Hmmm. I said I wasn't going to do anything else with my mesmer after trotting to the Hall of Monuments to place her "trophy" for LDoA there, but darned if the promise of updates to mesmer skills and gameplay got me all excited. I've been playing her almost every night. Hubby and I are actually playing mesmers together (he has a second account that has two of his favorite characters on it, a ranger and a mesmer, but with GW2 looming he decided to re-create them on his primary account) and his new mesmer is leveling up as we go. And we're in the desert, doing missions in preparation for ascension. Yippee.
Anyway, it's been so much fun this time around playing my mesmer. The last time I had a mesmer, we did not have heroes in the game to help out in the hard areas, and also I wasn't the one who chose her face, hair and name (I was letting my daughter try out the game but she abandoned it back then - this was at least four years ago - long before she had her own account). So by the time I took that character to the desert, I was not at all excited about playing her and ended up leaving her to languish, and she was eventually deleted.
This time around, I created my own mesmer character initially for the purpose of having a perma-pre-sear character, as I had a romantic fondness for that beautiful tutorial area of the game. And since I had learned to love mesmers in PvP, I decided it was finally appropriate for me to have a PvE mesmer, and where better but surrounded by the idyllic charm of pre-searing Ascalon?
So, voila, she was born. My choice of hair and face naturally made me like her much better, but I considered her a slow, long project - I did intend to eventually get the LDoA title, but did not intend to leave pre-searing - so I just played her occasionally. It took me almost three years. By the time I had death-leveled enough to get LDoA, my mind had changed about staying in pre-searing forever. I got to looking up pretty armors; I found out that if I didn't take her to the Hall of Monuments I wouldn't get to display her trophy; and amazingly I was finally getting a little tired of looking at the scenery in pre-searing. I decided if I got nostalgic again in the future, I could always buy another character slot if I really wanted to go back that badly.
And so I said a cheery farewell in Ascalon and left the town behind, to be seared by fire, the entire countryside forever broken and marred, towns destroyed, stone walls shattered, towering crystals impaled from on high in the inferno that destroyed all of Ascalon and the surrounding lands.
You know, until I brought this character post-searing, the utter destruction never really moved me. I actually found myself with a lump in my throat as I looked around Old Ascalon and walked around the broken land. Having spent so many hours playing this character in pre-, I had landmarks burned into my mind and I actually recognized walls and buildings that I had never noticed on my other characters. Previously I had rushed through pre-searing so quickly, that the landscape had not had time to set such a strong imprint on my mind. But now I find that it's like my home was destroyed. Familiar landmarks, once green and bright, are now dull, ashen lumps of crumbled rock.
The difference was startling. And maybe that's another part of what pushed me on and kept me playing this character. I don't know. It's been fun playing through this story again, like a favorite storybook, making new discoveries with each re-telling.