Formerly known as the Romulan Star Empire; In the current timeline, the Star Empire is pretty much redundant, the core of the Romulan Empire has fallen apart with some of the Reman population rebelling against their Romulan oppressors, and some Romulan colonies wanting out of their former Empire.
What is left of the Romulan Military is still a force to be reckoned with. If we were to ever include a Romulan-based faction in STO, it would require acknowledgement of their situation. They're going to need a new name (see topic title) and they're going to need allies. You can't build a faction in this game based only on Romulan and Reman crew, well you can, but it wouldn't be much fun!
Then comes the anguish of finding those allies for this new Empire. The Hirogen are seemingly debatable because of their involvement with Sela; would such an alliance be sanctioned by the Romulan Senate? The only other species that I can think of who'd potentially have a mutual understanding with a newer Romulan faction would be the Son'a. Otherwise, I'm open for suggestions.
Gameplay and Faction Information:
In brief, you've already got some solid foundations for a bunch of stories:
- You've got the fall of an Empire (in regard to the destruction of Romulus)
- You've got the Reman Rebellion
- You've got the separation of Empire remnants (in regard to those colonies that want out)
- You've got Sela, the Tal Shiar and the Iconians
Throw in the odd battle with Klingons or Breen and you've got yourself a solid foundation to work on. Wouldn't hurt to run a few Breen-based missions detailing why (specifically) the Romulans don't trust the Breen.
At a later date, once the various campaigns are reworked, we could have characters that can choose different paths. Such paths here would include the above mentions. Would you aid in the Reman Rebellion or attempt to extinguish them? Would you allow the Iconians to order you about, or would you rise up against them?
I'd also urge you to work a career layout similar to what you've done with the Klingons, though instead of being centred on Tactical and Engineering, I'd rather see a Romulan faction being centred on Tactical and Science (with the Engineering ships such as the Deridex) being somewhat universal; maybe have the Deridex with a Commander Engineering slot and leave the other slots open for player preference.
Mini Faction Possibilities:
There was a comment made somewhere on here not so long back about incorporating them into both the Federation and Klingon factions. I don't think (in their current state) that they're ready to join the Federation, and even when they get to a point that they are, they wouldn't join with the Klingons. With the exception of Sela and her band of merry soldiers, when have the Klingons and Romulans ever cooperated with only each other? These two species aren't overly fond of each other, so it is my hope that they are very much kept apart from each other in terms of alliances.
I'm going to be bias here because it's more personal preference than anything else, but in my opinion the three major powers in Star Trek (at least in the known Alpha & Beta Quadrants) have always been the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire). I would personally be more than happy if these were the only three playable factions ever fully developed.
In addition to my opinion, there was a poll put up some time ago asking the community what they most wanted out of the game right now. Think I remember a Romulan Playable Faction leading that poll. The fans have spoken. Can the development team deliver?
The Klingon Faction obviously needs a rework of its own before a Romulan faction gets the green light (though there is no harm in hoping for both at the same time). It would be nice to know a Romulan faction is in the works though, least then we can work on giving you input so that (hopefully) a Romulan faction won't ever end up in the state the current Klingon one is.