I'll never really understand how people say leveling makes racial differences less of a factor. If anything, they get worse. Sure, RSE is a stopgap in the 30s, but once it's time to jump to AF, Relic, or Empyrean gear, there's no magical racial modifier that equalizes things. Assuming this correct, the following for a RDM/NIN at 90 would represent a Taru and Elvaan.
Taru: 1041 HP, 797 MP, 72 STR, 79 DEX, 72 VIT, 79 AGI, 87 INT, 73 MND, 74 CHR
Elvaan: 1343 HP, 523 MP, 83 STR, 76 DEX, 78 VIT, 70 AGI, 73 INT, 81 MND, 74 CHR
On the physical end, losing out on 11 STR translates to weaker WS and other martial perks. Magically, Elvaan's are losing out on 14 INT for nukes for both damage and accuracy while the taru lose out on some MND for potency with white magic debuffs. The big gap, though, is the MP. If you're swapping gear, an Elvaan is losing out on over 250 MP. That's a couple T3 nukes, cures, hastes, whatever that a can be a factor in endurance fights (especially outside Abyssea without atma crack). Yes, knowing how to manage your MP is important, but a taru who knows how to do that will certainly perform better than the elvaan.
I play elvann because it looked cool when I first started. Thats how I made my choice.
Now for the above numbers:
You can merit up to 120 extra MP or HP or mix now. That closes the gap on MP nearly in half. Hp merits for the taru getts them ~1/3 closer to the elvan. I also rarely get 1 shotted by annorying NM's with hate reset (thinking of you Sobek and how many times you have killed a certain Taru Rdm I know) Nuking, sure the Taru nukes more, but 14 int is what ~30 more damage depending on conditions. (dInt etc) and honestly the only time I nuke on Rdm is for lowman procing. Its more important to land slow/para2/blind, which being white magic are based on mind.
Really race does make minor differences. Just pick the **** you want to be staring at.
*Edit* if you want to really be a melee Rdm, go level Blu instead. Edited, Jun 15th 2011 6:03pm by Tepogue