After finding out that my beautiful ship needed tens of different blueprints I was ready to call out this requirement mechanic, but instead I found a way to make it better in 2 ways:
Choosing your own starting bonuses
How come other cities already have blueprints for ship parts and we have to conquer them to get those? I saw we should be able to start with bonuses as well, up to 2 or 1 if you're stingy (you know who you are), this would be great for:
1) Having an empire based around a mechanic, maybe you want to only have ships with heavy cannons? If that's your niche then you shouldn't have to hope you lucked out hoping for a city to have one.
2) In multiplayer, people would get the bonuses you chose.
Customization of Heraldry
If you choose 2 pieces for a heraldry you should get both bonuses, NOW HEAR ME OUT, THAT'S A BAD IDEA, if that was the case everyone would choose the 4 pieces heraldry, but what if instead of using the heraldry for the bonuses, we use it because we like the design?
I suggest the system to work like this instead:
1) Heraldry and bonuses to be separated or at least not as connected to eachother.
2) To allow more heraldry bonuses at once, sometimes you build a beautiful ship just to realize you will never be able to build it because it uses 2 heraldry bonuses.
Overall, I am just disgruntled that in a game where the most fun comes from building good ships and then trying them out in the official gamemode you are denied the second part of this 2 step process.
not sure where the heraldry thing will go with the (potentially) coming tech tree stuff.
After some more playing, I have come under the conclusion that the AI is bullshit, how is it fair that the AI can have ships with rockets, harpoons, heavy cannons, gatling guns etc. at the start of the game even if they don't have those bonuses?
They can only use bonuses they have from both A: Their assigned Coat of Arms bonus and B: their city bonus. (Although I forget if those might be one and the same in certain circumstances.)
If you see an AI with a ship using special weaponry, it means it either acquired it from another city or began with it.