I agree with the OP, but the solution to more diversity is not more infotech. If a 'Mech sucks at doing damage, people simply won't play it no matter how many locks it can provide.
What needs to be done is making the following weaponry useful, so that there''ll be more viable 'Mechs. Currently only lights with a lot of energy weaponry or ridiculous energy quirks are viable. On the other hand many lights with mixed hardpoints are left to rot. In order to achieve more variety they need to buff small weaponry, such as:
- Unquirked SLs and SPLs: SL is an underwhelming weapon in all aspects. The range, duration, DPS are all below acceptable limits. The SPL has great duration and DPS, but its range is unbearable. I'd like to see them up the SPL and SL ranges to at least Clan levels.
- Machine Guns: There are too many lights with a few ballistic hardpoints and no way to use them in a useful manner. 1-2xMG DPS (hell, even 6xMG sucks) is pitiful and even their crits are insignificant. It's basically wasted tonnage that is better spent on an ML. They need to bring back the MG DPS to 1.0 and significantly buff the crit chances. If you have an open component, the last thing you want to see should be a light with an MG swooping in to crit everything.
- AC2s: This is the only AC that a light can hope to mount and still play like one. Unfortunately a single AC2 is so underwhelming that the only thing you can achieve with it is tickling a bigger 'Mech and maybe shaking their cockpits a bit. Make the AC2 actually a good DPS weapon. Buff the DPS significantly.
- SRMs: Due to the relatively massive tonnage of SRMs, lights can barely mount these things. Even when they do, they can't take much ammo and have to go very slow compared to energy builds which reduces their survivability. Also, the SRMs are not a good light weapon. Their cycle time is usually too long for lights. First, they need to buff SRM speed significantly so we can actually hit things. Not just big things like an Assault, but also lights at close ranges. Also, the SRM2 needs a big buff. Make it an essentially SRM machine gun so that even a single SRM2 is useful in combat. Buff ROF alot.