universal type of command (despite the fact that it’s very nice for a hunter) now that button 5 is more accessible.

Anyway, I would highly recommend the Nostromo speedpad for anyone who is serious about gaming. It’s comfortable, has been fairly durable, and helps me move my keybinds to a more intuitive interface than a standard keyboard (which I just never could use effectively for anything other than typing). Pro-Tip: if you tend to look at your keys (as I used to do), a little bit of textured tape (anti-skid felt, anti-slip rubber, grip/grit tape, or velcro work well) can help you figure out where your fingers are. I put an anti-slip felt button on each button in the middle column and my fingers always know where the center is.

If a 5-button mouse is enough for you, the Death Adder I bought for my sister is both well-made and comfortable (from what I can tell when I’ve used it). It has a nice wide platform and a typical palm grip so it fits my hand quite nicely and my sister (despite smaller hands) seems to like it, too (although she could be humoring me because it was a present :P).

If you’re looking for something with a few more buttons, the Spawn is strange at first, but wonderful when you get it down. The claw grip forces a straighter wrist, the wider base  fits a hand more naturally, and the ventilated anti-slip grips on the sides help reduce slippage from sweaty fingertips (a problem that occasionally sneaks up on me in intense moments). Combined, it makes for an oddly comfortable experience. It’s also highly customizable (which you would expect from any gaming mouse, but this one’s software is both flexible and intuitive).

Any recommended or must-have hardware from out there in the blogosphere?

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One thought on “New Toy

  1. […] A little while back I decided to up my game a little bit and buy some actual gaming equipment, picking up a CM Storm Spawn gaming mouse to go with my Nostromo Speedpad. It took a little while to learn to use the new equipment, but once I did, amazing things happened. Faster reaction times, tighter rotations, easier movement; you name it, my game improved in that department.  All was well in the world until Tuesday morning, when the speedpad broke. I spent the better part of the afternoon trying to fix it before raid time. I plugged it in, reset it, restarted the computer; heck, I even took it apart, checked all the connections and put it back together, but it was all to no avail. […]

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