I personally think that it isn't exactly the damage done by bash that makes bash devastating, but the resulting damage you receive because you have to TANK the str fighter for another round.
Bash is the only skill that imposes a sure delay on the victim when the victim can't do anything but sit there and take hits. Stuns in pk have been reduced to nearly 1 round (headbutt/choke/stun) and those that stick around longer than 1 round are rather extremely hard to come by, whereas bash is a sure-fire two-round delay on the victim for every bash that lands and isn't tumbled.
Ignoring tumble for the moment, as it can be applied do most other skills, when a bash lands, the tradeoff is much greater than that of a stun. First, I have noticed that there actually is a higher chance of dealing more damage on a bashed target than on a stunned target. It may be a fault in the code, but I am quite certain that this is the case since it is more likely (at least for my alts) that they hit the damcap on a bashed target than on a stunned target (This char only hit damcaps against bashed targets, and my first pker's damcaps only came against a bashed target). Maybe there is a higher chance of hitting a bashed target than a stunned target, i do not know. but this has been the case for most of my alts.
second, the duration of bash is a guaranteed two rounds, unless the victim can make the basher flee. on most stunned skills, as i've said above, the stun effect only lasts for a round. combined with the additional fact that bash can actually do more damage per round (which is very counter-intuitive, since you can still parry while bashed, i think) it makes bash all the more deadly.
third, bash has the highest (i think) skill-damage compared to other skills that changes the target's status, with the possible exception of shoot (which barely hits often enough anyway). In my experience, a bash does about 70% of what a kick may do by itself.
fourth, it is a skill that causes only 1 round of skill delay upon success unlike some skills that can be countered immediately upon success (kick/elbow, and depending, backstab/shoot). Headbutts, chokes, and stuns, which usually last no more than a round have the same kind of skill delay imposed on its victims, except that they don't render the victim helpless for 2 rounds.
fifth, bash is a very cheap way of immobilizing a target, altho the duration of the immobilization is rather short. The equivalent would be to bind, wall in, encumber, close-door, etc, but none of this (although they can last longer) actually reduce the target's efficiency in fighting (non-strategically speaking), while costing quite a bit more (mana cost, stat cost, skill-lag cost, etc).
sixth, bash is a skill that will remove the benefits of being a dex fighter. The sitting position will effectively cancel the ability of a dex fighter to hit more often, dodge more often, AND their ability to flee. In essence, for the two rounds the dex fighter is bashed, the char is no more than a con fighter without hps, str fighter without damroll. In pk where one win's using his/her own advantage against the other's, such a cancelling skill is quite devastating. Same could be said for stuns, but as they don't last for more than a round (in general) the effect isn't as devastating.
seventh, the amount of damage done is staggering for a dex fighter. Assuming that the damcap is hit every round, an average dex fighter will last 5 rounds, whereas a con fighter will last 8. In more realistic terms where the damage done by bash is at least around 50-60, a 350hp (more than what a 40 con char would have) will last for 3 successful bashes. (30 from bash, 50 50 from the rounds, so 130 per bash.. not counting the third round, assuming the dex char chokes the str fighter or flees). 350 hps, however, will last for, 7 kicks (35 pts from kick, 15pts from the round if we assume max wimpy with initiative), which means that a dex fighter, when faced with a str fighter with equal hps and without another stat to take advantage of, will have to surmount a 5 round deficit to begin with. In other words, the dex fighter must be able to do 200 pts of damage in the 6 rounds he spends bashed for him to have a chance (which is more than what he could do standing up) or assuming he does 10 pts of damage per bashed round, 140 pts worth of damage while the str fighter simply sits and does nothing.
I am sure i screwed up on the math, but this math is at least the math of the non-imm, non-str (well, 80 str) char's point of view. Solution? Reduce bash lag to two rounds for the basher, and 0 round lag for the bashed (like it was before) or 1 round lag, or, make it as difficult to land a 2 round bash as it is a 2 round choke.. in other words, make the bashed round be a range of 0-2 depending on the target's str and the basher's luck.
First thing id suggest is to go max wary and take advantage of your ac and good hitroll, if your max agg even a str fighter will be able to hit you, but with your parry and ac and dodge and tumble you should be able to make em miss more bashes.
One of the changes i don't like now is how headbutt warcry backstab dont have a chance to last a really long time anymore, or do they?
I wish someone would fail a bash on me. No one has. EVER. It's all tumble. And max wary is not a good gamble lately.
That's all. :)
dunno, I'll quit rambling now :)