Extremely doubtful if its an actual faction. If the devs are deciding to remove the barrier for playing a KDF character, then such restrictions will not exist in future factions. If Romulans are a level 50 faction, then they could restrict it to needing Tier 5 Romulan Reputation.
However, a Romulan faction would make more sense in having nothing to do with New Romulus except for what the Captains decide to do. A Romulan captain could level up Romulan Reputation and might have a few dialog changes due to being the same race, but New Romulus might be considered as a group of cowards by whatever Romulan government forms. Have some doubts about a Romulan faction since the outcry by introducing a new faction without finishing KDF would be enormous.
I think you'll have to do the reputation grind. Just like in LOTRO, you can be a lorien elf, but your faction with lorien will start at 0, just like anyone else. It's kinda stupid, but it's for gameplay sake.
Also, there is 2 solutions for a Romulan faction, either it will be a 3rd faction, probably not related to New Romulus, and you'll have to help them, just like feds or klingons did. Or you'll start as a New Romulus member, and join either KDF or Feds, and have to help because you are part of a larger faction.
However, a Romulan faction would make more sense in having nothing to do with New Romulus except for what the Captains decide to do. [...]
I don't understand that notion. New Romulus is, in my opinion, perfect for a STO Romulan faction. They will be allied with both other factions, so participating in, say, Task Force Omega to fight the Borg, in events like the 2800 arc, even fights against the True Way, just make a lot of sense.
By contrast, a Romulan faction that follows Sela, the Tal Shiar, and the Iconians, could not possibly participate in all that.
Of course, there is a third Romulan faction in their current civil war... maybe they could walk a middle ground... but personally, I would be happy with a playing Romulan starship commander who follows D'Tans leadership... it would just work best within the overall STO story.
If we get a new Romulan faction... The devs might make it so you need to have T-5 ROM REP completed....
Not that hard anyway ... 2 hours of chasing bunnies does the trick ... what's more frightening is, how they're gonna implement FE's with 3 Factions ... it's already kind of silly in some Missions, playing as KDF ... not gonna cry doom now, but this might be the death of "regular" Story Content ...
Other than the fact its actually not that hard to get to tier 5, i see no reason why they would do this at all.
no doubt, if it is a romulan faction, it will be tied to the c-store in some capacity as its a free game so they have to. why would you then block the content off and a source of income off by a time wall?
i know they added some of the missions to the rep system, but that a quite a different thing, as they are small. an entire faction that would attract a lot of players, old and new would not have that kind of restriction