As a casual 10N raider, I wanted to weight in. Due to being in a casual raiding guild of average skill level currently 4/6 in HoF and 1/12 in ToT I'm probably the target demographic for AMR.
I have a prot pally tank 491, and a mage 502. I had to make a tank because our guild group needed an off-tank and lack of one stalled our progression. We raid 6 hours a week. We generally have about 10-20 pulls on boss before it goes down, so the slow progression is more a factor of scheduling than anything else.
When I reforge my mage, I generally do it by hand because that is my main toon, I feel like I know what I'm doing, the stat priorities are fairly clear. I check AMR to see what it thinks. I have quite often seen AMR "revise" it's optimal gearing strat when presented with my reforges on the mage and accept my reforges as the new optimum (i.e. 100% gear score moves up and AMR no longer suggests I reforge anything). So obviously, AMR is not flawless, nor do I expect it to be. I realize that it is running under some kind of a time constraint, and the optimal result it returns is the latest optimal result it found during search, not necessarily the global optimum.
However, when I reforge my pally tank, I pretty much select a preset (control-haste) and if the suggestions look good to me reforge into that. I know a little bit about what are the best stats for the tank, I know enough to try to keep my rotation going and to time my SoTR for boss swings, rotate cooldowns, keep up Sacred Shield. But beyond that, I don't have too good of an idea of what I'm doing with this class. I am not a bad tank, but I'm at best average. Therefore, AMR is great for a person like me! I don't have the time to invest into figuring this out, and AMR does the math. Sure, I'm somewhat leery of how much stam it's telling me to stack because I have a feeling I could be doing more dps if I went with more haste but overall I'm happy with the gearing because I seem to be staying alive during boss fights. When I disagree with AMR (like for the Collosus enchant, which I know many on the forums feel is inferior to the STR one) I don't follow AMR's guide on that one slot.
What I'm trying to say here, is that there's a level of skill at which point you "outskill" AMR in the same way that you can outgear a boss in an instance. I've pretty much reached that point on my mage, and I'm starting to take steps towards independence on my pally.
AMR is like the extra wheels on a bike, supporting you until you are ready to be two-wheeling.
What is the point of getting mad at AMR for perhaps not suggesting an absolutely positively 100% optimal gearing strategy? Obviously you can go faster on a 2-wheel bike, without the trainer wheels (i.e. AMR), but that assumes you know what you're doing in the first place. At that point you can configure AMR to suit your needs anyway. AMR works on averages, and on averages certain stats are better than others. On average Stam will save my life more often than Haste because I probably just mistimed that SoTR...
491-495: 12.66 %
^ This is where my pally is now. (Heals OS is high 480s)
In my experience, the users of AMR tend to be not very knowledgeable but curious. We probably know enough to know when we're screwing up, we know the general trends in gear and keep up with the class forums more or less, read the patch notes and so forth. We are not brainless enough to think AMR will magically make us be able to kill a boss. But we are not always aware of the class mechanics enough (or willing to put in the time) it takes to out-math AMR. Some AMR users are more skilled (or hardworking) raiders than others.
This thread was worth reading if only for the theory-crafting bits and pieces that shed some light on my class.
Kudos to the devs of AMR who have kept a level head in this thread despite some pretty brutal put-downs of the tool they clearly spent a lot of time on. I'm a software developer myself and appreciate the effort it must have taken.
Thanks for making my life as an off-tank easier!