It’s hard to get truly excited about keyboards, when the world is full of things like iPads and 3D cinema and Felicia Day. That hasn’t deterred Logitech, though, who have pulled out all the stops to design a keyboard that’s actually worth getting excited about. If standard keyboards are vendor trash, the G110 Gaming Keyboard is pure purple and bind-on-pickup.
The idea – as with Logitech’s other gaming keyboards – is to provide a keyboard which does far more than simply enable you to type “lols nub l2p” into party chat. The G110 has a whole host of other features, all firmly designed with gamers in mind.
The keyboard itself is adequate, if not spectacular. The keys are nicely weighted without feeling heavy and cumbersome, and the boards sits well under the palms. The available tilt angle is minimal, but the keyboard does come with a detachable wrist-rest which snaps snugly onto the bottom of the board for those of us who are a bit lazy with our typing postures. For a keyboard which boasts so many features, the G110 is admirably compact, measuring just 50cm wide by 19cm deep ( 23cm with the wrist-rest attached).
The flagship feature of the G110 is the bank of additional keys to the left of the main keyboard. There are twelve keys, positioned in three blocks of four keys each, but Logitech’s clever use of custom modifier keys and profiles allows for far more than just twelve additional buttons. Three small modifier buttons sit just above the bank of custom keys, allowing the user to change to a different set of keybindings with a single press. Software supplied with the board enables each key to perform a variety of functions, some of which are admirably specific. A key can be configured to mimic a standard keypress, of course, but can just as easily mimic a complex key combination. Sick of having to break your fingers trying to press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J to trigger that once-in-a-blue-moon ability? Just set that combination as the action for one of the custom keys, and your poor phalanges will be safe from harm. Even better, the custom keys can trigger a sequence of keypresses, rendering a regular sequence of key presses down to a single tap. I set one of the custom keys to type “/afk” – a simple shortcut, but one which saved a lot of time.
For extra credit, the G110 will even allow keypress sequences to be recorded with specific lengths of time between each keypress. That’s potentially dangerous levels of automation for some of the more dictatorial MMOs – using automation like this could theoretically get you banned in WoW – but for something like A Tale In The Desert (where automation macros are actually encouraged) it’s a killer feature.
The software will automatically detect installations of many popular games – on our test machine both World Of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons Online were detected – and will create profiles for each one. This allows you to switch the entire set of keybindings and macros contextually, depending on the game. You can create additional profiles, of course, for whatever purpose you like. Many of the popular games are additionally supported with direct keybindings to popular actions – the World Of Warcraft profile, for example, allows you to assign the action “send my pet into defensive mode” to a custom key. The keyboard will then interface directly and issue that command. No need for keybindings or macros – the keyboard software takes care of it all.
If that’s not enough to impress your friends, the keyboard also provides a bit of eye-candy in the form of the backlighting on each key. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but it’s not actually eye-bleedingly ostentatious – and if, like us, you tend to do your gaming in a gloomy room late at night it does actually help to easily identify the keys. Yes, you can pick the colour.
The keyboard provides a handful of USB ports, and also contains an entire in-built USB-audio card. That means you can attach a microphone headset directly to the keyboard. It’s a nice touch, especially when combined with the separate mute button to affect only the headset audio.
At the right-hand side of the keyboard is a standard set of media control and playback buttons, including one of my favourite little touches: the volume control. Rather than the usual “+” and “-” buttons, the volume is controlled by a scrollable wheel. It’s a much more natural way of controlling volume, and once you’ve tried it you won’t want to go back.
This is not a keyboard for a casual gamer, nor is it a keyboard for those who like instant results. In order to make the most of this board, you’re going to have to take the time to train yourself to use it properly. You’ll need to think about the optimum assignment of keybindings for each game, and you’ll probably still find yourself using the same keybindings for your core abilities as you always have. Where this keyboard really excels is its extraordinary amount of customisation. You can tailor the G110 to do almost anything you need it to do. There are other gaming keyboards, some of which have more bells and whistles, and some of which have even more keys. If you’re looking for a workhorse gaming keyboard, though, which will improve your game and give you an astonishingly flexible setup, the G110 is a solid contender. While it’s not the cheapest of keyboards, it won’t bruise your pocket as much as some of its competitors, and the potential benefit is well worth the investment.
Buy the Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard from Amazon.com ($64.99)
Buy the Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard from Amazon.co.uk (£48.99)
Main Logitech site
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So who here hasn’t dreamed of sneaking from shadow to shadow, pick-pocketing anything that looks like it might have a coinpurse in its pocket/suckers/loincloth (delete as applicable and don’t think too hard about it). Maybe you’ve got an urge to burst out of the darkness and backstab your enemies in the name of saving the world. Or maybe you just like slipping from monster to monster, giggling as you concuss them with a quick blow to the back of the head.
There’s a little rougery hidden in all of us. Maybe you’ve got a rogue character already in WoW, maybe you’ve got several. Maybe you’re thinking of rolling a rogue to let the scallawag in you out.
If you’re a rogue and relatively new to the business of being level 85, Garona’s got your back covered. As the host over at the top rogue resource and community (a strikingly friendly bunch given their penchant for skullduggery) PvE Rogues, Garona is top of her game on how to be a rogue.
And she looking to help you be just that in her new E-book package: The Ultimate Rogue Raiding Guide. But is it worth the money?
Garona prodded us and asked if we wanted to take a look at it. She said it’s aimed at new, less experienced rogues who want to raid but don’t know how to get there. It sounded interesting, given here at the Pot we have one experienced rogue and two people who’ve never really let their rogue instincts out. We fell on the opportunity like wolves on a frolicking lamb.
Then we found we couldn’t rip it to shreds.
You see, Garona’s guide is extremely good for a newly minted 85 rogue. Which is handy, given that’s explicitly her target audience.
Enough rambling. Why is it so good? First up, her introduction page. The guide’s very first page sets the tone and answers the questions you might have about the guide. Who’s it for? What do I do if I don’t understand it? Will I get laughed at? What does the guide do? All answered from the off – good start.
Garona’s covered everything you need to know if you want to start raiding. She starts out with a look at each of the rogue talent trees and what each one’s good at. She doesn’t tell you to pick one spec, she tells you to find out which one you’re comfortable with. She goes on to cover gear, stats, gems, enchants – every practical detail you’ll need to get raid-ready – and she does all of that for all three of the rogue trees without favouring one or the other. So no matter what spec you decide on the information you need is in the guide.
The thing I was most impressed with though? How clearly everything is written. She leaves very little room for confusion, and anytime I thought I had a question about something it was usually answered later. Case in point – Garona’s written the rogue rotations chapter so well that as a non-rogue I now know exactly what rogues should be doing. And the places where things could get really muddly, like explaining Equivalency Points (EP = a way of working out which stats are better for you at any given time), are written both clearly and elegantly.
Throughout the guide there are tips on good rogue practices as well as a whole invaluable section on good play. It includes things I can only assume have been lost in the rogue generations, the amount of time I don’t see them happen. /mumbles about kids these days and porches
Okay, okay,< you’re thinking, I’m crowing her praises and it’s all just over-the-top. Reality check time. There are some things wrong with the guide. Like… um… ah yes! What does ‘paper doll’ mean? I’m guessing it’s the character sheet but paper doll’s not standard terminology to me. And the chapter on reforging had the only question for me which went unanswered, about reforging white hit into poison hit (isn’t hit all the same stat?) But that doesn’t bother me too much as it’s exactly the sort of thing I could go ask on the forums over at PvE Rogues, which Garona invites us to do if we have any problems with the book.
I was left a bit at sea with Garona’s recommended way of choosing my rogue spec, which basically boils down to whatever feels right for the rogue in you rather than practical “guilds will want this so DO THIS OR ELSE”. But after a couple of seconds thinking I realised that those two types of advice don’t mesh and when you’re addressing new rogues enthusiastic to get stuck into the class, encouraging them to experiment and get comfortable with it for themselves is the best advice to give.
So there we have it. The thing to bear in mind is this guide is not aimed at you experienced rogues out there. You’re going to know most of the information in it, though you might find bits of it handy like the rogue stats/caps Cheat Sheet that’s included. The package also includes the rogue CSC3 calculator* and a clearly written guide on how to use it, which could well be handy if you don’t already have and know how to use it. Finally, buying the guide also gets you access to the e-book only section of the PvE Rogues forums.
Our experienced rogue didn’t think anything was missing, and in fact got a couple of tips himself. The only thing he thought could be better would be adding alternative choices to the pre-Heroic gear list.
Perhaps the biggest downside is that most of the guide is information you can find for free elsewhere, like on Elitist Jerks. But what Garona’s achieved with the main guide is breaking down information you’d find on Elitist Jerks in abbrieviated goobledigook and telling you it extremely clearly. She doesn’t overuse words (unlike me) but she does give you clear instructions with fully written rogue-terminology, and throws diagrams in where it’s helpful.
It’s also very easy to digest the information compiled into one well structured book (reading the contents page strangely reassured me I wasn’t going to be overwhelmed with info). She’s removed the need for you to hunt down bits of information from loads of sites, get scraps of info from 76-page long forum threads, and cross reference everything’s validity.
I’m going to stop gushing – from a professional point of view I wish there was more I could criticise. I feel like the Nice Fairy put mushrooms in my tea this morning. But there’s no way round it: Garona set out to provide a compendium to help new 85 rogues get ready for raiding, and that’s exactly what this is. The main guide on its own is a lifeline for a new rogue, but the additional cheat sheet and CSC3 guide and calculator packaged along with it make it all you could need.
The only questions left in my mind are – is she going to keep it updated as we get patches (I’m guessing so, but she doesn’t say so in the guide) and are you going to tell the rogue in your life that this is out there?
If you want to see for yourself, the guide is currently $1.99. (this is a secure affiliate link).
Or you can buy it for the same price here (this is not an affiliate link but is also secure).
There is, I think, no refund policy – although it’s a steal at this price. The price will go up (but not much and it’ll still be worth the money) soon, so hurry. There’s a chance of an exclusive mousemat for you if you buy it now…
*The CSC3 calculator is the rogue critical strke chance cap calculator, though it’s useful for other stats too.
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