I was browsing the forums when I stumbled upon this post which describes the dilemma of the Summoner perfectly. Since I've been playing with my Summoners lately, this really hit home. MechWarrior Nicolai Kabrinsky explains what's wrong with the Summoner:
"Yeah, seriously. Isn't there a Summoner variant out there we can loot some omnipods from?
The Summoner makes absolutely no sense at all. There's a few decent builds you can run, but 90% of any combinations you can think of turn out to be absolute crap. Why? I'll tell you why.
The Summoner has less hardpoints than the Timber Wolf, and less free tonnage due to lack of Endo. Let me say it again. Fewer hardpoints, less free tonnage. It means you're forced to carry bigger weapons, and you don't have enough weight to do it. Doesn't that seem a bit counter-intuitive? Wouldn't it make sense to give mechs with less available weight... more hardpoints? So they could make up for their lack of free weight with the ability to boat several smaller weapons?
I don't really understand how PGI missed it. It's the same with the Warhawk. It has less free weight than the Dire Wolf.... and less hardpoints. How does that make sense on any level? Except to embrace the Timber Wolf and Dire Wolf as the clan mech master race?
Russ Bullock said in the Town Hall meeting that the Timber Wolf will always be best. Well, why does it have to be so much better than the Summoner? If the Summoner had more hardpoints for some extra medium lasers, it wouldn't be restricted to a small handful of builds. And why can't at least 1 of our two torsos with missile hardpoints have 2 or 3 hardpoints like, oh, pretty much every other heavy mech out there? It's another reason why you see so few Summoners that don't actually have the iconic missile launcher. You need the arms for energy and ballistic hardpoints, and it's pretty suboptimal to have a single LRM15 or SRM6 on your shoulder.
You know how many mechs have 2 or 3 missile hardpoints in either side torso? Not counting light mechs or hero mechs, it's... Centurion, Hunchback, Griffin, Kintaro, Shadowhawk, Wolverine, Stormcrow, Dragon, Quickdraw, Thunderbolt, Orion, Timber Wolf, Mad Dog, Awesome, Victor, Battlemaster, Stalker, Highlander, Atlas, Warhawk and Dire Wolf.
Bah! Moar hardpoints for the Summoner, and we may one day see less than 80% Timber Wolves among Clan heavies. "