I've been completely loving (as well as hating) Dark Souls II so much since its release. It's the only thing that I've played since March 11th. Every single thing about the game I either loved right away, or hated at first but then grew to love. While there are a few changes in the game, one of the biggest improvements really has been the item placement.
Every single major item has shown up at the best possible time. Never have I played a game, where I thought to myself that I needed something and it popped up not much later until Dark Souls II. This game completely changed my idea what needing an item feels like. While I do not have any experience with Demon's Souls (a deadly sin, I know) Dark Souls gave you a lot of items either way too early, or way too late in the game. The Drake Sword, while I know is supposed to be a secret weapon popped up way too early. It could carry you through four or five bosses before it became irrelevant. On the flip side, being able to warp between bonfires came up really late, and depending on which covenant you want to join, it could take even longer.
Dark Souls II really worked on these issues. Right before the Pursuer boss I was thinking that my weapon sucks. After that boss fight, and then I found it. Drangleic sword. I was thinking to myself that I wish I had binoculars, and then a few minutes later, I found them. I was in Harvest Valley, thinking that this is getting a bit ridiculous for my level and then I stumbled upon the Fragrant Branch of Yore, giving me access to the Shaded Forest, which is much easier, at least in my opinion. Obviously given the date, I haven't had much time to play this game, but I really hope the rest of this game has as great of item placement.