Oh yeah in PvE sorcery is great, as soon as I had enough ashen flasks and hidden body I don't think I really died at all outside of boss fights (and maybe falling off the odd edge).
Magic is great in the massive fights, played with 2 others in Farron woods where you'd get 3-4 invaders come in, was great fun and pretty chaotic. The good players would know to tunnel me, but if I was left alone i'd just spam 900-1k damage CSS's at people with candlestick (now nerfed to 12%).
Agreed on armour. In DS2 I looked awful with lionmage haste robes. In DS3 I look awful with candlestick and dusk crown. Either remove entirely or add plenty of alternatives.
1vs1 magic wasn't really happening though, too slow to land on a decent player, average players I could generally beat eventually, but they'd have 15 estus flasks and I'd have 7 due to the weird flask rule of ashen/estus split.
The DS2 lightning spear nerfs I agree with, I basically just walked into every boss, did 5-9 lightning spears then moved onto next one, didn't need to learn any mechanics lol. But after those nerfs they nerfed CSS cast speed, and the +2 haste ring on top by a significant amount, and after that people just weren't getting hit by spells anymore. I was 480/500 wins off rank 3 blue sentinels when the nerfs came in, farming those last 20 wasn't fun. Stopped playing after.