Audience Scaling, Riding the PLC, and Other Notes & Ramblings

Hi there!

First of all, this is a fantastic project and has done wonders to help me improve gearing. I’ve been a user since AMR became available for Classic and never looked back. It is exactly what I dreamed of back when I was swapping between Excel and Google Sheets simulators: the ability to generate my “personal” BiS per everything in my inventory. While reading the ideas below, keep in mind the biggest issue with the project is that not enough people use it (and I really want that to change). Everyone I’ve showed it to just stared in awe at the functions. Anyone who knew about AMR already misunderstood the usecase as a tool, rather than a word-of-god PUMPER generator.

I have some (completely unsolicited) ideas that might help. For context: I regularly consult with startups and work with founding teams to expand their userbases and scale accordingly. I’m also a Product Manager who specializes in marketing and commercialization. Additional context: I f⋆cking love this project and have been dying to make a post like this. If you like any of these ideas, feel free to use 'em. If you don’t, just kindly tell me to f⋆ck off. Take everything with the massive pile of salt since there’s a lot of variables I don’t know about AMR or what is in development. I apologize in advanced for junk ideas, but I hope at least 5% is helpful… maybe?

Firstly, the payment model (for Classic specifically) is terrible for user acquisition. You market it as an add-on to the base service (Retail). That’s not how Classic players think. Most treat it as a completely separate game, usually without even touching Retail (who has time to be addicted to TWO games nowadays?). If you’re going to ask for a subscription, do it as a separate Classic subscription (Vanilla, TBC, WotLK included). If someone wants the other service, then you charge the one-time fee.

One other major issue with the Classic payment structure is how you’re selling it on the Classic landing page. Say I’m a user who wants to sign up. What are my options? ‘Start a Free Trial’ or ‘Sign Up with Classic’. Well, first, say I want to see how much it is. I click what is essentially the “Buy Now” page. BAM! I’m hit with a $22 fee. Is that a lot of money considering how helpful it is? No. Not at all. But it is far more than users subconsciously expect to pay compared to your competitors: FREE community simulators (that are far more time consuming). There’s a TON of friction in the current decision-making process and you need to prove AMR is worth pulling out wallets with minimal objections.

Speaking of the Classic landing page, as far as I can tell it is straight up incorrect (to your detriment!). You don’t just have these two options. What about the Sim Client / Global Network? This glorious idea converts your ‘Free’ users to customers paying with compute time (while sill feeling like this is a free service). That in itself is HUGE. There is still friction on this sell, but far less than a monetary one. You just need to explain in an consumer-ready way exactly what the Sim is doing. Scientific mumbo-jumbo only makes the average user uncomfortable. The only thing worse than that is seeing a big scary command prompt. All you need to do is change the font to green and they’ll be positive you’re hacking them (if they manage to properly install and configure it, that is). Keep in mind the average user doesn’t know what a .zip is or how to use it.

The best option long-term would be to build-out a very simple program which has:

  • “Normal” Installer and Interface (What’s a
  • Built-in Config Settings
  • Start & Stop Buttons + Simple Loading Circle if Processing (No “Scary” CMD)
  • Link to WoW Addon like TSM = No More Copy/Paste
  • Installs a URL Protocol to Launch from Browser

This alone will expand your userbase from early adopters to early majority. Woo! Leveling up on the Product Lifecycle!

Now that we optimized the site for a general audience, let’s get it out there! You’re making great content already on the Blog. Publicize it. Promote it. It humanizes (ironically) and simplifies how to use AMR in a way that even the most computer illiterate can understand. As much as I love the simplicity of the home page, sticking a Nav Bar on top cuts down on clicks and friction and will smooth the whole process. I’d be curious the difference in clicks to the blog with it hidden in a hamburger vs visible the whole time. Partner with influencers and streamers: get your name out there!

Finally – and this is a big one – you have some of, if not THE best gear ranking algorithms. You know what else has gear ranking algorithms? Drum roll please… GEAR SCORE!! deflating balloon sound. Yeah… , I know… , everyone’s favorite gatekeeping system. If the trends of toxic tendencies returning from 15yrs ago continues, we’ll see a re-emergence of GS. Why not improve it with the goldmine of data you have? More importantly, this would be the perfect marketing opportunity for AMR. Get ahead of the storm and become THE go-to rating system. It doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. This kind of thing is first-to-market… since your system would be proprietary, realms would be forced to download yours.

So that’s it. Maybe these rambling ideas will help. Maybe not? No clue. Just wanted to give back in some way since I really believe in this project.

Cheers mates,

Further context: Why write this?
I saw this response from @yellowfive.

To see “we’re going to roll the dice and say enough people will use it” really sucked to see. Such a kickass project shouldn’t have to gamble. Let’s fix that!

Other notes and ramblings:

  • Can the Sim Client compute be run through the user’s browser instead? Even if it takes longer to process, that’s actually a good thing! More reason to upgrade to Premium.
  • With the data you have, you could bake the model into a native (zero-dependency) algorithm and, you know, maybe-stick-it-in-an-addon?
  • Contact Class Discord admins. If you have a free version, you’ll most likely get on their Sim lists. I know a fair bit of them from a side project (looks at profile picture). They’re all amazing people!
  • Talk to community influencers (Crix, WatchYourSixx, etc.). Give them access. Get their feedback. They’re the ones influencing most of the class communities and writing the guides.
  • Provide a demo on the home page! Let users see exactly how it works! (not a functioning demo, just limit it to a pre-selected gearset).
  • Are users sharing IDs? Making guild accounts? Once over 20+ simmed characters, maybe have a popup explaining the guild subscription?
  • What about a lifetime subscription for Classic? Users would probably pay $25 for this, which equates to ~2yrs worth of a subscription. For Classic especially, I’d estimate this is still longer than the average lifetime value per customer.

Glad you like the site and thanks for the feedback. Some of these things we have thought about, others we haven’t!

With regards to the simulation client for retail WoW, we did it the way we did for several reasons:

  1. It takes a lot less development time if you don’t build a UI or installers
  2. It is difficult to make cross-platform installers and UIs, and we wanted this client to run well especially on Linux

The client itself is meant to be a “set it and forget it” program, then you do all your interaction with the website which has a nice UI. It is admittedly a bit of a “power user” setup, but most people interested in simulating lean that way a bit. Simulating is a ton of fun, but we think most users are better served by the more streamlined optimizer than getting lost in the weeds of simulation, so we focus a lot more effort on the user experience for optimization.

It would not be feasible to put the optimizer or the simulator in the browser itself or an in-game addon, unfortunately (though it would be cool!). It would be pretty slow, but more than anything, it would require a huge amount of development time. We are a small, family-run website of 3 people, and I’m the only computer programmer… just not enough hours in the day to do all the cool things I’d like to do!

I have thought about using the client like e.g. TSM does to streamline the import/export process. It’s on my list of things to revisit one day, it can certainly be done.

We probably could present the classic optimizers in a way that captures a few more users as you suggest – tweak the pricing and all that, you have some good ideas. If Blizzard sticks with releasing classic versions of the game, we will definitely revisit it for the next go around. This time we’re focused on just getting it out the door in a timely manner. Perhaps we’ll be able to adjust it after the WotLK launch and after the Dragonflight launch.

And yes, there are a lot of ways we could promote the site that we aren’t currently. We used to do a lot more community collaboration and promotion back in the day… but for various reasons it didn’t work out that well and turned into a ton of stress. Once we got off that treadmill, building and running the site became a lot more fun again. That said, we would like to reach more of the community and hope to come up with good ways to do that in the future. Right now we rely a lot on word of mouth, so we really appreciate it when people like you recommend AMR to your friends.


Whoa, whoa - I have to write stuff that looks like code all the time. We have at least 1.5 programmers at this company.