Area of Effect (often abbreviated AoE) is a term used to describe spells or abilities which instead of affecting a single target instead affect multiple targets. 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 peculiarites 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 weapons, 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
Player Area of Effect Weapon Skills
Weapon Skill Name Jobs That Can Use It Weapon Type Cyclone THF, RDM, RNG, BRD, NIN Dagger Earth Crusher PLD, WAR, MNK, WHM Staff Spinning Scythe DRK, BST, WAR, BLM Scythe Spinning Attack MNK, PUP, WAR, THF, NIN Hand-to-Hand Shockwave PLD, DRK, WAR Great Sword Circle Blade PLD, BLU, WAR, THF, RDM, COR, DRK, SAM RNG, BRD, NIN, DRG, BST Sword Moonlight PLD, BLU, WAR, DRK, WHM Club
Player Area of Effect Spells
Player Spell Name (defensive/Party) Jobs That Can Use It Aerial Armor SMN(Garuda) Baraera WHM Barblindra WHM Barblizzara WHM Barfira WHM Barparalyzra WHM Barpetra WHM Barpoisonra WHM Barsilencera WHM Barsleepra WHM Barstonra WHM Barthundra WHM Barvira WHM Barwatera WHM Crimson Howl SMN(Ifrit) Curaga WHM Curaga II WHM Curaga III WHM Curaga IV WHM Dream Shroud SMN(Diabolos) Earthen Ward SMN(Titan) Ecliptic Howl SMN(Fenrir) Frost Armor SMN(Shiva) Glittering Ruby SMN(Carbuncle) Hastega SMN(Garuda) Lightning Armor SMN(Ramuh) Noctoshield SMN(Diabolos) Protectra WHM Protectra II WHM Protectra III WHM Protectra IV WHM Protectra V WHM Rolling Thunder SMN(Ramuh) Shellra WHM Shellra II WHM Shellra III WHM Shellra IV WHM Shellra V WHM Shining Ruby SMN(Carbuncle) Spring Water SMN(Leviathan) Whispering Wind SMN(Garuda) Player Spell Name (offensive) Jobs That Can Use It Aerial Blast SMN(Garuda) Aeroga BLM Aeroga II BLM Aeroga III BLM Banishga WHM Banishga II WHM Blizzaga BLM Blizzaga II BLM Blizzaga III BLM Diaga WHM, RDM Diamond Dust SMN(Shiva) Earthen Fury SMN(Titan) Firaga BLM Firaga II BLM Firaga III BLM Howling Moon SMN(Fenrir) Inferno SMN(Ifrit) Judgment Bolt SMN(Ramuh) Lunar Roar SMN(Fenrir) Nightmare SMN(Diabolos) Poisonga BLM, DRK Ruinous Omen SMN(Diabolos) Searing Light SMN(Carbuncle) Sleepga BLM, SMN(Shiva) Sleepga II BLM Stonega BLM Stonega II BLM Stonega III BLM Slowga SMN(Leviathan) Thundaga BLM Thundaga II BLM Thundaga III BLM Thunderspark SMN(Ramuh) Tidal Wave SMN(Leviathan) Ultimate Terror SMN(Diabolos) Waterga BLM Waterga II BLM Waterga III BLM