Yup, that's exactly it. Once you are flush with chunks you can soup up everything in your shields and armor, which makes SL1 a lot less painful. I don't find getting to Oolacile township all that practical as a source of core upgrades (ie getting your basic armor and shield to +6/+10), for which the leeches in Btown are well suited for any enterprising farmer with a fog ring/rusty ring to sprint from the bonfire and then a gold ring/rusty ring to clean them out. If nothing else, the mass drop of five green shards is handy for making that one divine weapon you'll need and bonus fire weapons for experiments. Ultimately, what I end up doing is silver ring/gold ring farming the darkwraiths for chunks, and then investing the souls I get into large shards at the giant blacksmith, but obviously that latter option is about as practical as Oolacile for much of the game. I mean, I would love to go to Oolacile township, but I'm going to want most of my gear at +9 and my shields at +14 long before I get to that point in the gating of the game. YMMV.