It's been a little more than a year since we first reviewed the R.A.T. gaming mouse from Mad Catz, and called it the best mouse we’ve ever played with. Since then, there’s been a couple of incremental upgrades to the line (the cordless R.A.T. 9, the 6400 DPI Contagion Edition), but nothing that fundamentally altered the design. They’re about to do just that, though, and we got to take a sneak peak at the result.
The Cyborg M.M.O. is (for all the terribly bad guessers out there) a version of the R.A.T. designed for MMO gaming. Where the original R.A.T. had 6 programmable buttons, the M.M.O. has 13, plus a shift button and a three-mode toggle, allowing for a maximum of 78 custom bindings per profile.
Also like the original, the M.M.O. has a feature we’ve never seen on a mouse before. Special buttons on either side of the scroll wheel allow you enter “Action Lock” mode, where any right- or left-mouse-button click toggles between the button being in the “up” position and the button being held down. The idea is that you use this feature for MMOs where holding right click causes your character to run forward, or enter mouselook mode. Tri-color indicator LEDs in each mouse button keep you from losing track of whether Action Lock is on or off.
And of course the mouse comes equipped with the latest 6400 DPI sensor—a feature that might be more useful to RTS or FPS gamers. We’ll be looking forward to testing out the M.M.O. for a full review, but so far we like what we see. Check out our gallery of the M.M.O.’s snazzy new paintjob below, and less us know what you think of Mad Catz’ latest.
Playing Age of Empires Online is like greeting an old friends for the first time in years, but instead of returning your friendly fist-bump, your pal socks you in the gut. Don't get us wrong: AOEO isn't a bad game, and somewhere benearth its mountain of MMO-influenced bling, the AOE of yore forms the online version's steel-sharp strategic center. Problem is, this isn't so much an instance of old meeting new as it is old and new getting thrown haphazardly into a blender. As a result, some of the game works, and some of it really, really doesn't.
From the moment we first saw the Fallout MMO beginning to take shape, we thought it seemed too good to be true. But we just figured we'd get a half-baked, wasteland-wandering WoW clone out of it – not, you know, nothing. Sadly, the latter's now looking like a distinct possibility, as publisher Interplay's found itself in a bit of a pickle. And by “a bit,” we mean one of those mutant “world's biggest” tourist trap pickles that have their own giftshops in towns whose populations are halved anytime someone takes out the garbage.
It's no exaggeration to say that the eyes of the entire MMO world are on Star Wars: The Old Republic right now. Hell, even the guys and gals with the inspirational “I kicked the habit and you can too!” stories typically add a defeated “...but I don't think I'll be able to resist The Old Republic.” And now, BioWare's offering an opportunity for you to get an early start on what's sure to be a beautiful, fun, and – most importantly – completely debilitating relationship.
Over on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website, BioWare's begun accepting another round of sign-ups for the soon-to-begin closed beta test. Simply create a TOR community account, head over to the Game Testing Portal, and – quick as Jar-Jar Binks laying waste to someone's childhood – you're in!
Granted, we're still talking closed beta here, so no matter how badly you want to take the game for a test drive, you won't get a golden ticket unless you meet BioWare's “specific requirements” for this test.
So, with all that said, we have to ask: what are you still doing here? Go! Sign up now or risk playing the game at the same time as everyone else like some kind of filthy videogame peasant.
At a glance, Razer's newly announced Anansi keyboard looks like any other modern gaming plank. Ask Razer, however, and they'll tell you the Anansi is the world's first MMO gaming keyboard, and a perfect compliment to the company's Naga MMO mouse line.
"The Razer Anansi gaming keyboard is the new weapon of choice for MMO gamers," said Robert Krakoff, president, Razer USA. "Let’s face it, the regular keyboard that came with your PC was designed and built for typing, not for MMO gaming. With its revolutionary seven thumb modifier keys, every key combination that you had before is now multiplied by seven times. The Razer Anansi allows you to use every spell, ability or custom macro in your arsenal -- both instantly and in complete comfort."
Razer's Anansi sports seven thumb modifier keys, over 100 programmable "Hyperesponse" keys with on-the-fly macro recording, 20 gaming profiles with one-button profile switching, five additional gaming keys, customized backlight options, anti-ghosting, and a gaming mode that disables the Windows key.
If you're a fan of SteelSeries' original World of Warcraft gaming mouse, then you'll probably love this follow-up act based on WoW: Cataclysm.
"Since the release of the original World of Warcraft MMO Gaming Mouse in 2008, we've received feedback from thousands of World of Warcraft players, both Horde and Alliance, on how they've customized their World of Warcraft mice and what they would like us to do next," said Bruce Hawver, SteelSeries CEO. "For two years, our R&D team worked hard with Blizzard Entertainment to incorporate the great feedback and to enhance the mouse technology and game integration. The new Cataclysm mouse is the result of that collaboration: it provides a wide range of customization options and delivers a more comfortable, intuitive, and ultimately better experience."
The Cataclysm sports 14 programmable buttons with more than 130 preset game commands. Other features include a 5,040dpi sensor, braided nylon cable, the ability to create custom macros, and of course the funky styling.
Look for SteelSeries to launch the Cataclysm on December 7, 2010 for $100.
Barring a real-life version of Thriller's music video, the King of Pop will probably never moonwalk among us again. However, his memories live on in the minds of his fans, his music, and... a massively multiplayer online PC game? Seriously, World, why not just make a calendar where every day of the year is April 1 and just be done with it?
The game's called Planet Michael, and it's slated to launch late next year. So, how's it work? Will our face have slots for upgrades? Not quite, unfortunately. Here's the gist, straight from developer SEE Virtual Worlds:
“At its core, Planet Michael is a massive social gaming experience that will allow everyone, from the hardcore fan to the novice, to connect and engage in collaborative in-game activities with people worldwide. Entire continents will be created that will celebrate Michael's unique genius in a way that underscores his place as the greatest artist of all time.”
The game world itself, meanwhile, will be composed of “visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life, and the global issues that concerned him.” Well, at least it won't be dull.
Us, we'll probably spend most of our time on the Smooth Criminal continent. Not so much the Neverland continent; we've heard that place is kind of, er, weird.
Seems like only yesterday that All Points Bulletin hit the mean, crime infested streets. Oh yeah, that's because it basically was. The cops 'n' robbers MMO launched on June 29 of this year, and, well, it had some issues. Not nearly as many issues, however, as its developer Realtime Worlds, who recently put an entire development team on the chopping block and declared bankruptcy.
And now, after failing to attract a buyer, it looks as though All Points Bulletin's gone straight from the cradle into the grave.
“APB has been a fantastic journey, but unfortunately that journey has come to a premature end. Today we are sad to announce that despite everyone’s best efforts to keep the service running; APB is coming to a close. It’s been a pleasure working on APB and with all its players. Together we were building an absolutely amazing game, and for that, we thank you. You guys are awesome!” wrote Realtime Worlds community manager Ben Bateman.
According to anonymous sources, APB's servers will be going dark tomorrow, never to see the light of day again. Which is a real shame, seeing as Realtime Worlds had a pretty solid roadmap in place for how to fix the game. Unfortunately, life's great Game Over screen appeared, and they didn't have enough coins to continue.
Those of you with virtual homes, possessions, and families, let this serve as a cautionary tale for you. They could all be snatched away – just like that! Now shower them with affection. Show them just how much you love them. Huh? You have to go tell your kids a bedtime story? The nerve! Can't they wait? You're in the middle of something important, after all.
There is little I enjoy more than coming to Maximum PC each week to dish out a new dose of freeware and open-source software for all to enjoy. But, I confess, it's been tough times as of late-I feel as if I've covered every inch of the ol' PC ad nauseum and, as such, am running low on witty or interesting themes with which to structure these freeware roundups.
But before I would work myself into a tizzy over my failure to compartmentalize this week's apps, I remembered something: You, the readers, are awesome. So much so, that you've actually gone and done a great job of coming up with some awesome applications all by yourselves. From games, to apps to utilities, you've left few stones unturned in your various replies to my weekly freeware roundups.
And, thus, I am writing this week's freeware roundup in your honor. Not only am I profiling some of the awesome programs you've recommended, but I'm profiling the recommenders as well! And by that I mean that you, too, could be enshrined in the hallowed halls of the weekly freeware roundup-just keep leaving program tips in the comments!
Torchlight may have borne quite the resemblance to Blizzard’s ultra-popular Diablo franchise, but its sequel’s taking after a different member of Blizzard’s stable. Well, kinda. The term “MMO” carries a certain set of expectations and… aw, screw it. Some bits of the bigger MMO picture are really boring. Fortunately, the Torchlight MMO is aiming to be a massive game – you know, with fun and stuff – and not a massive headache.
“Our vision is to have an MMO that plays as close to single player as we can get it. It will have the same focus on relatively fast action: carving your way through hordes of monsters with a large number of hugely devastating skills. The game has to be solo-able, but players will have to have skills that make them useful in a party and make them work together,” Runic Games president Travis Baldree told PC Gamer.
Ok, but how about the game’s business model? We’re not entirely sure how we feel about nickel ‘n’ diming in our hack ‘n’ slash.
“I will never, ever buy a microtransaction item,” Baldree said of his game’s microtransaction system. “I’m that kind of player. And the game has to be enjoyable for me, too. We don’t want our monetization stuff to offer ways to skip the game because the game is boring.”
It’s a shame Baldree’s only the president of Runic. At this point, we’re kind of wishing he was president of every MMO company ever. And also maybe the United States, because – let's face it – Obama’s monster horde-slaying policy leaves a lot to be desired.