You should read https://springrts.com/wiki/Botflags#Bat ... bby_server
to discover what a botflag is. It is a property of the host, not of the players. After that, read the OP again - and I suspect that nothing here actually affects your student project.
stable versions were not released for a long time which can be sign of bad quality of 104.0 or inability to build on top of that. If it is myth, maybe it should be communicated as well.
Dispelling myths that afaict no one knew existed is not going to be possible. Spring 104 is fully fit for use, and anyone who actually asked / investigated about engine version in the past year is directed to it and its latest maintainence builds.
the definition of "announced".
The definition is a forum thread, in the revelant development forum, which is marked as an "announcement" (in this case, for >1 month, & linked on homepage).