Ugh, yeah, those stupid priests. I had pushed them out of my memory... I just stood back, shooting them with poison arrows, simultaneously laughing and crying.
Been there, done that. Thought it wasn't cool - Tried to take them head on.
Cried even more.
Back to arrows.
No but really - What was From thinking
with that place? But to be honest, I feel like they have almost intentionally discouraged melee-fighters since day one. Look at the Shrine of Armana - If you're stubborn and don't want to do ranged combat, well then f*ck
you! Look at the ogres, with their 360* attacks and grapples that will
kill you. Combine those, and any other grapples in the game with the absolutely broken hitbox that makes even offline PvE feel like PvP with the worst of lag-stab fishermen..
I struggle to think of any
boss in the game that's not an absolute joke when using magic. The Darklurker is outright unfair when trying to take it down strictly with melee, because you literally need an eye at the back of your head to have any inclination of what's going on. The same goes for the dual-Dragonriders - If you can't take that archer down first, well then enjoy having him harass you. What makes that even more ridiculous is trying to do that fight without killing the archer first, and without a shield. (Yes, I know you can coax his friend into breaking his platform, but that doesn't really change the fact that he's going to be shooting at you.)
The gargoyles are possibly my least-favorite boss in the game, because it's really just a very lazy Gargoyles from DS1, but with artificially inflated difficulty because of the ridiculous number of enemies. Again, as a mage that fight is a walk in the park. My favorite fight just might be Ruin Sentinels, but alas - Coax the guys to fall off the platform, snipe them, done.
The list goes on and one - With my most recent example being the poison-infused knights of Shulva. Those guys are literally made with anti-melee mechanics, and they're all melee themselves, meaning you get punished for actually
fighting them, with no punishment whatsoever for just standing around and blowing them up. In fact, you're encouraged to do that.
And I know that a lot of you guys (Anyone who bothered to read this post) will say 'Well.. Just don't
use any magic then?' but we all know it's not that simple, especially
once you move on to NG+ and beyond. Melee becomes increasingly underpowered, to the point where, around NG4-5 the hollows on your way to the Last Giant are suddenly posing a very real threat, and need to be taken down with the same amount of care and thought as the Old Knights in Heide do on your first play through the game. If you decide to go with a pure melee build, you'll suffer, and everything will be far harder for you - And not the Dark Souls-kind of hard, but broken game mechanics
So yeah - That's my theory/rant out of nowhere. Melee is broken in Dark Souls 2, the point where it's nearly useless. If you think I'm wrong, or just whining: Try and look at spellcasters staves, chimes and whatevers at the endgame, and compare them to the ones you start with. Then look at 'endgame' melee weapons, and compare them to the ones you start with. The difference between a standard-issue Broadsword, and the Red Rust Sword aren't really that big.