Still working my way through DkSII: SotFS, 40+ hours in now. I’ve just beaten the Old King. I more or less stumbled across him while exploring the Iron Keep (dreadful place, would not recommend) with more than 30k souls available. Fortunately I managed to kill him on my first attempt, so my 30k souls survived. I’ve just entered the second DLC area now, Brume tower. It looks very impressive, but haven’t had a chance to explore it yet.
I find DkSII easier than Dark Souls the first, probably due to experience. I haven’t hit a real wall yet, like I did when I first encountered Ornstein & Smaugh in DkSI. The Smelter Demon was quite difficult, especially due to the enemy-heavy run-up, but even that wasn’t comparable to O&S. I simply grinded away all the enemies and tackled the boss after that. I do have to say that DkSII strays dangerously close to straight-up “that’s just bullshit”-territory here and there. Some of the enemy placement, coupled with the level design, seems to have been designed to annoy you and slow you down as much as possible without providing an actual challenge. Of course every game has its weak spots (looking at you, Capra Demon and Anor Londo Archers), but I don’t remember DkSI having as many, especially when it comes to fighting multiple enemies or even bosses at once.