Tl;dr, there's not gonna be any more updates until the story is finished in full and Andrew addressed the reasons for starting the epilogues/hs2 as well as talking about some harassments the team has been getting
Here's the update, available for everyone: https://www.patreon.com/posts/future-approach-47431875
EDIT [3/9/21]: The post has since been set so only Patrons can view it. Archiving it here beneath the spoiler:
The plan now is to have HS2 finished, but without a regular update schedule. Previously saved Patreon funds will be used to privately commission the team to finish the story. It will all be posted at once when it is finished, and there will be no updates until this happens. I expect that it will take a long time to finish the story. This is because I am specifically instructing the team to work slowly.
I originally agreed to let this project move forward entirely based on the presumption that it would be an enjoyable experience for the team involved. It's not like I had a burning need to release a continuation of the narrative, or a formal "sequel", which is never how I viewed this arc. The project mostly came about because I picked up on the enthusiasm the original creative group had for the idea, and I also sensed that energy was being reciprocated by the particular state of the fandom at the time. But since then I've observed it's been pretty far from an enjoyable experience for the team due to the way the members have been treated by large segments of the fandom, and this pattern appeared to surface almost immediately after the project launched.
This put me in a state of conflict about the project ever since, because I like the content quite a bit. Some have lamented that it doesn't feel much like the original series, but it was never supposed to. I've never once invited anyone to work on a Homestuck project with the hope they would perfectly clone my style or approach to making content. I feel that is neither possible nor desirable. So any time I invite anyone the only real standard I want them to meet is to bring their own voice and perspective to the work even if, or sometimes especially, this results in significant departures from the expectations for the characters fans typically have. Like pretty much everything else that's been released over the last few years, I think HS2 has satisfied that purpose very well.
So there has been conflict between liking what's being done, not wanting to waste the work or disappoint those who enjoy it, and the chronic abusive treatment the staff has received while trying to work on this story. I admit I've been at a loss on how to handle this, so I've just let it ride for a year or so. To some extent it's part of any project like this, to put stuff out there and receive criticism, and I'm sure the team understood that. But I think there's a line where criticism crosses over into more abusive expressions, and I've observed this has happened way too often.
If it were just me making it, I don't think it would even occur to me to have a problem with it, because I'm so used to wild stuff coming at me from doing this for many years prior. I view attitudes toward me very differently than those I invite for collaboration. I've done this so long hostility toward me barely even registers. If I inexplicably log onto tumblr appearing to resemble some sort of extravagant clown, make a few shitposts, and I'm met with literally thousands upon thousands of comments about feet, it's pretty easy to laugh it off because that's exactly the type of stupid shit I expected to see. I've just always worked with those types of contentious interactions in a way that is inseparable from whatever strange performance is connected with the content I happen to be making at the time. But it's a very different situation when I see stuff directed at the people I work with.
The things I see that my co-creators and friends have to read are a lot more alarming. One major problem here is the people I work with are mostly women, many are transgender, many are people of color. So the stuff they get is especially vicious, because the people giving them shit usually target the sensitive features of their identities in ways they don't with me. And I'm not just talking about obvious stuff like calling them slurs or anything. It's more that I've noticed people have clever ways of using people's identities to bully them in less conspicuously bigoted ways. They always go a little harder, a little more critical, manufacturing ways of blaming them for things they had nothing to do with. Stuff you start noticing when you've seen way too much of it. Much of this stuff even crosses into physically threatening territory. Some people I work with get multiple threats every week, and it's just become a routine part of their lives while being involved with Homestuck. All the above treatment I'm referring to is not focused on a couple people, it covers everyone contributing to the full range of Homestuck projects over the last several years.
And I don't think that's what contributors were signing up for, or at least, I never wanted anyone who takes on official work to feel like it's an essential cost of participation. But I've never really known what to do about this, because it's very difficult to control fandom behavior, and if you ever try to police anyone's conduct it usually just backfires. The worst offenders out there almost see it as a challenge to go harder. So usually I leave these things alone, since the only alternative is pulling the plug on certain projects. Which is essentially what I'm doing here, while taking steps to make sure it gets finished in the background, because I really don't want to see the work wasted.
My only criteria for the completion of HS2 is that whoever is involved the rest of the way just has a good time with it, and ends up feeling like they have made a good story. If the team is happy with it, then so am I, and nothing else about it matters to me. Especially not sticking to a schedule or satisfying fandom demands, whatever those even are at this point.
Since this is a post appearing on the Patreon, I should say any reference to abusive fan behavior isn't including current patrons obviously. I can only assume anyone willing to donate to the project for this long would hold a very sincere attitude about supporting this project, which I greatly appreciate and I'm sure the HS2 team does as well. There's probably more to say about this, but I'll leave it at that for now. If there's anything to add later I may address it in an internal note to patrons (remember that if you want to remain a patron you will never be charged again). I'll consider ways to thank the patrons for hanging in there all this time and supporting the team. Maybe some free stuff. We all appreciate your support.