We sat down recently and really hammered on what we think is wrong with PvE combat and is reasonably fixable. The former category is a lot bigger than the latter category, obviously. When I first built Achaea, I explicitly didn't give a crap about PvE combat beyond needing it because it's what people expect in an RPG, and because leveling up is a popular and proven mechanic. Everybody does PvE, so I focused on PvP.
However, there's no reason it can't suck less than it does now. It's never going to be in the same league, or even close, to our PvP, but that's no reason not to make it at least somewhat better than it is.
- Longer denizen fights. When many people one-shot so many denizens, it leaves no opportunity whatsoever for any kind of additional tactics. Of course, along with longer denizen fights will be proportionately increased gold and xp for killing denizens.
- More abilities to use in PvE. In particular, abilities that will make group bashing more efficient than solo bashing, though every class is also going to get at least one other bashing ability that's useful solo. The goal here is that while bashing may be f1 f1 f1 f1 f1 right now, it'd be slightly better if it was f1 f1 f1 f2 f1 f1 f3, if you see what I mean.
- More intelligent targeting AI for denizens. When we're done, they won't just attack the last person to hit them. They'll try to assess who poses the greatest risk, whether via direct damage or granting group buffs, or casting debuffs on the denizen or whatever - the idea is that managing aggro is going to become a thing, at least for bigger mobs that people won't be able to one-shot anymore.
- Abilities that work more effectively against certain kinds of denizens. For instance, purely hypothetically, a knight's bashing attacks might be more effective against humanoid than magical creatures. I'm currently going through every single individual type of denizen in the game (more than 5000) and categorizing them into one of a few categories so that we can do that.
Anyway, that's the general plan. It's a fair amount of work, but it's one of the priorities currently and will likely be done in a few weeks. It's also only step 2 in working on bashing. Step 1 was the balancing. Step 2 is about capabilities, and then step 3 is going to be about content - more varied, interesting boss fights in particular.