Ironically it seems like SE still has "plans" for SMN. In other words, they are still giving the job very many defensive abilities with the idea that SMN should be the king of party protection.
Else we'll stay the same as ever. The job with millions of defensive buffs that are meaningless, and a handful of offensive abilities that can't compete.
Like you said, they seem to have a plan here. I would think that they are not just giving us the two new avatars to simply appease us but they will have an ultimately useful part to play in the grand scheme of the 24 level grind that is ahead.
I do believe we will see some upgrades to our damage output, and a shift in the perp cost system to allow us to keep having lost costs at higher levels. While our defensive buffs mean nothing in the grand scheme, XI has always been a game of situational uses for abilities and items. It would be great if we saw these situations become the commonplace, but I highly doubt they would change things to fit them. The most we can hope for is them creating certain camps where having a Summoner is required to function and others that do not.
Personally, I would rather see them give Summoner's more innate "Petless" abilities or spells that would push us into a DD role. Summoner's are still the ONLY job that is 100% dependent on their pet or their subjob to function. We are completely helpless without either. That is the change I would like to see us get. We don't need Cure's or nukes, but we need something specific to us that is useful.
75BRD, 75SMN, 75NIN, 75RDM
Rank 10 Windurst | Rank 10 Bastok | Rank 10 Sand'Oria
Zilart Complete | Promathia Complete | TAU Complete