@knockingnick: Dark Souls 2 actually tells you how many times you've died if you look at a monument in Majula in offline mode. I don't remember my number for the first run, but I wanna say it was like 140 or something.
It's fun reading where people get their deaths. Croc and the last fight weren't much of an issue for me, but I died like 7 times to the second Birkin fight. 3 times I somehow killed myself with the crane like a moron. And that's on an otherwise really safe run with maybe only 3-4 other deaths total.... Mostly to Lickers, they be mean yo.