So, I'm pretty sure this is just a typo and by pointing it out it's sure to be corrected in the next errata, but still.
So, if you decide not to become a specialist, this is the ability you get for not getting 1 extra spell per level:
If you do, youcan use Drain Arcane Focus once each day per each spell level you can cast, instead of only once per day.
The interesting thing here is exactly what Drain Arcane Focus allows you to do.
You expend the magical power stored in your arcane focus. This gives you the ability to cast one spell you prepared today and previously cast, without spending a spell slot. You must still complete the required spellcasting actions and meet the spell’s other requirements.
So, the Universalist gives you the ability to use this 2 times/day at level 3, 3/day at level 5, 4/day at level 7, and so on.
What makes this a little on the OP side is that Drain Arcane Focus doesn't care what level spell you cast, meaning at level 3, you get 4 level 2 spells/day instead of just 2. Granted, it can't be 4 different spells, but you could still do 1 cast of 1 spell, and 3 of the other, or 2 and 2.
This only gets more insane as you keep leveling up, topping off at level 20 (assuming you took the Archmage's Might capstone) with the ability to cast Wish (or a different Level 10 spell) 11 times per day.
So... yeah. What the Universalist loses in flexibility, ironically enough, it gains in sheer power and the ability to cast tons of high-level spells each day.
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It's meant to be one use per spell level. So a level 20 wizard would get 10 uses out of it. One level 1 spell, one level 2 spell, one level 3 spell and so on.
Could definitely be written more clearly, though. Should probably say
"You can use Drain Focus once for each spell level per day" or something similar. I'm not that good with words but that does seem to make it slightly more obvious.
I definitely think that the RAI is 'spell per spell level' so drain only works once for each spell level. But RAW could be a bit better to make that clear.
Also for the Drain Focus it needs to have already been cast for the day (which is not a problem since you either cast it first with a slot or second with a drain.
I have to say when I built my Universalist for playtest I read it the RAI way not the RAW way so it probably gets the intended message across but needs to be fixed for clarity.
It's still good when paired with Focus Conservation. By adding a spellcasting action to a spell cast with Drain Arcane Focus, you get a free use of it next turn (but only to cast a spell 2 levels lower than the spell you just cast).
E.g. You cast Fireball sometime during the day
Turn 1: Free action to Drain Arcane Focus, 3 actions to cast the Fireball that you already cast earlier.
Turn 2: Free action to Drain Arcane Focus, cast a level 1 spell that you already cast earlier.
Even if you can't chain Focus Conservation together (e.g. cast a 9th level spell, then 7th, then 5th and so on), it still adds 7-8 spells per day.
yeah i saw that feat and wanted to give it a playtest at high level, see how often and how long you could chain spells. because the focus requires you to have cast the spell already, which to chain kinda means you have used one of all the lower levels earlier and then saved some big ones.
i suppose it means you could really mess up a big encounter chaining damage spells, but they get weaker as you progressively cast down.