I can't deny that I am a bit biased in favor of Vaneras as one of the best Blue posters (technically he is an Online Community Representative, unlike Nethaera and others, who are Community Managers). After all, his icon is the classic Dwarf Hunter, with his faithful polar bear pet at his side. We Americans don't see too much of the Danish Vaneras over on our forums, as he usually spends his time on the EU forums. That having been said, whenever I see a post by Vaneras, I immediately want to read it. He strikes me as the heartily laughing, jolly sort, with his epic mug always full of ale, and happy to help posters with their questions.
Vaneras continues to be an engaging presence on the EU forums, asking questions intended to inspire fun community discussions, posting polls, community news, and requesting feedback within the forum threads in creative and fun ways. When asking players for feedback regarding the last arena season, he decided the poetic approach was best.
Some players rank high,
some players rank low,
the arena season's soon over,
and here we ponder – how did it go?
(Did you picture him bellowing forth those words in Larisa's Inn with fabulous bravado, swinging around a large mug of ale? Because I did!)
He doesn't stand back in the shadows, quietly moderating, banning, deleting threads like many other moderators may do. He joins in on discussions he enjoys and provides his own answers. Blues usually have to take care which threads they post in, because their posts are tracked – anytime a blue responds to a thread, it will inevitably receive a large amount of traffic.
Therefore, when Vaneras posts in a thread, he often does it intentionally to highlight it and bring more people into the fun discussion – even if he only posts a smiley face. Sometimes he states it in his post, and other times he is a bit more subtle when encouraging others to join in on the discussion by simply providing his own answers (which still gives the post the precious Blue Tag). This increases the feeling of community amongst forum goers – and it is something at which he truly excels.
When Blizzard has what they perceive as an important "announcement" to make to players, you will usually find this in a separate post, created by a Blue. Vaneras, however, is known to make such informative announcements within an already existing thread. It's very subtle, but doing it this way is actually better – Vaneras' response has effectively suggested that the OP has asked a great question – and asked it in a constructive way that encourages discussion and feedback. Posts like this make players feel that they are being listened to, and inspires them to make more posts that are thoughtful and positive, instead of the constant whining and complaining.
He often joins in on threads that have questions he thinks could provide particularly interesting feedback. By doing this, he marks the post as a "Blue" and encourages many players who normally do not read through all the material on the forums (such as myself) to join in on the thread discussion. Of all the blue posters I've been watching over the past month, Vaneras seems to do this best. When he posts in a thread (most likely to give it more visibility with a blue tag) he also joins in on the discussions.
One of my favorite things to see among blue posters is playful rivalry and joking between them. It makes the blue text seem a little more human when we can pick up on aspects of their personality, and their sense of humor. Too often it seems that blue posts are canned responses that have obviously been thoroughly nitpicked to be sure that everything stated can be defended in the face of inevitable criticism. Therefore, players love to see folks like Vaneras pop into a thread to cheerfully join in on player discussions, and bring in some of their fellow blues.
I always enjoy the exchanges between Vaneras and Ancilorn – if you do too, here are two separate examples: "How social are you in Worldof Warcraft?" and "Topics probably not worth bringing up" to which Vaneras occasionally redirects posters! Ancilorn, however, seems to feel that Vaneras warrants nerfing.
He invites and encourages players to arrange fun and engaging community encounters in game, giving them suggestions on how to do it to improve their gameplay. As I've been watching and bookmarking so many of his forum responses, I have to say that I'm always interested in the threads in which he posts. He is helpful to players far beyond simple game mechanics – any time his interest in piqued, you are bound to find a Vaneras response. He takes time to look up resources for players, even if they are not forum-based resources. I mean, how can you see a post like that and not think "Wow, what a genuinely nice dude?"
He makes a concerted effort at times to be sure the players understand and recognize that while the blue posters may not always be able to provide an answer to every inquiry, and while they may not be able to post on every thread they might like to, they are listening – and they are taking player concerns into great consideration.
And remember folks, Vaneras asks that "If you can't post your concerns without also adding insults or abuse, then we prefer that you do not post at all!"
Well said, Vaneras. I raise my epic mug to you in salute!
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