Ariandel is the worst piece of DLC they've made; no ifs, ands or buts. It's just subpar content that is only salvaged by a great boss and some interesting open field areas which are of remark if anything because it's not something you often see in these games.
RInged City is fine. It's like a farewell letter to everything that made Dark Souls great. It doesn't always work, but it's well made; has a ton of great bosses and the city is fun to explore; it has much more lore and even little mysteries here and there. (And Patches!).
Gael is one of the best bosses in the series, and that second phase music is just orgasmic. Midir is...an acquired taste, but no one would deny he's a cool boss and it was about time they let us fight a proper dragon.
I wonder if the original plan was to just have one larger DLC like Old Hunters and then decided to split it up so they could justify the existance of a Season Pass. Otherwise I can't understand why there's so much disparity in quality.
They dump Large Titanite Shards on you like you didn't have to fight Friede in the end.Ariandel is absolutely brutal at times. It is supposed to be mid to high level content with a weapon at +6/+7. I did the optional parts with the Milwood knights last night with a +10 weapon and at SL85 and still needed every single estus charge to clear the tower plus vicinity in one go. Fucking wolves... Even that one hill in the beginning, with 4 Followers guarding the item, is a death trap no matter when you do it..
At least they didn't skimp on the TItanite Slabs.