What matters the most in the end is to get shit done. Pardon my French: implement features.
Nullcascade gave us a vibrant example: facing two options, he had to choose between disassembling binaries to implement his stuff, or contribute to the project/wait for it to mature. In his case, considering his skillset, technical affinities and whatnot, the former solution was preferrable from his point of view.
On top of that, a project like MWSE is an enabler; meaning that it opens doors to another whole group of content creators who can make stuff with a lower barrier of entry, technically speaking. More shit done, that widens even more the gap between OpenMW and the end-users.
These content creators also bear the weight of providing their own audience with support, with technical skills varying wildly and mod authors can't be blamed for refusing to offer assistance to the odd guy who wants glowing windows and dildo sheathing on his raspberry pi.
This is the very root of the tension (or perception of) between OpenMW and the modding crowd.
To reduce this tension, OpenMW needs to catch up with what the rest of the community is doing. Problem: re-implementing the engine from scratch is a huge task, takes a lot of effort, with quite a high barrier of entry.
Although OpenMW comes with its own benefits compared to the original engine (stability, multiplatform, vfs, tes3mp etc..) and a lot has been achieved already, it's still a train or two behind the mass of people who actually play the game, the population of end users which accounts for the largest amount of people spending time on Morrowind nowadays. Zini's design document paved the way, there's still so much to be done.
There were some talks recently about reviewing a bit the project public relations. But for which public? Gamers? Modders? Content creators?
Maybe new PR plans to find and incitate more contributors to join would be beneficial.
OpenMW needs manpower to fill that gap and reunite the community. Even if catching up with the Morrowind scene can be viewed as an intermediate step in the project life, more hands can't be bad for the largest scope of building a multipurpose engine.