Abridged Version - Can we at least get a News update in the patcher that says that development for this game is shut down?
With development officially ceased this game is as much of a zombie as is possible for a piece of software. It seems kind of hollow to keep the game open with a perpetual Christmas event, an active cash shop, and the fact that there are no plans for new content being buried. The patcher makes no effort to make it clear that development has been shut down, and even coming to this forum where that information is, it's tucked away into the News subsection of the News & Events subsection where it's titled "Important Notice regarding Ragnarok 2 Development" right next to a different "Important Notice", when it seems like it should at least be titled "Ragnarok 2 development has been shut down." or something equally clear.
I'm not demanding that the game be shut down or anything, truthfully I do prefer that it's a zombie instead of being shut down, but shouldn't it at least be a little more clear what the state of things is? At least add one more News bulletin to the patcher so that expectations are properly set. I do think it'd be nice if there were literally one person on development whose job is just to iron out the outstanding quirks the game still has, like all the bad grammar and screwed up item descriptions (the item "Prime Grade Craft Pilanium", in addition to having a strange name, also has the item description of the Noble Peco mount for no clear reason) and any outstanding bugs. No content, no balance, just housekeeping like keeping a museum tidy. Maybe things could change and development could resume after all that's taken care of so that there's nothing that needs to be doubled back onto, but of course that's an extremely naive "maybe". Gotta say though, account storage to shuffle things around would be nice, as it is you're kneecapping yourself if you open Leprechaun's Cubes or play the Phantom Pyramid on more than one character because that splits up your resources in a way that you can't reconcile. But that'll never get attended to because development's shut down.
If I'm to take a guess at why things ended up the way they did, well, all I'll say is that aside from the lack of housekeeping (again, translations and the like), Advent of Valkyrie was not a graceful landing. It effectively chopped everything after the Fortress of Sandarman (which, if Ragnarok 1 is anything to go off of, is supposed to be "Saint Darmain") off and said "Oh, that endgame content? That's pointless now, do this instead." and added Master Levels, with even the NPC-bought gear blowing raid gear out of the water, and the power creep being so sharp and so extreme that a class that is capable of healing itself can now solo the once unstoppable Rat Master Kremp (and again, questionable translation, that's almost certainly supposed to be "Cramp") without a whole lot of effort as long as they're rocking Osiris gear or better. Likewise, I think Advent of Valkyrie happened the way it did because of Rat Master Kremp, in a way. Poor coordination would allow Hard Mode Humbaba to brick wall a raid, but Kremp was something else. Back in the day I never found a group that was capable of standing up to even the Normal Rat Master, and I vividly remember when the chat was constantly flooded with people begging to assemble raids to kill the Hard Mode version by abusing Embus of Ruin (Embus? Inverse? More inconsistent translation) to prevent him from being able to even act. That was before bosses were made immune to locking effects, of course. So the Culvert of Abyss (Could probably be "Abyss Culvert") served as the end of most players' experience in Ragnarok 2, with the promise of the Abaddon of Despair and Chaos beyond it being effectively hollow. So why keep the bitter memory? Just forget about it and move forward, that's what Advent of Valkyrie decided. Look back later if you want when you're so strong you can just pound that nasty rat into the concrete with hardly any effort.
I think that's most of what I've got to say. I'm not gonna beg or demand that somebody be put on housekeeping duty for this, nor am I going to say "If I were in charge of things everything would be great!" because, let's be real, that's not true because I'm the kind of person who locks onto specific things that nobody else cares about, for example I totally hate the way Honing is implemented because it's impossible to get a "perfect" item, so the first thing I'd do if I had any power would be to overhaul that so that it is possible to get a perfect item while also trying to make sure that perfect items aren't so God-tier overpowered that they just let you solo Hard Mode Wonderland. And that would be a massive distraction from things that need more attention than something that works that I just happen to not like.
That's what I had to say. I was already just assuming that the game was effectively dead as far as updates go, but I was thinking it was "there are supposed to be updates, but they're really, really delayed.". I only found out that development is officially shut down a few hours ago, so that kind of set me off a little. Maybe something will change and the wheels will get rolling again. But probably not. Like I said, that's an extremely naive "maybe".