The issue comes from when all casting jobs did start with an additional +10 mp and this is no longer the case. After three playtests fiddling with mp costs, we honestly just couldn't get it right for the first 'rank' of spells - either paladins and dark knights didn't have the capacity to cast spells period, or mp wasn't an issue at first level and you could all but forget about it at 5th level (when you're still using rank 1 spells), or black mages could just use the same spell over and over for the full duration of the fight, every fight, which was boring.
We finally settled on this, where there's no possible way casters can focus on spells every single round of combat until level 4-5, and even then you have to keep ethers on-hand until 10ish. I can't say I'm completely happy with it, but we really weren't able to find the magic numbers that worked for everyone. On one hand, it absolutely
sucks; on the other, if you NEED to be casting multiple cure spells per session at level one to survive, your GM is doing something wrong.
As for strength, I offer nothing for you there. The system is highly multiple-ability-dependent as it is; we figured that the dump stat in this system, depending on your job, would probably end up being strength
. Mostly for the sake of canon reason when we first conceptualized that part of the design, I think; if heroes were going to be worse than normal people somewhere, it was going to be either their brawn
or their mental faculties
The summoning system was changed because summons they're too FF
to not have the opportunity to make an appearance in most games, and it's canonical that even non-casters should be able to get access to them.
I think it's great that they're essentially plot-driving, party-controlled weapons, or passive guardians of a single individual, and I was able to kick the power level up to where it should be now that they run on Destiny and not MP.
One of the jobs is called 'Freelancer,' and lets you switch between jobs as you like and pick up abilities from wherever you want. But because most of the basic Freelancer abilities are downright terrible and you never get access to an Epic Ability, picking this job guarantees you'll be starting out weak and won't start to shine until later on. But all the really crazy builds, like the 45 evasion ninja, all require you to start out as a freelancer.