A while ago down in Blighttown, I found my new favourite murder instrument to accompany my trusted Bandit's Knife when I'm forced to melee combat: The Falchion.
My long-time offhand weapon being the Rapier, which I mainly used to parry and sometimes to just keep foes at bay, I had never used a curved sword before, and I have to say: Wow! Even though guides state the parry window is essentially the same, I find it so incredibly less difficult to knock enemy blades skyhigh in any given situation. I was even quite confident when it came to parries with the Rapier already, but now with the Falchion, it works like 90% of the time.
There's just of course one major difference: It's Slash-only. I found out the hard way what I was lacking now, when facing Ricard The Archer near the end in Sen's Fortress. Facing him with my preferred bow became too much of a material war, and quite dangerous too, since he has that insane nocking speed. Melee was even more of a suicide then, though, since he exclusively uses rapid thrusting strikes, while I kept carving the bricks to my left and right.
Lesson learned: If you have to have a one-sided loadout, at least bring a spare weapon.
How do you approach this? How important is the "coolness" opposed to functionality of equipment to you? Do you have weapons / armor parts that you put on for any possible situation, or do you stick to that version of your character and just roll with its downsides?
I'm really just curious, and maybe we'll even have an interesting discussion!
P.S.: I know what the rational answer to this question would, but despite all the required seriousness when it comes to combat and tactics, it's still a fantasy video game, is it not?
P.P.S.: And yes, I'm still haven't beat the game of course, so my own opinion will change, too. Or not - who knows? So far my favourite part about this game still is that it always let me do my thing, if only I'm remotely smart about it.