While we are all waiting on the inevitably delayed next release, it is time to reflect a bit.
Tamriel Rebuilt was started in 2001 by Ender, Ash, ActSmiley, MrSlugworth, Moorkh, and others on the very old (green) Bethesda forums. Planning began before the release of TES III: Morrowind and development began as soon as the game and Construction Set were available.
A lot of things have happened since then: two expansions and eight “DLCs” later, Morrowind GotY was essentially said and done. Everything afterwards was made by the fans.
And what happened was nothing short of a miracle: aside the usual unofficial patches and myriads of mods, the Morrowind Graphics Extender (and its fork MGE XE), the Morrowind Code Patch, the Morrowind Script Extender (and its fork MWSE-Lua), and of course the engine rewrite OpenMW have kept TES III going long after contemporary games like Wizards and Warriors have become unplayable and forgotten.
One of the most groundbreaking developments of the last years was the advent of TES3MP. A multiplayer fork of OpenMW and slated to be integrated come 1.0 (soon followed by Tamriel Rebuilt the Full Release) has turned a 17 year old game into a coop adventure.
...and what TES3MP allows.
While TES3MP is currently awaiting release 0.8 like TR awaits 1912, it is odd to imagine that our mod, which was started when even MGE was yet to be a twinkle in the eyes of its creators, can now be played in a multiplayer environment, and actively is. Servers like the Cornerclub and JRP Roleplay offer people the possibility at this very minute.
Of all the paradigm changes of the last 17 years, this is probably the most fundamental one. Some script heavy quests might not work correctly as of yet, but what is there can be played and enjoyed.
Tamriel Rebuilt was never supposed to be played with anything but the vanilla engine. In the age of extenders and rewrites, this seems almost quaint. We are, however sticking to that mission: be as playable to everyone as possible as long as feasible.
That does not mean that we are turning a blind eye towards multiplayer, however. While you will not find multiplayer-only features in our releases, some vistas might be reworked to allow more people to experience them at the same time without shuffling and clipping into each other. Some puzzles might be done faster with two people instead of a single player.
When people were saying in 2001 that Tamriel Rebuilt would never see the light of day, they were also saying that TES III would forever be a single player game.
Tamriel Rebuilt is still here, when later mods lived, thrived, and died. We hope that multiplayer, whether it is to be standalone TES3MP or an integrated OpenMW, will share a long, happy life with us.