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Area of Effect refers to an ability's capability to strike more than one target. Since Final Fantasy XI, fighters during battle move around far more frequently, so instead of spells striking one or all targets, they instead target all enemies or allies in range.
Area of Effect (AoE) describes magic, abilities, or effects which affect multiple targets within a certain area instead of a single target. AoE spells and abilities cover many types of effects, including restorative, defensive, damaging, debilitating and transporting.
Magic uses the signature -ra, -ga and -ja suffixes to indicate the spell is AoE. For example, Fire II and Cure will affect a single target, while Firaga II and Curaga will affect an area and anything in it. This allows for players to easily distinguish between AoE and non-AoE spells. -ra refers to spells with an AoE centered around the caster, whereas -ga spells are centered around a selected target. -ja merely means the spell is target-based AoE, but becomes stronger with consecutive usage. For example, if Firaja is used three times in a row on an enemy, the damage will increase each time.
Types of AoEEdit
The game uses three radius types, which ever AoE adhering to one of the types. These types each carry their own peculiarities and necessary precautions:
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. Radius AoEs can be more difficult to avoid as generally the only way to avoid the AoE is to run a large distance away. All -ra, -ga and -ja spells are radius type AoEs.
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. 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. An example of a Cone AoE would be a dragons fire breath attack, which fans out further away from the dragon's mouth.
Linear area of effect spells and abilities could be considered a special case of the cone variety, wherein the cone is consistently 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.
Most upgraded spells hit an area. For example most Magic spells that end in -ra or -ga have an area of effect. The exception is Curaga which only heals one target.
Ravagers' second and third tier spells are area of effect dealing less damage to surrounding enemies than to target. Also Saboteurs' and Medics' upgraded spells are area of effect working similarly to Ravager's second and third tier magics. In addition, the Commando abilities Blitz and Ruinga operate with an area of effect, as do Saboteur -ga abilities, which target all enemies.
The Ravager, Medic, Saboteur and Commando roles have Area of Effect type attacks. In addition, almost all Synergist abilities have -ga variants which apply buffs to the entire party, rather than just on an individual basis.
While both Serah and Noel have access to Area of Effect abilities within the Commando and Ravager roles, only Serah has access to the Area of Effect Saboteur abilities and respectively only Noel has access to the Synergist Area of Effect abilities, of the human characters.
Several skills in have an area of effect. An attack can have an area of effect centered on the caster or any point in the caster's range, or even entire parties, regardless of the fighters' positions, like in the case of a Bard's songs or a Dancer's dances. Arithmeticians can select groups of fighters through several conditions and inflict them with a wide selection of previously learned magicks from other mage jobs.