Using the Razer Naga V2 Pro made me think a lot about all the weird ways I’ve found to adapt my mouse and keyboard setup for World of Warcraft. Anyone that plays WoW or any other MMO knows how hard it can be to manage all the spells and abilities you need to use, and has undoubtedly come up with some unique solutions. I don’t know anyone who just puts all their abilities on the default task bar. If you’re reaching from WASD to the 9 key to cast a spell, you’re doing something wrong.
Over the years I’ve developed my own language for key bindings that I try to maintain between all the different classes I play. Spells that I shoot at enemies that don’t have a cooldown, like Hunter’s Cobra Shot or Druid’s Moonfire, go on my mouse wheel up because it feels like shooting when I scroll. All interrupts go on my thumb button, anything that consumes charges like Rogue’s Dispatch goes on Q, and healing abilities always go on 3. Everyone’s key bindings are different, but as long as it makes sense to use – and more importantly, makes playing more manageable – there’s no wrong setups (except the default one).
I’ve always known the MMO-style mouses were out there, but I was apprehensive to make the switch for a few reasons. I play a lot of different genres, and it seemed weird to invest in a mouse designed for MMOs specifically. I don’t always need a bunch of extra buttons on my mouse, and I was worried they would get in the way. It also just seemed like an overwhelming change. My key binding system is complicated, but I learned how it works, and it works for me. Switching up key bindings I’ve used for more than a decade seemed like a challenge I never felt prepared for.
As I dove into WoW’s new Dracthyr Evoker class, I realized I was having a lot of difficulty translating all of the new spells into my old input paradigm. Not only does the Evoker have abilities that are unlike what any other class can do, but the new skill tree system is designed to be flexible with builds and spells in a way my setup is not. Finding places to put all of my spells is hard enough without the ability to hotswap between loadouts. Dragonflight pointed a spotlight at the limitations of my key binding strategy, and I needed some help.
There was definitely a learning curve when I swapped over the Razer Naga, but it also became clear almost immediately that the mental strain I was putting on myself with my key bindings was totally unnecessary. I didn’t need a convoluted system of spell archetypes and assigned key positions, I just needed more buttons that were easier to press. The Razer Naga has a lot of buttons, and they’re very easy to press.
I don’t want to undersell it, because the new Naga actually has some pretty impressive features. My stress about having a specialty mouse for MMOs was alleviated by the clever inclusion of swappable thumb plates. The Naga V2 comes with three: a 12-key MMO plate, a 6-key MOBA plate, and regular old two-button plate you’d use in shooters, action games, or any other genre. The magnetic thumb plates snap into place easily and are a breeze to swap out when I play different games. I don’t love having more little pieces to keep track of floating around my desk – I’ve got enough detachable microphones and thumb drives to worry about as it is – but the benefit of having such a versatile mouse is worth the minor inconvenience. The Naga isn’t an MMO mouse, it’s an everything mouse.
Another feature the Naga has that I haven’t seen before is its customizable scroll wheel. In the past I’ve chosen which mouse to buy based exclusively on the feel of the scroll wheel. I don’t like a free spinning wheel, but I don’t like when it feels too chunky to turn either. The Naga V2 has five different options for haptic feedback in the wheel that can be changed with the press of a button. Four of them are disgusting and I’d never use them, but one of them has the perfect amount of click for me, so there’s probably a setting that’s right for you too.
It isn’t a complete all-in-one mouse though. The Naga V2 is quite heavy at 95 grams, and there isn’t any way to remove weight from it. With its built-in finger rest, it’s also quite a bit wider than most gaming mice, which may restrict the more claw-shaped grip styles. I find it comfortable and easy to hold, but if you’re particularly concerned about the ergonomics of your mouse it would be a good idea to try before you buy.
The big selling point, of course, is all the buttons. The MMO thumb plate has 12 programmable buttons that all have a nice mouse click sound and are angled in such a way that it’s easy to tell them apart, even though they’re quite small. I found that assigning more than six to bread-and-butter spells was too much to manage, while putting less useful spells on the harder to reach buttons (seven through 12) made it hard to remember what each button was used for. I found that I still prefer to use a mix of keyboard keys and mouse buttons instead of moving all my spells over to the Naga. It took some time and a lot of experimenting to find the configuration that felt best, but in the end it was so worth it. The biggest headache of any MMO is just finding places to put all your spells and the Naga completely fixes that problem. You still have to find the right setup for you, but once you do it makes playing WoW so much more manageable.
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