Honestly I'd hate to admit it, but Damage from Escorts is kind of where it probably should be..
An Escort should be able to make you go "OMG Where are my defenses?!"
Though Granted they didn't really need MORE help with that. But honestly, with what they added in via the Reputation system for defenses is also quite substantial. Where you can buff damage, you can also buff healing/defense.
And as it has been stated, there are plenty of ways to defend yourself in this game if that is your goal. Dealing damage how ever takes a bit more work.
You think that your beta test was bad?
Think about this: American Football has been in open beta for 144 years. ~Kotaku