Okay, Jay, What Is Azur Lane?
Azur Lane is a mobile… Not quite idle game? But definitely a Free to Play one with…
Microtransactions? Argh, We Out!
Understandable, although it’s curve is pretty friendly until waaaay late into the game, and even then, you can treat it as a marathon, not a sprint.
Helps that there’s only a limited amount of shit you can buy with gems more than once. So unless you seriously give a shit about wedding every single shipgirl, it’s not too bad.
And if you do care about marrying some 400+ unique girls, including the Mutsuki-class, someone with a large hammer and a scowl’s gonna have words
(That would be Salted Grump, represented by a chibi image of Roon, who will be adding Sass and Co-Commentary)
But yes, if you’re microtransaction vulnerable, stay away, it has them, it has gacha (random drops of ships and loot, although, again, we’ll get into why it’s friendlier than the usual), and it has events which would make a completionist’s teeth ache (it sure as hell has mine, and on this account, it will do once again.)
By Friendlier, he means that Construction has a flat 7% chance of the highest rarity. Compare to, say, Fate: Grand Order with its highest rarity pool being 0.7% Proc chance, and the pool has *items* instead of usable characters in it.
Anyway, to continue…
Yes, a mobile game about the struggles of Kansen (shipgirls), imbued with the power of WW2 era ships (Y’know, destroyers, cruisers, battleships, etcetera), fighting against an alien (?) menace, and also, especially at the beginning, and quite often, each other.
Oh, and they have the memories of those warships as if they were people. Told you there was existential horror here (and indeed, more hidden in the event storylines.)
Also recent events that come to mind include testing Idol Singing as weaponry, so… It’s not all misery and drama.
And so, you send various ships you collect through this wringer, in order to win battles, to unlock more story, more ships, cool things… The story is surprisingly deep (and, indeed, makes reference to battles of World War 2, when it’s not going full shounen sci-fi), but the day to day of it is not.
Cute Battleship Girls Doing Cute Battleship Things
Except PvP. Oh, we’ll get to you, mate… We’ll fucking get to you…
Okay, So You’re A Masochist. How Are You Going To Show Us This Journey?
I’m so glad you asked, imaginary thread reader! Updates will be pretty varied, with story segments in screenshot form, battle segments in video form (They take, at most, 40 minutes. We’re good), some other video when necessary, and updates dealing with mechanics and the various shipgirls (I may or may not end up getting some assistance from Salted Grump here, because dang, there’s a feller who appreciates the history involved.)
Sass interjection from the Grump: Damn Fucking Right.
It’s gonna be a rather big thread and, as time goes on, I may switch to my main server, because by the time we’ve gotten to the grindy bits, I’ll have hopefully gotten through the fuckers. As it is, I’ve got some ships reaching the current level cap of 120, and since this was written in April of 2020, I may well have more (Yes, I’ve been planning this for a while. Insert edit)
Okay, But This Is A Mobile Game, How’re You Gonna Record This?
Ah, now this is where it gets both interesting… And annoying. See, the phone I’ve got has a “You can use your phone on your computer” app… But Azur Lane doesn’t have support for, say, keyboard control on said app. So playing it can best be described as “A fucking nightmare”, unless it’s on autopilot.
Sass interjection: I told him about Bluestacks. It’s much better on the front of ‘playing the game on PC…
Koff. Er, yes, the game is actually recorded on Bluestacks. It requires virtualisation supported and turned on (most modern CPUs can handle this), but it runs mostly smoothly (smoother than DeX for scrolling, for sure), and has keyboard control support. Although the default, bafflingly, doesn’t account for the “Call Submarine” button. At the time of inserting this paragraph (Day 15 of the run), I have yet to edit this properly.
The game is, thankfully, friendly enough to warn you “Oh hey, if you play on autopilot, your shipgirls are going to faceplant into torpedos.”
Pictured: What happens when you autobattle, as demonstrated by noted klutz Glowworm.
So there will be faceplanting into torpedoes (Less. But believe me, torpedo faceplanting still happens.) And trust me, I’m wincing along with you. Less so later, when even normal enemies have some aspect of bullet hell to them… But playing on manual comes highly recommended, except for missions where the level of the enemies is lower than the level of your ships by at least 10 levels.
Obviously, the ships are girls. Some are women. Many are girls. Don’t be a creep. Lest Grump pull out some of the nastier stories from the history, rather than summaries. Y’know, like a ship being torn in half and went down with only 3 survivors. Out of 1,418.
That would be HMS Hood, By the way. Pride of the British navy, overdue for a full refit, took a 15” shell through her main armour belt and went up like a roman candle made of explosions and gore.