The races of PSO2 are the very same ones from PSO. Well, lore wise perhaps not the very same but well..
We have Humans, Newmans and CASTs. The quoted portions are from Ricardo at Phantasy Star Fan Blog.
“Humans are balanced towards physical strength and photon, they can adapt to every class.”
Humans. The main race of the Phantasy Star series. I can’t really comment on their performance during PSO’s time but in PSU they were also meant to be the “balanced” race. This turned out to mean that they sucked at everything. Nevermind jack-of-all-trades, master of none, it was jack-of-no-trades. They underperformed at nearly every single class they could play.
“Newmans are skilled in handling the photon. To compensate for their physical weakness, they show an unrivaled high response to photon compared to the other races.”
Newmans arrived in the Phantasy Star franchise in Phantasy Star 2. Back then, they were a purely melee focused race. Curiously, since the online portion of the franchise began, they’ve switched to be the magic focused race. Perhaps to fill in a niche? In any case PSO still had the melee based HUnewearl, but then PSU pigeon-holed the race even further by making them the only really viable magic-class race while being the worst at any other class. A little worrying then that their description includes the words “physically weak” and “skilled in handling the photon”, at least under the assumption that the photon refers only to magic. Of course, the stat disparities between the races might not be nearly as high as they were in PSU (let’s hope not, anyway) because it will suck for anyone wishing to be a Newman fighter to once again be gimping themselves so severely.
CAST supremacy! CASTs were almost uniformly the best race in PSU, for their high attack power and their “I WIN” button, a photon-blast like ability called SUVs. They had ATA too but ATA didn’t matter in PSU. It didnt! Shut up. The description here only really suggests that their health and defense stats are likely to be superior which is a change from PSU, certainly. From this I’d wonder if humans now rule the races in terms of attack power but they’re supposed to be the balanced race so I don’t know about that.
So to break it down, Humans are balanced, Newmans have low physical but high photon, CASTs have high physical (implied that this is defensive) but low photon. This could be worrisome for those wishing to play Force-CASTs or Hunter-Newmans. Some comfort should be derived from the fact that SUVs and Nanoblasts aren’t present to screw up balance even further, as they did for PSU. So it really just comes down to what this means for the stats of each race and how those stat weights play out. The stat disparities were pretty severe in PSU, with Newman hunter-types having considerably less health, defense and attack than their CAST and Beast counterparts. I understand the need for some differences between the races that go beyond skin-deep, but it shouldn’t cause players to severely gimp themselves due to what is primarily an aesthetic choice.
To finish this post of, PSU fans will note that Beasts are missing. Well, if you had your heart set on playing a Beast then you’ll be disappointed. This isn’t going to change before release, but it may possibly change after release as Sakai has stated that they may add more races down the line.