So, I thought I would throw up a post about the gear I use while playing my MMO of choice. Specifically, my keyboard and mouse. Most of the time that a blogger does something like this it is to brag about their PC, that’s not what I am going to do. Suffice it to say, I have a great machine. I can run AoC with everything up and get great frame rates. I think most bloggers who play MMOs have decent machines, they almost have to in this day and age. But, just as important is the mouse and keyboard you use to control your character. So, here is my current items of choice.
Let’s start with the keyboard. My current keyboard was purchased going on four years ago. When I decided it was time for a new keyboard I read a lot of reviews. The Logitech G15 was, and still is, the key of the gaming keyboards for most people. I really thought about picking one up but decided against it. Why? Because at its core, its just a normal keyboard. Yeah, it has a fancy little LCD but, truthfully, how many people actually want to look down at their keyboard to read information that is normally displayed on the screen anyway? Just seems like a wasted feature to me. The macro software is nice but any gaming keyboard worth its salt is gonna have that anyway.
In the end, I decided upon the Merc Keyboard. Four years later and I am really glad I did. The Merc has been an excellent keyboard for me. It is comfortable, with tons of keys in easy to reach places, had great software and, despite the added gaming keys, is only an inch or so bigger than a standard keyboard. Take a look at it:
The keys to the right are angled just a bit and make the keyboard extremely comfortable. Every key you could need is in close proximity of the all-important WASD and it is really a joy to use. No more fumbling around for a key because it is too small or at an odd angle from WASD. All the keys are large and easy to get to, even the three on the upper far right.
It took a bit of getting used to but after I did it controlled amazingly well. I really can not imagine going to any other keyboard after using the Merc. I had a Belkin N52 gaming device for a long time and it worked fairly well but I hated having another peripheral on my desk and having to move my hand completely away from it to type a message. The Merc has all the features of the N52, while staying a single device. It is truly a glorious keyboard.
I have used the Logitech G5 mouse for nearly as long as my Merc. It is an excellent mouse but it recently started giving me trouble and was not as responsive as it used to be. Thus I started looking for a replacement. My original intent was to pick up another G5, I mean it had served me well, why change? However, while I was looking around the Razer Naga caught my eye and, on a whim, I picked it up. I am very, very glad I did. Take a look at this beauty:
Yes, there are really twelve buttons on the side of the mouse! Pretty crazy, huh? At first glance, you would think that this would be a really awkward mouse to use but its not. Not after getting used to it at least. Really, my biggest problem while getting used to it was the shape. The G5 was a “high-profile” mouse and your hand set up pretty high when using it. The Naga is fairly low-profile by comparison and I had to get used to a whole new feel. It took a few days and in those few days my hand cramped something fierce. But now I find it to be an extremely comfortable mouse.
The keys on the side I found to be fairly easy to use. The 1-6 buttons are the easiest to get to, so I use those for all my most used abilities. I use 7-12 for less used abilities. I can even hold down control on my Merc and use one of these buttons and double the number of possible buttons I have on the mouse. In conjunction with control or shift the 12 buttons become 24 or 36. All of these, and my Merc, mean I do not ever have to click anything on my screen. Ever.
I found this combination extremely handy in button intensive games like AoC. Even in WAR or WoW, they come in extremely handy. I click nothing, I hot key everything and I never have to look at my setup. I know it by feel. It makes things much easier for me.
So, what’s your setup? You use a standard keyboard and mouse or something fancier?