In Battlefield 2 the primary problem with using different teams in the mod is that it is difficult to know which team is on which map. Below is the standard BF2 map selection screen. On the left side of the screen you have the map name and player level (16, 32, 64). On the right you have an overlay picture of the map showing all the Command posts and the combat area. This is called the menu map and a different image is used for each gamemode and player level (16, 32, 64). Below the menumap is the map briefing text.
|Map selection list|
|Dalian Plant menumap example|
In standard BF2, the teams really don't matter that much. In Dalian Plant the factions are three basic factions 1.China or allies,
2. Middle East
3. US or allies
The weapons are pretty evenly balanced so it really does not matter very much which factions are in which map. Most players are not going to play a map based on the team choices.
However, other mods have a much greater variety of teams available with team specific weapons.
The Play 4 Free BF2 mod used a large variety of country factions along with standard Army and special forces kit variants using weapons specific to that country - as much as possible. So, in this case, if you wanted to use specific weapons, then you would need to select a map that uses those specific factions, but you would also need to know which specific type of faction was on each map.
The Human vs. Monster (recently updated as the Adventure mod with the advent of Dinosaurs), has some really diverse factions: Humans, Monkeys (with weapons), Zombies, Monsters, and Dinosaurs.
Looking at the map selection list, you might be able to make out the flags from the menumap, but that would only tell you the major faction. In P4F, that might tell you which countries but not if the teams are regular or special forces. In the Adventure / Human Vs Monster mod all you can tell from the flags is if a map contains monsters, but not which types of monsters.
It is not until after the map is selected and starts to load do you get a confirmation of which specific factions are in play. The standard player level (16,32,64) custom info is not displayed until the map starts to load.
In P4F we never implemented a good solution for this problem. We did think about adding text to the bottom of the menumaps. That way the teams would be easily visible. For example, Human vs monster could be added to menumap like this:
this is easy enough to do, but itis language dependent. In this case English is used and this assumes that most of your player base will be able to read and in this case, English. A better option might be to use icons. A combination of flag Icons and some sort of symbols.
Now, what the NAW mod lists the factions in the menu list as below:
To do this in the info_[map name].desc file all you have to do is to customize this line such as;
<name> Iraq Oilfields [Hum VS Zom] </name>
You can also spell out the Factions. The only limit is space available, which depends if the map name is already long. Thus it would look as follows:
|If you notice, the map name is automatically displayed in the upper left corner of the menumap, which is nice. Unfortunately this is still limited to the language used. in this case English.|
This method also means that the same team must be used in all player levels (16, 32, 64) for a gamemode. However, in the P4F mod we ran into game stability issues (CTD) in SP/Coop modes when switching between player levels. So, for example, the16 player of Dalian Plant would work fine, but not long after switching to 32 player the map would crash -- usually in just a few minutes into gameplay.
Therefore if the map supports SP/COOP modes, both teams and kits should be the same on a map. We did not do much testing in other modes, but there may be issues in other multiplayer modes as well.