Area of Effect (often abbreviated AoE) is a term used to describe spells or abilities which affect multiple targets within a certain area instead of a single target. The area which the spell is capable of affecting targets is referred to as the spell's (or the ability's) "area of effect", hence the label.
AoE spells/abilities in FFXI that are selectable by the user require a center for the effect to sweep out its radius from. The most basic example of this is casting an area of effect spell (such as Firaga). Even though it affects more than one target, a single target has to be selected. The target selected acts as the spell's center. Once the spell is finished casting, the other targets which the spell affects are determined based on the position of the selected center target and the radius of the spell.
Players must be very cautious when using AoE spells, as their mutli-targeting nature can often lead to unwanted or unanticipated links.
It should also be noted that the White Mage job trait Divine Veil, when used in conjunction with the Divine Seal ability, is capable of taking a normally single-target restoration spell (such as Erase) and altering it to act as an area of effect spell instead. This can often be useful for clearing unwanted statuses of an entire party instead of the generally time-consuming process of counter-acting negative statuses one person at a time.
Area of Effect Ability Types
There are multiple types of AoE spells and abilities in FFXI beyond the basic radius of effect type. These types each carry their own peculiarities and necessary precautions.
- Cone - Cone area of effect spells and abilities affect targets within a "cone" of space, originating from a certain point on the user and expanding outward to a specific distance away from the origin. Prime examples of this are breath attacks, such as those used by wyrms. Generally this type of AoE can be avoided by standing to the side of the point of origin, though since the area of effect is conic in shape, the amount to the side can be more substantial than expected.
- Linear - Linear area of effect spells and abilities could be considered a special case of the cone variety, wherein the cone is very narrow. In the case of linear AoE, the ability affects only those in a line directly in front of some originating point, out to a certain distance. Again, this can be avoided by standing to the side of the origin of the attack.
- Radius - Radius AoE is the most commonly occurring of the AoE types. With radius AoE, a center point is specified and all targets within a certain radius of that point are affected by the spell. A common example of this would be the Black Mage -ga spells, such as Stonega, Waterga, Aeroga, etc. Radius AoE is more difficult to avoid. Generally the only way to avoid radius AoE is to be outside the stretch of the radius, which can often inhibit you from being able to use certain abilities (such as magic) on the target.
Monster Area of Effect Abilities
*Radius, Cone, and Linear are all abbreviated by the first letter in type. U will be used for unknown types.
Monster Area of Effect Spells
Spell Name Used By (Family or NM name) Area (if applicable) Bindga Serket Garlaige Citadel Meteor King Behemoth Behemoth's Dominion Horde Lullaby Simurgh Rolanberry Fields Waterga IV King Arthro Jugner Forest Poisonga II King Arthro Jugner Forest