Note that given STO's unique business model: You DO NOT need to buy the "expansion" to play the content. The "Expansion pack" itself is more like a starter pack in LOTRO, or perhaps the Mithril edition.
It just includes lots of goodies and stuff (Ships, Titles and whatnot), and presumably grants you the intermediate account status, equivalent to premium in LOTRO, if you began as a Free player.
There are two tiers to the expansion pack. The first is about $20, and includes some ships, titles and other fluff.
Then there's the "legendary" edition, which clocks in at a crazy $120 or so, which besides an asston of ships and increased fluff also includes the Remans as a playable race for the Romulan Republic.
Anyway, for those of you who have played STO and haven't been keeping up with things, or for those you you who could be tempted to start playing (STO is great for playing casually and has a VERY fair F2P model - you honestly don't need to pay a penny unless you choose to):
New Romulan Faction
- Romulans have been split into three factions following the destruction of their homeworld (as per the JJ Trek Movie, although STO continues in the "prime" timeline).
- The Tal Shiar, under the command of Empress Sela (the daughter of Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation - played by the same actress, and voiced by her too in STO!) are the scheming Romulans of old, up to no good trying to ally themselves with dodgy ancient powers (the Iconians?).
- The Romulan republic, under the leadership of D'Tan (who was introduced in the season 7 "New Romulus" update) who was a student of Spock and his Reunification philosophy, and wants to shun the Romulan's old ways and build bridges with the Federation and Klingon Empire.
- The Survivors of Romulus, who aren't a faction as such, but the scattered Romulans around the galaxy who haven't allied with either of the other two factions, and just want to lead a peaceful existence. By playing the new Romulan faction, you start in this group.
- You get all the canon Romulan ships at your disposal over your career (even the shitty Original Trek one), including the fearsome D'Deridex (aka Warbird) towards the end. The Scimitar however is NOT a playable ship, AFAIK. Yet anyway.
- You can play from level 1 to cap, and the romulans get their own unique storyline, as well as the ability to play all the cross-faction campaigns.
- Klingons can now level from lv1 to cap (not start at lv20 anymore) because they've finally gone back and added enough PvE content to fully flesh them out.
And lots of other stuff and updates to existing features that I can't really remember but if you want to learn more you can on the STO site - http://www.startrekonline.com
If somehow you missed Season 7 too, it added A LOT of new stuff, including a new region of space, a MASSIVE new planetary adventure zone (New Romulus), loads of new PvE content, reputation systems, a new fleet holding to go with the existing starbases (an Embassy) and more, so it's worth checking out!
It would be great to get more people playing this casually going forwards so that we can continue building our already rather impressive starbase into something even greater