Initial impressions from a sad pathetic man who has logged over 300 hours in BF2 (though some have logged over 1900...)
Dolphin Diving is gone. Kaput. Can't do it. Unfortunately the implementation also did what I worst feared, which is that they made it so that you can't throw C4 or mines while in midair for that extra "oomph". You can still prep a grenade/flash and jump just before you throw to get the oomph, but this is going to seriously piss off a lot of people who use this (IMHO) legitimate tactic.
One interesting change is that you also can't fire while you're in the process of standing up, which helps prevent the "roll-bounce" maneuver. Good to see this, because if you dive to the ground, you have to commit to it now.
The choppers have less missiles, but the missiles seem to do more damage. The HIND seems to have more armor.
AA is *drastically* improved. Maybe almost too much so, because every single one will hit dead on helis even if moving perpendicular. Makes flying helis a lot more cautious, and I'm glad they did it, because helis now have about tank-level survivability, but they are still pretty effective if flown correctly. No more circle hovering, cuz you'll just get AA'd to hell.
Heli Guided missles have a shorter range, but only to about 300m instad of 550m, so they are still reasonably effective at a distance, just not so much to be used as a full on standoff weapon, but great for popping up over ridges.
Seeing the UAV kicks ass, if nothing than to make you way more paranoid. Haven't tested how destructable it is yet.
You now see rank next to the hover-text of people in your squad, which is kind of nifty.
Overall, I'm extremely pleased. The only other change I would like to see is an America-Army style m203, where the grenades dud out with around 10 or so feet, to prevent the "aim at foot" pushbuttoning. Outside of that, all the patch changes are well deserved.