In the beginning, they were a broken race, thanks to Star Trek Online’s backstory-which tied neatly to the J.J. Abrams backstory of his Star Trek film. They gained significant focus in a Feature Episode series as their…let’s call them planetary siblings…broke away. And then it got followed up with a large portion of their species deciding to effectively revolt-and eventually became a sub-faction available in the game. People love ’em, people hate ’em, but the Romulan Republic arrived and is here to stay.
Obviously, when the Romulans were finally brought in as playable characters, I had to make a few. Like the major factions, I could choose species. Unlike them, there were only so many available. The Romulans. The generic Aliens (which I never did take as much as advantage of as I could have). A little later came the Borg-ified Romulans. I did have Reman access early thanks to having completed the Romulan Republic reputation prior to that period, so I didn’t have to do anything exotic like spend Zen. And, naturally, true-blue (er, green?) Romulans.
So. It felt right that I should have a pure Romulan as my first (and main) Romulan character, so I designed Ailar. Ailar was a Science captain (another non-tactical! I’m on a roll!). Now, as a sub-faction, it was required-after reaching a certain level/point in the STO story-to choose a faction to ally with, the Klingons or the Federation. Ailar chose to go Federation (although the Klingons had a real good argument at the time. I remember really wavering with the choice when the time finally came). This would allow me to make use of Starfleet vessels up to and including Tier-4 ships; Tier-5 ships were not made available to the Romulans from Starfleet, mainly because of an outcry on the forums that it would be insane for Starfleet to make their best ships available to an allied power outside of their control. Same with the KDF. I’d agreed with that at the time, but later reflection had me recall that it wouldn’t have been without precedent; in the original Star Trek series, Romulans could be seen flying top-end Klingon battlecruisers. So its not as if there wasn’t precedent for that sort of thing.
The Romulans had their own set of outfits, and didn’t share much with the other factions-which meant there wasn’t that big a variety of uniforms. Certainly not as much as, say, Starfleet. That said, the devs didn’t do too badly here. There were a couple varieties of Romulan “civilian” outfits, a pair of Republic officer outfits, and even Klingon/Starfleet specific Romulan outfits, depending on who you chose to ally with. (And for the Romulan purists, a Tal Shiar style outfit. Because it’s good to be bad. You got it from going undercover….) Some of the cross-platform outfits came across too, such as the Intelligence uniforms. The C-Store eventually got a few more to work with, if you wanted to go classic or real classic. For the Romulans in the crew, I went with the straight up uniform, although I individualized Ailar’s uniform as she was in charge. Well, mostly straight-up: the Reman representative has her own look, and one of them is sort of unable to have any other uniform options. I figured that was okay, though-given the relative “age” of the Republic, it’s a wonder they have anything resembling a consistent look.
The bridge crew was mostly the default crew; as the first of my Romulans, I didn’t go too crazy on using them. I had access to Starfleet officers as well, but, well, I was feeling like a purist here. I’d be willing to have a Starfleet officer help man the ship weapons (I think it was a Ferengi that joined when I declared for Starfleet), but for the longest time, I would only use Romulans and Remans in my away teams. I eventually picked up a Hierarchy bridge officer during the Delta Rising arc, and I eventually included him in the main group.
I knew from day one that Ailar would be flying a Scimitar-class warbird in the end. It hadn’t been available at the Romulan launch, but I knew that as sure as Starfleet had Odysseys and the Klingons had Bortasqu’s, the Romulans would get a flagship, and it would be the Scimitar. I was dead right-and for a while, that was exactly what she flew (using the science variant, naturally). However, when the Tier-6 ships came rolling around, I saw that while the basic Scimitar skeleton was still being used, the appearance was distinct from that used by the Tier-5s, and I decided that it made sense to have Ailar in command of a brand spanking new Republic-constructed warbird-the RRW Hobus.
Ailar, as my primary Romulan character, has had the benefit of having gone through the vast majority of the episodes of the game, and is at max level; she hasn’t maxed out her primary specialization (Command), though. In part, this is because it’s tricky enough to get new characters leveled plus keeping my Klingon and Starfleet mains at the latest and greatest. At some point, I expect I’ll try to locate where I left Ailar and binge from there to the latest episode. If one is looking to rebuild into galactic power again, it’d behoove one to make sure their best and brightest lead the way.