However, this is not about the finish, but the journey. How does this fare in PvE? Let's find out! In order of completion:
Asylum + Taurus: Nothing much here. 2h battle axes owns these on NG.
Gargoyles: I picked up the claymore en route to parish, and so I upgraded it to +2. There were summon signs here so I brought some random help along and summoned Solaire, making this battle a true cakewalk. Solaire and even a normal halberd/claymore/whatever is enough to make this easy really. They don't hammer through stamina super well either, so the shield is a good insurance policy.
Capra: I took some hits due to the dogs but didn't die. I still had my trusty claymore +2 and spider shield here. With the dogs out of the way, the battle stabilized and it's just a matter of baiting capra + punishing. At least I got to block here.
Gaping Dragon: This area was far more interesting than it shouldn't be. Coming straight from capra and not wanting to backtrack, I just ran to the depths, still rocking clay +2 of course. What's this? A summon sign at the entrance! So I summon the guy...only then realizing that I have NO ESTUS X_X. We ran the area easily enough, I used 2 humanity and he used 1. I once again summoned Solaire for Gaping which was probably a mistake since it had SO MUCH HP. The phantom had better damage from me, which was extremely welcome in this case since both of us were obviously never going to take a hit from this boss anyway. His damage saved us time . Importantly, I got the DKGA.
At this point is a good time to mention stats. After getting dex to 10, I had been pumping mostly str (end was at 17 or something). This means I had the 34 str needed to wield the DKGA in 2h lol.
Quelag: As a result of the shenanigans above, when I hit the homeward bone I wound up at the sunlight altar . Ok, back to the parish and down to quelag then. DKGA is a bit clunky on quelag, but quelag is mostly a test of patience with such a slow weapon. Get her to commit to spitting fire, then hit her. Repeat forever. At least DKGA hurts her a bit. The problem with tanking quelag is that you need good fireblock, and I didn't go get dragon crest shield. Whoops. Well, it's not like you can truly block the fire spit anyway; that's your attack window and it kind of burns you from the floor. Still, it would have let me simply stand there blocking her swings so it was a missed opportunity.
Ceaseless Discharge: Cheesed like usual! Can I tank yet?!
Iron Golem: Yes I can! Sen's was once a hated place for me, but knowing it well I can just run through now, basically stopping to kill nothing (only dull part is waiting to get the gold serpent ring). Here I bought the TOWER SHIELD, which is a great thing indeed. I was able to block the few hits the iron golem bothered to send my way instead of to tarkus.
O&S: This is one of the more amazing ones! Havel's shield + silver knight armor. Lightning resist up the wazoo + high stability. I had the str for it so why not?! I don't think this fight has ever been so easy. But slam does almost nothing at all through havel's shield + SK gear (unless they actually land on you lol), and 84 stability makes the once scary attacks like the shovel non-issue. I summoned help for this fight just because I tend to summon people who have their signs down + move on, but I wish I hadn't. Even being forced to use the dragon tooth because I hadn't bothered upgrading a weapon to this point other than that claymore, this would have been easy.
Sif: Sif is a complete joke with havel's shield. Just run into him while blocking, smack him, and he jumps away. Do that over and over until he dies. NG +7 promode strat!
4kings: I upgraded manserpent greatsword to +10, attacked them, and died. Havel's makes their damage a joke, but I wasn't doing much myself. Blocking didn't work well here, either. They push you away and it eats stamina, and both of those things limit your dps.
Stray Demon: Just running through the game and on 1st route to 4kings, I had enough chunks. Let's get the slab and go to +15 then. Stray is also pathetic against havel's shield. Wear some magic-resistant gear (it's not like he's going to hit you directly without you blocking that too), and the 90% magic block on the shield turns the fight into a laughable affair where only one person does meaningful damage, and that person isn't him.
4kings rematch: MSGS +15, and this time I went in light. I simply don't know how to "tank" this fight; they always push me away a little bit and I take full damage, then I'm screwed. Also every time I go in there in heavy armor (this playthrough included) they do the grab attack and that screws me too (this playthrough I got hit with it 3 consecutive times - not easy to escape that while fatrolling). So, I donned the gold-hemmed set, 2handed my new sword, and spanked them silly.
Nito: Nothing about nito is hard when you can simply block all of his attacks. He's so slow that you get plenty of time in between them. If you want to deal with the skeletons, simply take the occult club from anor londo, modify it back to divine +5, and pound on them a bit before nito gets close. I was midrolling in this fight, and his sword dance thing was about the only move he had that could even damage me materially.
Firesage: See Stray Demon.
Centipede: Another joke fight when you can just block everything. Well, he's pretty easy normally too. Run around the side and swat his foot, he jumps up, you back off, he comes down facing you, then you run around the side and swat his foot. The only difference here is that I could even block the stomping easily.
Bed Of Chaos: I had binoculars and a crossbow, and I've memorized through the fake difficulty. I could only 1 for all my stats and I'd still win this fight (you can still shoot bows w/o the stats anyway). Epitome of bad boss design, but an easy fight at this point.
Seath: He spits crystals far from him, run in and swat him 3 times. Then he spits crystals near him so you run out. Repeat. You can't block anything in this battle that matters because you get cursed.
Gwyn: At some point near the end of the game I made Great Shield of Artorias. This thing is freaking BROKEN in PvE lol. 88 stability lets you block all but grab attacks and the most absurd things. It barely costs stamina to block his swings, and after he finishes a combo or misses a kick/grab (strafe and block), you can just swat him. This is the first time I beat him without parry spam, and it was an easy 1st try win and would remain so in NG+.
Expansion Content: I might actually pick up PTDE. I get the feeling that I could kill pretty much anything I wanted with a heavy crossbow +15 and either Havel's (better resistances) or GSOA (pure physical block stability) to block the damage. This would lead to lulzy junk like walking into sanctuary guardian lightning on purpose so that it doesn't hit the water and I can block it (wear silver knight gear and havel's), then just shoot him just after he lands etc. I'd probably still have to dodge some of kalameet's stuff though.