The Elder Scrolls Morrowind: Installing Mods Right the First Time
Installing mods can be difficult and non-intuitive. I simplify it.
In my free time, I play video games, among other things. I have recently become re-invested in the Elder Scrolls series, emphasizing high-quality and lore-rich storytelling. As I like more modern graphics, I set out to install mods improving Morrowind before playing it. As I have found, it is not as intuitive as read-me documents can depict it. I list key points that one needs to be mindful of while installing mods, so they are installed in the right way, so you only have to do it once. This is important because sometimes you need to install mods in a particular order. After all, files improve on others, so you want to do it appropriately.
I am working through the graphical mod list available from here.
Using Mod Managers
Like Vortex from NexusMods, mod managers can be useful for some games, like Skyrim; they do not appear to work well with Morrowind. On installing all the mods on this list, it became clear that they were not installed correctly. Avoid.
Auto-Piloting Copy and Paste Installation
Some mods require more nuanced installation. I had to run special update scripts to get things working from the source that I am using for graphics mods, as with MGE XE and Morrowind Code Patch. Some mods may also be packaged in ways that require you to go through separate folders, like with Tamriel Rebuilt.
In this case, you have to go into each folder and move the texture/other folders in one by one as the 00 Core folder in the ‘Data Files’ folder will not be read. Some folders appear to be ready to go into the ‘Data FIles’ folder but are not like Morrowind Comes Alive folder ‘MCA Addons.’
Installing Everything then Testing.
I would recommend not installing too many mods before seeing if everything runs alright. This will make it easier to debug. Simple textures and meshes should be okay not to test; this is an issue with .esp files.
Re-Installing After an Error Message
I would recommend googling the error message before re-installing the game because it can take a lot of time to reinstall everything. Not all mods are compatible anymore, as the ESP files for Glow in the Dahrk. Sometimes an esp file is the only issue, which you can deactivate using the ‘Data Files’ option on the launcher. The ‘Warnings.txt’ file in the main Morrowind folder can be beneficial in locating the issue.
Running MGE XE At the Beginning
A number of mods depend on MGE XE and require you to complete “distant land setup” to appropriately install them. I would recommend running the MGEXEgui.exe AFTER you have installed all your desired mods to avoid wasting time debugging something relying on a trivial means of correction.
Using the Mods Morrowind Rebirth and Tamriel Rebuilt for First Playthrough
Forums suggest that it is better to play the ‘vanilla’ game before experimenting with these mods to get the full experience. Documentation for these mods also suggests they are not greatly compatible with one another. If you have already installed one of them, you can deactivate it on the “Data Files” menu on the launcher. If you have installed both, you can deactivate the other.
While this list is not exhaustive, it carried me through my installation and brought my game to life.