More information about Sword of the New World's coming patch from G1-Neume... As usual, bold emphasis mine.
Coming Soon™: v3.4
So, v3.4 is possibly delayed again. No real surprise there. Dec, Jan, and now, potentially Feb. Whatever, I'm still not yet Master anyway. On the other hand, I do want the feso stones to be tradable in order to acquire expert stances.
Both SNW and sGE updated to v2.9 at around the same time (Oct 2008). In fact, SNW was actually about a week earlier than sGE. Let's look at their updates in 2009 since then.
sGE - 2009, Jan 22 (v3.0) ► Apr 09 (v3.2) ►Jun 19 (v3.4) ► Oct 22 (v3.5)
SNW - 2009, Jul 08 (v2.9b) ► Sep 16 (v3.0)
If you use sGE as a comparative standard, v3.0 to v3.4 took about 5 months. Since SNW is patching from v3.0 to v3.4, Feb 2010 is actually 5 months from the release of v3.0. So it is actually not that unreasonable. (The crawl from v2.9 to v3.0 is totally atrocious, taking almost 1 year... but we are done with that.)
New Costume Boxes
I know lots of people want Grace's White Vent costume*, but I really hope people won't offer ridiculous amounts of vis to buy those boxes. If that happens as is likely to be the case, the prices of ALL cash shop items and feso rate are going to become even more inflated. One of the reasons why prices in Orpesia have been soaring since v3.0 is probably due to players who are desperate for the new items offering way above the current gold-to-vis rate.
For example, if MP (20 gold) sells for 1m vis (1:50k) and you offer to buy lots of boxes (150 gold) for 30m vis (1:200k), who is going to sell MP? All the cash shop traders will sell boxes instead, so MP/UA/EB/feso/etc. will be under-supplied, and hence inflated to match the new gold-to-vis rate set by the boxes.
Note (*): Which by the way, is already inside the current v3.0 client, since the texture for the costume is currently inside one of the .ipf files... and it's of course going to be White Vent. You are not expecting the "cowgirl" Ixia costume or the latest Santa costume for Grace, are you? Get real.
The female fighter costume mentioned is most likely Rose Camellia.
Edit: Added some comparison and more thoughts about v3.4 patch delay.