If it's true that it's a world tendency thing, I think that would be a reasonable compromise in terms of preserving the original balance. You could technically get it before the swamp, but also in practice it might as well not exist.
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Faith builds are pretty friendly in Demon's Souls. Dual damage type weapons are pretty effective all around in this game, and the regen effect on Blessed weapon upgrades is excellent for mitigating mistakes without having to rely on consumables. Regen can also be stacked across multiple sources for pretty powerful passive healing, and there are a number of useful utility spells available.
Magic builds are easiest in the early game (and don't drop off too much later on, either), because spells are crazy powerful.