You've talked about adds in DS2, Plague's talked about it, Adds have made up 1/3rd of bosses in these games since Demons: [Astraea, Storm King, Phalanx, Tower Knight, False Idol, Maneaters] 6/18! Dark1: [Tauros, Stray Demon, Capra, Gaping Dragon, Nito, Pinwheel, Gargoyles, Four Kings, Ornstien and Smaugh] 9/26! Dark 2: [Sentinels, Gargoyles, Sinner+, Sentry+, Freya, Rat Authority, Rat Vanguard, Magus, Skeleton Lords, Chariot, Throne Twins, Darklurker, Dragonriders, Elana, Graverobbers] 15/34!
That’s a false equivalence if I ever saw one. The problem with DS2 adds is that
1. In many cases they’re the old fashioned MMO style add, like Frejas spiders dropping in mid-fight.
2. They’re bosses in tandem that were clearly never designed around each others movesets because they constantly overlap and the only safe way to deal with them is to bait them out simultaneously.
3. Several of those you’ve mischaracterized. Freja is likely the worst in the game because she’s a terrible boss in a bland arena that just dumps shit spiders at you. No wait! Authority is worse. Toxic rats in which the entire battle revolves around taking out the rats ASAP. Enemies to distract you from the boss or attack you and ruin your shit because the boss itself wasn’t well designed, or multiple bosses with boring movesets to distract that that boss one on one would be dull as hell. Ruin Sentinels or Throne Watchers vs Orn and Smaugh is a ridiculous comparison, as Orn and S were designed to complement each others movesets whereas the DS2 variants are either identical or nearly so and just two of the bosses thrown at you.
4. Some of the bosses you mentioned as having adds only count if you fudge the numbers. Including Vinland/Astraea is ridiculous, Astraea doesn’t attack you. Pinwheel and False Idol aren’t about adds, they’re about fakes/clones. Tower Knight and Gaping Dragons do have enemies that can pluck away at you, but Tower was specifically as phase 1 of the fight to let you get a look at him, and Gapings “add” can be permanently removed prior to the fight! Taurus’ guys being killed sets you up for a huge plunge attack, and they attack you prior to the boss!
5. Adding in NG+ (and your math in general) is kind of fudged. Removing New Game +, and bosses that don’t have proper adds you have the following in DeS
-Phalanx, in which the entire boss is a mass of singular enemies
-Maneater, in which the add is properly designed for and the enemies consistently take turns between long and short range attacks as well as don’t have aggressive timing that makes them unsafe to attack
-Storm King, in which the smaller mantas act as practice for the Storm Ruler sword (but in general, that boss fight is weak, yeah)
That’s 3 out of 18. That’s 15%
Dark 1 has
-Belfry Gargoyles, near identical to Maneater.
-Capra, whose entire boss fight revolves around surviving the first 30 seconds in a wild assault in a tiny room. He’s not a great boss but he’s better than the identical encounter in DS2 with Vogel the Sinner.
-Nito, who is an exercise in persistent crowd control and getting the boss to do crowd control for you.
-The Four Kings, which is a proper DPS race designed around not allowing the adds to enter the fight prematurely instead of just forcing them on you.
That’s 4 out of 26. That’s ALSO 15%
Moving to Dark 2, remove the NG+ ones for comparison, you have 13/32 bosses fit the pattern of bad bosses that have tons of bullshit thrown at you or the boss merely doubled or tripled. That’s more than 30% of these bosses use this mechanic, nearly all poorly, which the sole exceptions in my mind being Elana (because she has to call them out and her own attacks are easily avoided) and Darklurker (being designed around his duplicate and having slow windups with big damage).
It’s a massive increase and the quality went to shit besides.