One of the curious joys of being a passionate PC gamer is the sensation of getting a new mouse, with virgin feet. That feeling of smooth operation and mousing is almost sensuous, if you pardon my passion for gaming; it’s something just puts a smile on my face. So too is the sensation of finding a perfect match between mouse and mousing surface; more than just feeling good, this frisson can have a deep impact on not just your enjoyment of gaming, but also your in-game performance.
That being the case, I was really looking forward to seeing Fierce’s Teflon-surfaced pad in action. Like it says on the tin, it really is just about the smoothest mousing surface we’ve ever held, and being made around a steel body, it’s super-rigid and very durable in transport. The standard Atomic mousing surface has been a Coolermaster rigid plastic model, which we’ve been using for years, so I had high expectations.
Expectations that were sadly dashed in just a brief session of intense gaming – it is literally too smooth for its own good.
With a relatively new mouse – the Corsair M60 – there’s just not enough feedback of how far and how fast your mouse is moving, leading to some serious under and oversteer, especially in fine motor control environments like zoomed in crosshairs. With the Coolermaster’s just-fine-enough grain, there’s a sense of travel that’s entirely lacking in the Fierce pad. What’s more, the heavy steel body is a real temperature sink, and given we tested during relatively cool weather, it was actually a little uncomfortable.
However, even worse than the lack of feedback, is the poor tracking on the M60’s laser sensor. Slow movements, like tracking a walking target in Battlefield 3, seemed jumpy and inaccurate; fast-tracking movements, such as quickly turning about to avoid being knifed (can you guess our playstyle?) are almost impossibly laggy. In one such instance, a fast sweep of the mouse left us un-moved at all, gifting my enemy with an all too easy kill.
Given the highly personal nature of user and mouse interaction, it feels churlish to condemn Fierce’s effort out of hand based purely on my terrible time with the product. However, at the same time with such poor feedback and performance, it’s hard to ask anyone to risk their hard-earned scratch on a solution that may very well hinder gaming performance. For all that the Fierce Teflon pad feels like a premium product, and is certainly sturdy, its poor in-game feel makes it a product that we just can’t stick with.