Recruit Selene quest guide has been updated.

SNW v3.4: Feb 2010

More information about Sword of the New World's coming patch from G1-Neume... As usual, bold emphasis mine.

In general we've been releasing all of the content of a patch at once. All of 3.0 came in one patch (save of the Bazaar items) Like 3.0, when 3.4 is released not all Bazaar items will be available day 1. [...]

That said, we do intend on releasing Master and new costume boxes WITH the 3.4 patch. We're also working on releasing 2 new costume boxes BEFORE 3.4. That may not happen but that's our goal. I know everyone is focused on 3.4 right now, but we still have a lot going on outside of that.
  • We *think* we fixed the Ho Tiger event and are trying to determine the best way to compensate for the issue. Hopefully this will go live this week (finger's crossed it's still in QA).
  • We also have our eyes set on making some changes with regards to vis costs when upgrading items. This would reduce the cost to upgrade substantially. This is a major discussion with IMC so don't take this statement as fact but we think the price is currently too high.
  • We also are working on another pass at gold cost to upgrade. One thing we're looking at is creating a new Master Crafter Pack.
  • We're looking at releasing Andre's Portmanteau II and Karj's Portmanteau II which contains a new Female Fighter costume and a New Grace Bernelli costume (respectively).
  • The "voldemort" is currently in processes. We're closer to announcing it now than we were before.
So there is still a lot happening in an insanely short period of time. We're working VERY hard to get 3.4 out the door before the end of the month, however, we don't want to release something too fast or we'll have another issue like we did with BOTH holiday patches. What we're doing takes time and we need to allow time for it to happen or we'll just continue to release bad things. If 3.4 releases in February and doesn't have major game breaking bugs I will be elated. Rushing to get something out isn't smart and I think the past two patches proves that point beyond a shadow of a doubt.

P.S. That costume is not a part of the 3.0, 3.4 or 3.5 patch. [Source]

The Voldemort happens around March-ish so 3.4 has to be well before that. [Source]

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.