So I pop open the ship def's file, change the beam attack of the prototype elerium gun from 16 to 2 and relaunch the game, weapon still has 16 beam attack, am I missing a step? Never modded GC3 before. Does it HAVE to go in the mods folder under my documents/my games?
I noticed this when Crusade first came out. I posted about it SEVERAL times on here, any of which Stardock could've taken 2 seconds to respond to, but nooooo, total silence from them even though I made it VERY clear how desperate this was making me. FINALLY after a month or more some helpful soul posted what was going on: They made it so the XML is compiled into some data files so the game launches noticeably faster.
Yes you CAN use the batch files or the utility .exe's - I'm not sure which and there's no documentation - to recompile them. These are all located in the "Steam\steamapps\common\Galactic Civilizations III\Tools\" folder, btw. But the REALLY EFFORTLESS SUPER-TRIVIALLY-EASY way, is to delete the 4 .bin files in the GC3\Data\ folder right before you launch the game. This forces it to recompile them on its own automatically on launch, and works fine. It's actually kinda nice once you get used to it, b/c it DOES make the game launch faster heh.
This HAD been a Crusade-only feature slash soul-tormenting-undocumented-unexplained-NIGHTMARE depending on your forum persistence, but now with 2.5 it applies to the base game as well. Anyway, hope that helps. I'm not the person who figured this all out originally, but I feel compelled to pass it along.