Late last year I made a thread about the detrimental effect of the introduction of crits on the state of Starmourn's bashing (https://forums.starmourn.com/discussion/1274/bashing-after-crits)
. This post is not intended to revisit that but an attempt to address the multitude of other problems in bashing currently. (Just to get it out of the way, the game wasn't designed with crits in mind but we know they won't be removed, so there's no point going back over that.)
Alright, on to the ethically-sourced noodles
meat of the issue. Before level 75 one bashes to gain extra stat points, lessons, and bound credits. Once one reaches level 75, they instead work towards talent points. The problem with talent points as they currently exist is primarily two-fold. The first and more complicated of the two major problems is that talent points only serve to increase the acquisition of further talent points, marks and bound (daily) credits. So effectively we can reduce it to 'talent points only major effect is to effectively increase marks and credit gain. Crits mean faster per mob kill time, DamageResistance, Dodge and SecondWind all mean less downtime lost to death/healing, the rest continue this trend of killing faster and having less downtime. (DR is an outlier in that its effect assists in PvP too, I should note). So the first problem is that endgame bashing is rather narrowly focused on what can be gained.
The second problem is that none of the above actually matters at all, because bashing cannot compare to credit and marks generation from incursions. Just some very basic math to illustrate this point - Victory Rush without the artefact and Speedup give a 2.16s balance time. In unrealistically optimal conditions (no downtime on either effect, always killing a mob with one attack, always having a new mob to kill (that is, queueing attacks so there's literally zero downtime) you could kill 100 mobs in just over 3.5 minutes. So just over 35 minutes to kill 1000 mobs, the same 10 credits gained from doing a a full hard incursion (50 space mobs). Obviously you're not going to kill even close to 1k mobs per 35 minutes and even if you did I doubt you'd reach the 45k marks profit (not gross payout) I average from doing incursions suboptimally.
A separate problem from the above material ones, but one I'm also going to bring up here rather than make a separate topic for, is that endgame bashing is, put bluntly, fucking boring. One of the major features of Starmourn was the ability to use most (though not all) abilities in PvE as well as PvP. Without crits (at the point effectively meaning before reaching level 75 and 20 talent points) the TTK for mobs is long enough that various strategies could be used, diversity of builds is more acceptable/less crippling, etc. Critical hits in their current state obviate any of that, as applying a condition that increases the damage of another attack becomes severely suboptimal compared to potentially killing the mob with one attack. Beyond the effect of critical hits, though, there has been an active move away from build diversity. For example, the presence of the frozen condition previously increased damage from Nanotech abilities, leading to freeze->swarm having once been an acceptable method of killing mobs. The change to Nanotech abilities scaling to mind subsystem, though, makes doing anything other than freeze on repeat pointless, a move away from engaging PvE. (I expect it to be correctly pointed out that many people automate their bashing and don't care about engagement. Those people's feelings on the matter should frankly not be taken into consideration, because by use of automation they have opted out of that side of the game. As someone who opts out of PvP, I don't try to influence PvP decisions and would hope that my thoughts on an aspect of the game I ignore wouldn't be taken into consideration.)
So, now that I've dropped a massive wall of text about what I see as the problems of bashing, I suppose I should at least try to propose solutions to keep this from being a wholly useless, negative post. An expansion of talent points to address things other than marks/credit generation directly and/or indirectly would be massively beneficial to the game. That's something I pushed for when talents were previewed before their release, because I don't consider increased marks generation alone (this was before daily credits) to be a reason to continue the activity. I'm wary of suggesting more things that mechanically benefit PvE or PvP, but I think there's room for a number of other things to be unlocked. Exclusive customizations are one thing - hair/skin colour, etc. Or even beyond character customizations, ship customizations. There are honestly a lot of places we could go with an expanded talent system and I'm hoping this thread will generate ideas. I'm honestly a bit brain dead after typing all of the above.