The Archives remind me of that small dungeon in Liurnia (a library as well?) where that mage NPC hits you from a distance then teleports and you have to chase it. The Crystal Sage wasn’t that tough for me because I was able to hide from or dodge most of his projectiles. And yeah I ran past the trio of NPCs. Part of why I enjoyed this area is because I didn’t die once, I chose my fights carefully and avoided some enemies like the Lothric Knights.
This was my least favorite section. The mage in the area was so annoying. Now that I understand how it works, I doubt it is so annoying but my first playthrough was pure hell in the section.
Did you run past them? They were tough but not undoable. I wound up kiting them backward and was able to split them up to take 'em out one by one. I think I died 2 or maybe 3 times.
Back to the princes, I decided to give the Zweihander a try and it’s quite powerful when imbued with lightning. I just need to find a Titanite Slab to upgrade it to +10. I got so close to beating them! All I needed was one hit but I had ran out of flasks and already used an ember to heal. Will try again tonight.