One of the most challenging aspects of video-games culture for a newcomer, especially for a busy parent, is trying to learn and understand the many, many acronyms and specialised terms. GameHub HQ entries are jargon-free, so you can get the information you need as easily and painlessly as possible, but there are still some words worth knowing. Every Monday, we break down one Word Worth Knowing from the world of gaming.

What is  AOE, what do you need to know and why do you need to care?

What It Is: AOE = Area of Effect

What It Means: AOE indicates “Area of Effect,”  meaning an attacking or defensive ability that affects an area of circumference around the player’s character. It is also used in an unrelated sense as an acronym for the game series Age of Empires.

Why You Care: AOE is a term used in role-playing and strategy games, such as Dragon Age Inquisition. There are in general three kinds of spell/buff/ability/power: those cast onto the player’s character, those targeted onto another character, and the AOE spells, which radiate out from around the player’s character and affect everyone or thing within their radius. For example, a Healing Buff would emerge from the casting player and restore the health of every character nearby, whilst a lava attack would harm them with boiling rocks. For this reason, AOE abilities run the risk of friendly-fire incidents, such as accidentally restoring the health of an enemy or hurting an ally. Strategic use of AOE spells can greatly bolster a team’s effectiveness.

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