I do not post very frequently on these forums so I would like to get one thing out of they way out of the Gate. Despite being newish to the forums, I am not new to this game or flight sims in general. I wanted to put this up front because there is a tendency on online discussion groups to discredit or behave rudely towards newcomers because they do not fall inside of certain in-groups sphere of known entities.
I read through several threads on this site regarding complaints in the current vision system, and while I think much of value was said, I think one of the most critical aspects of the issue is being overlooked. Most of the focus seems to have been on general difficulty in spotting contacts, the way contacts simply "jump" into view due to the render range, and pure distance at which contacts should be spotted. All of these points are valid and important to fixing the spotting mechanics.
But I want to focus on what I see as the most vital part of why I think the spotting mechanics need fixed, and that is the way in which they significantly hamper tactics. Even when contacts are in range, they are too difficult to spot. Contacts at relatively short ranges of only 1-2km are hard enough to spot that the pilot has to spend an inordinate amount of his general effort simply trying to maintain a track. Because of this, many tactical considerations that are relevant in real life and other simulations are either not relevant in BOX or significantly hampered.
When I pilot performs a bounce, it is nearly suicidal to stick around for more than 1-2 passes on a single bandit. (even worse if there is more than one initial contact) This is because the initial contact is already hard enough to track that keeping sight on it while also searching for incoming threats is not practical. Specifically, this is because quick glances out of the cockpit to check the surroundings between passes will not likely detect anything that is not immediately on top of the attacker. In order spot contacts beyond point blank distances, the player has to very methodically check the surrounding airspace, which cannot be done while also trying to keep track of the initial contact. Once engaged, it also becomes infinitely more likely to be spotted by other bandits, since it is easier to spot two or 3 planes fighting (tracers etc) than it is to see "out" of the fight.
It is much harder to do this than it is in many other sims, excluding the [Edited] that is DCS spotting. Because the attacker does not have a good ability to maintain situational awareness during an attack, it is not wise to make more than 1 or 2 passes. This has the consequence of reducing defense against BnZ and other energy fighting to merely sharp turns to avoid high speed attacks. A smart energy fighter IRL and in other sims could eventually whittle down his opponent with multiple attacks, and run if someone else tried to enter the fight to assist the defender. This does not happen in BOX because it is too hard to maintain SA and fight at the same time.
Ultimately the current spotting system inherently lends itself to people and planes that prefer close in turning engagements. It is near impossible for a group of smart and disciplined energy fighters to maintain their position and then disengage or adjust when new arrivals show up. Commitment to an engagement for any length of time results in either being forced to dogfight or death.
The biggest thing apart from general contact size that could be done to fix this is to change general contact contrast against backdrop. Especially when contacts are coming in a low aspect angles. Aircraft blend in with trees far too easily. They blend in with the sky too easily as well. If possible, the aircraft LOD should dynamically adjust to change the size (artificially) of various aircraft parts to improve spotting from certain angles. And example would be the LOD on the wings thickening at certain distances and angle etc.