Morrowind modding for smarties, part 1: the tools of the trade

Seeing how incredibly new Morrowind modders generations keep coming despite the game being pretty old, I often thought about sharing what is my current state-of-the-art modding workflow. As a old-time modder, I think I have a quite good one so hopefully it will be of use to newcomers and experts too.

I will start describing the tools needed.

- A Morrowind version fully upgraded to 1.6.18.2. You could do with previous version, but probably there could be incompatibilities so to keep things simpler I'm assuming a Bloodmoon/GOTY Morrowind engine.

- The Elder Scrolls Construction Set (TESCS).
The official Morrowind editor included with the game. This is obviously needed for proper modding. If you bought Morrowind on Steam sorry, but if you want to mod this is necessary so probably you'd better get yourself a GOTY somewhere.

- a good archive format tool able to handle at least .zip, .7z, .rar archive formats.
We need it to extract/pack mods from and to their compressed distribution format. I like 7zip.

- a good text editor for simpler scripting and text editing.
There are many around, I suggest Notepad++, it is free, powerful and easy to use, and I have even contributed with a dedicated syntax highlighter for Morrowind scripting.

- a good text/version comparison tool. I like WinMerge.

- a good search-text inside files tool. I would kick and scream without Total Commander (or Free Commander).

- a good files/folders management/comparison tool. Again, Total Commander or Free Commander.

These last 3 tools are general-purpose and heavily suggested even out of Morrowind context. You can get them from their home sites, or do yourself a favor and get them all from a portable, auto updating LiberKey installation.

 Scared already? If not, see you later. We will start talking about Morrowind specific tools.