From: east coast, usa
Outdated as it is, I've found TOAW's Editors to be better to work with than the several other games with editors that I have. The 'problem' with the TOAW Editors, if I may make my own analogy, is that they are like a DOS program wrapped in an User Interface. Other games' Editors are obviously created for and with Windows and since most of us are more familiar with that, we hear these types of complaints. But as far as I am concerned you take Scripts and Windows Based OOB's and bury them with the dog poop. TOAW is much nicer to work with.
If you are popping in to make a 'mod', then sure it is going to be difficult without any instruction. But that is why we are all here, and that is actually why I came here in the first place in 2007, to ask an editing question. Why search a manual when you can ask here directly?
If you are making a full scenario from scratch, you have to realize that it takes time commensurate to the scale of the scenario. You can make a small scenario in a few hours, but the larger ones can takes YEARS. And as others have said already, the research takes a huge amount of time also.
To me, the saddest thing was that we had Ralph actively developing new Editors and that was stopped in order to get the Graphics for IV completed. That was a shame because to me, as a scenario designer, those new editors would have been a huge improvement to TOAW. Instead, they weren't completed and therefore they cause issues, and also we got added restrictions to scenario design such as limited icons and tedious unit color change procedures. For all of IV's improvements, items like these leave a sour taste.
For an example of the incomplete 'new' editors, open a scenario in the Editor in III and IV and select a Unit then hit 'U'. Even though IV's is incomplete, you will see the obvious positive difference.