Just a few notes: the real title is still secret because it's a big spoiler by itself, so will wait until the game is in alpha to reveal it
As you noticed, some characters aren't present in the base game romance. It was quite hard to put new stuff, and still feature the old characters (existing romance will continue like in Planet Stronghodl 2). I wish I could have put ALL of them in one single game, but then it would have been 360k words long, require 1 year to make, and would have costed $40... and that's not good
So for now what I can say is that while I am still using the terms of "base game" and "expansion", the expansion will continue the story and will be a stand alone game (not requiring the first one, except to understand better the story). Think of it as of two different books, I mean featuring the same world / settings, but two different stories. This means that in the base game, Loren WILL be present (albeit not for long... mouhaha) but you can't romance her. Same for Mesphit and all the other characters. They will make an appearance and maybe even fight for you, but they won't be in the active party.
Of course, everything is still work in progress! I have a plot outline done by a new writer (which was quite helpful), but is just a guideline for Aleema to follow (and we used it to decide some character personalities, some romance CGs, etc) but we'll probably change stuff as we get to work on it for real... next year! Hope you won't be disappointed by the expected release date, but wanted to play safe