After using the Heide Sword for most of the game I finally got enough strength to try out the Malformed Skull, which is literally a dragon's jawbone that you smash on people; it's pretty great.
I've also been rocking that Heide Sword for quite a while, worked well with the DEX/FTH build I was using at the start. I just found that Drangleic Sword/Shield (praise the Sun for a 100% physical block shield, finally!) from beating the Pursuer. I boosted my STR a little to be able to use that Shield, and I'm tempted to keep going to be able to use that sword (25 STR/20 DEX is a sizable requirement, and I sorta ended up inadvertently splitting between those two stats, so why not?).
I also have a slightly upgraded Mace on backup for enemies who are weak to Strike damage, has been very useful (screw you Sentinel Trio!!!!)
I'm finding myself having to switch up equipment/my build focus more in this game than other Souls games. I was hoping to go bow-focused like the other games, but the best thing I've found is that Short Bow, and it's not that powerful, even with my solid DEX, and has been pretty useless against bosses, so I ended up going back to melee/armor. Maybe I'll switch to a crossbow since I pumped up my STR, who knows.