I can understand that perspective on the world tendency. A portion of why I didn't enjoy the system was the lack of instruction behind it. Without stepping off the game and onto the internet, it isn't explained that death in human form darkens WT. While players are technically being given the "choice" of their own difficulty, it isn't explained within the game to really be considered one (in my opinion, of course). On top of that, though, I really hate how the only way to "choose" a difficulty is by killing yourself in the Nexus after every boss battle.
As for NG+ being unbalanced: I was being two shot by most enemies and bosses in the game. Mind you, this was with a build utilizing a large vitality pool. But my experience could be isolated! Perhaps I'm just "bad at the game", haha.
Mentioning the ability to move equipment back to the Nexus would have been a good thing to include though! Thanks for your response :)