I think the most burning question for me is whether the modding support is any good on Steam. I do play a modded game on Steam (Skyrim) but I'm not sure what sort of challenge it is going to be to write a mod for GC3 Workshop. One of the things that might actually win people over (to the dark side, some might say) is having a huge mod library for GC3.
Anyone have any insights?
For probably 90% of users the workshop will be a good feature. It works fairly simply, you go to the Workshop page for your game. Then 'subscribe' to whatever mods you want to play. These are automatically updated as the author updates the mod on the Workshop. You might enable mods in different ways. Skyrim/Dungeons of Dreadmor, have launchers where you enable/disable mods, then go into the game. Civ5/PrisonArchitect have in-game mod/map management tools (but god the Civ5 one is really terrible from a UI perspective...). For users it's just, subscribe, enable mod, play. For 'most' people its a great central location to find mods and makes it easier to install them for users. Instead of say going through the forums, or even going to a 3rd party website to find, download, manually extract, install mods. I tried my hand at getting into Oblivion mods and lord almighty that was REALLY confusing as hell. I mean geezus, Doom had bsp files you just threw in and played. Oblivion mod installing felt like 95% black magic. Which 'game' was I playing? But I digress.
So how much you like the Steam Workshop depends on how 'far' you want to push it. Skyrim is probably the best place to look for the weaknesses, since people love pushing the Elder Scroll mods to insane places so the 'edge cases' seem to pop up there more than other games. Generally speaking though limitations are a bit on both sides of the equation. There's a file size limit to how big the workshop can be. Some games (DoD) distribut mods as zip files so this isn't as big an issue, while skyrim doesn't have such a compression function in their esp/esm file structure so many find the file size extremely limiting. You also can't install executables, so you have to instal SKSE manually if you want to use stuff like SkyUI.
The workshop is simply an 'auto update' for a bunch of files. That part works flawlessly. But the way the mods work has to be designed in such a way as to be entirely modular. Your mod can't generally be expected to overwrite existing game data, since that will get 'fixed' by Steam as a corrupt game file.
So how 'good' it'll be really depends on how modular the modding of GalCiv3 will be. If we assume that galciv3 will be highly xml driven, then there's a good possiblity that you can pretty much do whatever you want with the workshop. But ultimately it's not really knowable at this point what Galciv3 will or will not allow via mods since we don't have any SDK or such.