I guess I'll post some of my thoughts.
First and foremost, I think we should keep most of the rules similar to last year's contest. The leniency on what should be considered vanilla or not was pretty solid for the most part, especially stuff like overlapping 2 GFX on one tile. I found that stuff useful.
I don't know how mode 0 works, but it sounds neat and I would go for it.
I'd like to see the no-fly-cape implemented. It can lend itself well to certain levels that could otherwise be exploited by flying. A sign before the level would be enough indication you can't fly in the level.
Optional patches on a per-level basis would be nice, but I think that would be too much work and those inconsistencies would be more confusing than, say, the no-fly-cape. I'll go with no on that one.
It'd be great if the Spinjump/double sprite glitch was patched out, quite annoying when that happens.
Yes please to all the ExGFX, map16, and ExAnimation patches. Had some trouble fitting everything into my entry last year. The extra space for ExGFX and the new ExAnimation triggers sound especially appealing. EDIT: I'll say no to the graphics rotation to any degree and upscaling however.
Either way, no matter what the rules are I'll try to make something nice for the contest given the time frame. Thanks to the SMWC staff for holding this every year.
5 STAR POINTS!