So, diving into the DLC using my high level character. So my opinion on difficulty probably isn’t representative given that I’m SL 173 and this is on NG++. So far so bastardy, they like throwing a lot of enemies at you in this, including groups of varied types covering one another’s weaknesses. Beaten one boss so far, the Gravetender, took me three attempts because he did manage to throw me for a loop during the fight a couple of times, or in other words the big oh shit when suddenly Sif Jr joins the fight in the second phase.
DLC equipment opinions ahead, I don’t think there’s anything actually spoilery in what I say (nothing about locations or enemies guarding them etc.) but I’ll white it out in case anyone wants to stay 100% blind to DLC content.
(Not-really-spoilers begin). That sword/shield pairing has a nice fancy moveset but the shield is only 60% physical resist, the damage scaling is terrible and it can’t be infused.
The rapier paired weapon on the other hand looks interesting and feasible, the off-hand can make slashing attacks and combo a ricard’s-esque series of thrusts, the weapon art also takes very little to use but I don’t expect much in the way of damage from it (and it has a massive telegraph so don’t expect to hit anyone in pvp), it can be infused up to S dex scaling too, which is nice.
The javelin may well be pvp-feasible, the wind up for throwing it isn’t very long at all, it’s not actually much of a strength scaling weapon as only the dex scaling increases with upgrades.
The claws looks quite reasonable, they have the same moveset as other claws but their weapon art looks fucking vicious, anything caught in that is going to bleed, anything blocking it will probably be guard broken. I’ve not tested either of those though, so take that with a pinch of salt.
The Onyx Blade looks very cool, but it’s a high SL weapon, scaling with all four stats D/D/C/C at +5 (reqs 14/12/15/15 too, so I can’t actually see its damage properly). I think it’s about the only native dark damage weapon the game has though and it does look like the dark damage is pretty high even without the weapon art buff. (Not-really-spoilers end).
That’s all I’ve found so far, I used a boss-win as a break point to splurge my words onto here.