The box that the WoW mouse comes in really homes in on its target audience. The first thing that strikes you is the massive World of Warcraft logo that's plastered across the front. The wood panel effect attempts to make the packaging blend in with the fantasy setting that goes with game. Theming the box as it were a chest. They're quick to remind us of the partnership with Blizzard's logo on the front, as well as SteelSeries own. The centre has then been cut out the put the mouse it self on show behind a clear plastic coat.
The back of the box provides us with rather a lot of text. There's a paragraph describing the mouse and reinforcing its origin, followed by a few bullet points about its features. Next to that are the software and technical specifications we saw listed on the website & the previous page. The information is then repeated 3 more times in French, Spanish and German. Opening up the box, which is held shut by a small magnet, we see the mouse presented to us as if you've just opened up a treasure chest, as it's surrounded by jewels and gold! As a player I thought this a little odd seeing as nothing really good came out of chests before 3.1, and then they decided they we're cashes... It fits nicely in with the theme however and makes for some attractive packaging that would stand out well on a retail shelf. The other observation I'm going to bring forth here is that opening up the top of the box actually allowed you to grip your hand around the mouse to get (at least a rough) feel of what it would be like to use before you bought it. A good idea indeed I thought.
A few fiddly flaps and a card sheet later and the mouse was free from its cage (or chest as the case may be). I was rather surprised to find that the contents of the box consisted of the mouse, a quick start guide and ...well that was it. No driver disk? Very curious given the ravings about the softwares features on in the specifications. A flick though the quick start manual (given in the same four languages as the back-of-the-box-blurb) revealed that it must be downloaded. A little alarm sounded under my reviewer hat, what if the end user doesn't have the Internet? A bit later, while fiddling around with the mouse, it dawned on me that this was a mouse designed specifically for MMOs. Why would you be buying a mouse specifically designed for MMOs to play offline games. So what could have been a big deal got solemnly quashed by that realisation.
Moving on the the mouse itself. It's quite a good looking peripheral. Starting in a unusual place, the cable. It's been braided from mouse to plug in a quality material that i felt made it that extra little bit classy. The top is a rather reflective brushed silver (note the tint on the pictures is just a reflection of its surroundings) with panels that make the mouse almost look scaly. Theres a small WoW logo printed on the panel just behind the main buttons of which between we encounter many of the mouse's 15. A fairly standard wheel, to the sides of which lay two extra buttons, separate from the normal right and left buttons.
On the left and right side of the mice we find the rest of the buttons. The left side housing two single standing and one four way, all of these being intended for operation with the thumb. And on the right lay a single, two way button intended for using with the little finger. From the side views you can see a tribal style patten engraved into the finger and thumb rests. These make the mouse look quite unique as they stick out a long way. Whether they prove to be a comfort or hindrance will become apparent in the testing phase.
The underside of the mouse reveals little else. Certifications and product information litter the sticker in the middle. Above that is the laser. To the left and right are two large slider pads, with a little one on the top edge. Not the most exciting place but how many of us spend time looking at the bottom of our mice?