This is a blue planet. 71% of its surface is covered with water. Human beings were born into this azure blue sea at the very beginning. However, as humanity grew, so did their ever-expanding ambitions.
Peaceful times gave way to war and devastation.
Finally, a mysterious enemy emerged from the sea.
The final result was tragic. Humanity lost more than 90% of its control over the sea. People struggled to survive. The fear of the unknown enemy, who drag humanity into the dark abyss of the despair, spread everywhere. Decades later, in order to recapture the once glorious past, the major camps finally decided to unite and created the Azur Lane - a worldwide military organization.
The purpose of the Azur Lane is to gather technologies and resources, and share them between all major camps of the world to fight back the mysterious enemy.
And yes, that is their official plot synopsis. However, they are hiring an entirely new company to translate the entire game.
The gameplay of Azur Lane is basically side scrolling shoot 'em up, except way toned down. You control your ships with a virtual joystick, while dodging enemy fire, returning fire of your own, and managing skills and their cooldowns in real time. Note that it is a watered down version and is nowhere near as punishing as your standard shmup and has non-avoidable fire.
Outside of combat, the meta is your standard gacha affair. You build your team, you upgrade your units, you obtain equipment for your ship and enhance them, and so on. There are so many resources out there breaking down all the systems, I suggest you take a look in the links section. It's gacha.
Another thing of note is that Yostar's plan for Azur Lane English is to have content run alongside Japan, with older content filling in the gaps between events. Eventually, the hope is that all of the servers will get the same content at the same time, making it a true global game.
Azur Lane is a "collectathon" gacha, similar to KanColle and Girls' Frontline. You do not spend your premium resources on pulling for new characters, rather you spend diamonds (the premium resources) on costumes, 'marrying' your characters, and infrastructure, like more team slots, and so on. Instead of spending premium currency on characters, you gacha for characters using 'cubes', which are awarded from dailies, weeklies, repeatable commissions, and so on. While you can buy these cubes, and some do, they are not necessary, because the SSR rate in this game is... 7%.
It kind of drives home the point of "spend money on cosmetics for your favorite characters, not on getting the characters themselves". Or whale so you can get all the ships right away. I'm not going to stop you. Because of this, there's no need to reroll. It's just a waste of time.
Very in-depth, useful Wiki
Wiki Beginner Guide
Girls' Frontline Discord with dedicated channel. If there's enough interest, it'll expand or a new server will be made.
Launch is at 9AM PDT.