Zenimax have clarified their intentions with maximum AOE target caps. The too long; did not read version is that all AOE abilities in Elder Scrolls Online have a max target limit of six, and always have had. If an AOE ability’s tooltip does not say how many targets it affects, the answer is 6.
Alliance War abilities have a larger target cap, if any, and siege weapons have no target cap at all.
One of the 1.1 patch notes described some AoE (area-of-effect) abilities having their maximum number of targets reduced. This led to some consternation among the community – our apologies for the confusion; we should have been more explicit in the patch notes. Here’s the information:
All AoE effect abilities in ESO have a max target limit of six, and always have. The exceptions to this are Alliance War-specific abilities, and several others, which are specifically noted (in tooltips) as having a higher or lower limit. So, if an AoE’s ability tooltip does not list it as having a special number (greater than or less than 6) of targets, it was designed to affect 6 targets, maximum.
Abilities that apply a buff to an ally (health regeneration) have a max target limit on cast, but can be applied to an infinite number of targets. For example, Regeneration has a max target limit of two, but it will always first try to hit allies that don’t already have the buff. Two successive casts of Regeneration allow quick buffing of a four-person group. Please be aware that this is not the case for AoE debuffs, which apply to the nearest enemy targets or the center of the spell for ground-target AoE abilities.
Alliance War abilities generally hit a larger number of targets. We’ve designed them this way to better support their intended use in large-scale PvP. Each Alliance War ability’s max target cap, if they have one, is per ability (the morphs are the same as the base spells.) Siege Weapons have no max target – they will affect anyone who is in their target radius.
- Caltrops: Max target limit of 12
- Rapid Maneuvers: No max target limit
- War Horn: Max target limit of 24
- Barrier: Max target limit of 20
- Purge: No max target limit
- Siege Shield: Max target limit of 20
With that explanation, here are the changes that are being made in version 1.1 (subject to testing).
- The following abilities had a higher max limit than six, and have been fixed to be in-line with all other area-of-effect abilities:
- Consuming Darkness (Nightblade)
- Dragonknight Standard (Dragonknight)
- Negate Magic (Sorcerer)
- Scalding Rune (Fire Rune Morph – Mages Guild)
- Soul Shatter (Soul Magic)
Also, we are currently investigating Dark Talons, Blood Altar, and Rite of Passage, which may not be obeying the max target limit.