Razer has been my peripheral maker of choice for a while now; I bought a Diamondback Plasma LtdEd a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back. Since then I had to replace the Diamondback with a 3G upgrade; the thin cable was smashed up against a lip on the back of my desk, and the amount of stress on it just made it snap inside. It served me well though, and the replacement hasn’t died yet.
Aion has drawn me to replace the Diamondback 3G with something that is more suited to the task; the Razer Naga. I first saw it in September ’09 when it had just come out and was the talk of everyone I spoke to who had even the vaguest interest in MMORPGs. The Naga is the epitome of hotkeys; it has a dedicated 12-grid of them, plus a pair next to the left mouse button.
The Naga was meant to be easy to control and easily customisable; Razer touted that they had to rewrite all the Profiling software especially for the Naga, that it made you a better MMO player simply by giving you access to all your skills, as well as other claims that I have to admit I doubted. As a caster class (Spiritmaster), I find myself having to stand still for my skills to complete, with a few instant cast spells. But even with a limited scope for improvement, I felt it very quickly. I had to rebind all my important keys, and changed the skill keys to select marked mobs. It was a real challenge at first and spent a little while just doing repeatable quests to get used to the layout, but it was working. I only ever stopped moving to change target and to use skills that required me to stay still.
It feels like Razer have a lot more pride in the product than usual; more than say the Diamondback or the DeathAdder. The solution that Razer represents in the Naga is a lot more complete, with the ‘trainers’ (stickable bits of rubber to train your thumb to the button positions) and the enhanced manuals. But inversely, Razer has always had pride in their peripherals. I think the extra push in presentation is due to MMO players being the most discerning. Every peripheral we buy is not only a cool piece of kit to sit on our desk; it’s an investment and something we’ll be spending a lot of time using. Hand cramps and RSI show up a lot quicker with MMO gamers down to the sheer amount of time that we spend on our computers.
I can say that the Razer Naga has made me a better player, and for any class that has mostly instant skills (In Aion, it would be mostly the Melee classes) this should be an instant-buy. For Cast-classes, I would also say get it. The price is reasonable for it’s calibre of product, and it also keeps your eyes focussed more on the screen and less on the keyboard when you have a full set of 60 buttons (12 with 5 modifier keys). Plus, the natural position the hand takes when on the mouse is seriously comfortable. For someone with fat fingers, this was a surprise and a welcome one at that.
If I had stars, I would Five Star it. However, I will say that if you have any interest in MMO gaming and find yourself removing your fingers from the WASD position during combat, you need this mouse to take your gaming up a notch.
Note: The interface that fakesteve talks about in the video wasn’t one that I used in Aion. Because of Aion’s embedded Macro interface and skill-bar layout, there hasn’t been a need to make an Add-on specifically for Aion. You bind your Naga’s buttons to the skillbar hotkeys, then change the skills the keys execute directly.