I farmed to make the game easier at first, I glitched to be more honest. Now, I'll challenge myself on new characters I make, but I don't get exhaustive on it. If I want to move on, I'll just do so by any means.
I think unless you're deliberately trying to challenge yourself then just go for any leg up the game offers you, UNLESS doing so detracts from the maximum enjoyment you get out of the game lol, so it's kind of tricky X)
Me personally, I don't like getting held up when what I really want to do is make a specific character build.
grinding levels is a bad idea because you're better off using those souls for shards and better weapons and items and such.
I only grind early in the game on 1-2 important stats. For example, my Cleric just beat the Taurus demon and I grinded the Drake bridge for ten minutes and got him up to 30 faith, so I could not worry about that stat anymore.
Past that I spend it all on gear or shards and only level up after.
I like you Cstick. You got balls. I like balls.~Chesterr01 Southern VA smasher and Official Lifehunt Scythe of Dark Souls
Farming is oftentimes necessary (like for buying that stupid item to enter the Catbro's Forest and fight Sif). Other times you just have nothing to do while waiting to be summoned, so why not kill everything in the general area?
HOWEVER. If you think about becoming a ganking ***-hat who summons two phantoms to farm the Catbros, I will ****ing hunt you down and smash your face into the dust with a Zwei. Repeatedly.
Yes, I know you're trying to do things the stealthy way, but sometimes the enemies get so plentiful you just want to blow 'em up.
It won't matter in terms of "ruining the difficulty" the more playthrough cycles you complete. But early on, focusing more on upgrading your gear is a bit more important than trying to beef up stats to god-tier.
Smoking Ghost / Feral Manx Proud Outcast of Capcom Unity