The purpose of the PIC is to protect your account in case your computer is infected with a keylogger.
A keylogger is a piece of malware that records what you type and sends it to the hacker, who then knows your password.
But since you don't type the PIC, and don't even click in the exact same spot on the screen each time (some keyloggers also log mouseclicks), a keylogger can't record your PIC and the would-be hacker can't get into your account.
Clearly, allowing the PIC to be typed, would render it useless for that purpose, and therefore useless in general.
The reason for the six-month gap is because there are two peak seasons in a year, times when people are on break from school and can devote their days to the intensive Summer and Winter updates. Nexon could, no doubt, localize the content in two months, but then you'd have a demanding event (cap coins on a dozen chars while leveling the newest class to 220 while also burning three other chars) in February or September, when nobody has time for it. Nexon wants these events to have maximum participation, which is why they intentionally release them for Christmas and Summer vacations, everywhere in the world.
It being later gives us the advantage of being able to prepare for the events or the new classes, and also get some content after it's been fixed (balance changes for the new class are often present from first release in GMS).
Investing in servers would be nice, but a lot of our disconnection problem comes from the internet infrastructure. The game is coded for Korean internet, where everyone has single-digit latency and no packet loss. GMS doesn't have that luxury. Our problem, ironically, is that the code was in fact copied 1:1 from KMS.
You wave away the point of KMS having real-world identities for their users, but it is a key point for many of the issues you describe. It is because anyone can create infinitely many untrackable GMS accounts that, for example, our Reward Points are nearly useless. And of course the hackers, botters, meso inflation, and all that derives from it. Nexon America can't have that kind of Korean control over all their users, and therefore they can't "do like KMS" on a lot of other topics.
Lie detectors won't work because our cheaters use very different tools than Korean cheaters do. I won't go into details, but it is ultimately made possible by, again, the lack of personal identification when making accounts.
Take a Look at Maplestory Regional Earnings reports
Those are Nexon regional earnings. Not Maplestory alone. The China changes, for example, were caused by Dungeon & Fighter trouble.
If you want specifically Maplestory info, look at this
Nexon's revenue from Maplestory in North America and Europe has grown almost 3-fold within a year.
That must mean that whatever Nexon is doing with Maplestory in America, is working well for the company.
Note that I'm not saying I think GMS is handled well. I don't like the client instability, the predatory cash shop practices, or the poor customer service any more than you do. I'm just saying that you can't spin Nexon's financial reports into meaning "just turn GMS into English KMS and everything will be perfect".
You are forgetting that Nexon already merged 15 worlds into 2.
13 whole worlds' resources freed up - and it didn't help Reboot and Bera's lag at all. Do you really think killing another 3 worlds will be the miracle cure?
New people and old returnees seeing nobody and thinking the game is dead won't change. If anything, seeing only two worlds per region will convince them the game is dead, before they even create their first character.
And if they do create a character, there is nobody in sub-200 areas, and that won't change. We level out of there very quickly, but new players don't know that.
We didn't see a surge in new players after the World Leap made Bera crowded. We won't see a surge after doubling its population, either.
In my opinion, merging all the worlds to maybe make the game more attractive to new players, will end up driving existing players away. The old small-world veterans who like their peace and quiet, and the ones who just give up on fighting the lag and the ks'ers.