Photon arts are special moves you use with your weapons and are independently leveled from your skill tree (that is, the Skill Points you spend won’t affect the level of your photon arts). Unlike PSU, photon arts are now a customizable combo attack that you can set to a palette. You could for example, set part 1 to one photon art, part 2 to another and part 3 to yet another, or mix and match various other combinations. Well, that’s for striking weapons anyway. To advance through your combo you press the photon-art button, but unlike PSU it will actually stay on the next part for a while. This means you can weave normal attacks in-between parts of your combo.
Technics have to be assigned to weapons, much like PSU. You can link up to 3 Technics to a rod. You can also charge techs now which will increase their power, range and alter their effects, but not their PP cost.
Another major difference between photon arts in PSU and photon arts in PSO2 is you cannot level them through repetition in PSO2. Instead they’re using the same systems present in PSO and PSP2, in otherwords they’re dropped by enemies (with the exception of low level photon arts which you can just buy). PSO fans rejoice. I’m not sure how to feel about this, I mean the addition of even MORE random-numbers to determine my character’s growth is hardly welcome, but at the same time grinding photon arts in PSU was an absolute chore. As long as the drop rates aren’t rediculously low it should be fine.
It’s been stated that they’re considering letting people turn Photon Arts back to discs. PSU players may panic at the thought of not being able to swap PAs among alts, but remember in PSU the reason they allowed you to do this was because there was a hardcoded limit! There is no limit to the number of Photon Arts you can learn in PSO2. You can also trade photon art discs so as long as you don’t use the discs you find that you’d rather have on an alt there shouldn’t be a problem.
I am at least glad that they’ve allowed people to mix up their attacks somewhat now, however I anticipate that people will find optimal builds unless there are good reasons to switch up the attacks depending on certain situations in battle. Hopefully they’re also more careful with balancing the attack power of photon arts this time round, so we don’t end up with another Dus Majarra or Anga Jabroga happening (or Dus Skadd if you’re on JP).