I'm sorry to belabour this point, I know this is my this is my second thread on the subject in a short period but I believe that it is an important one.
First I'd like to say that I love BoS, it's my go to sim at the moment because there is just nothing better on the market in my opinion. So, disclaimer:
This is not an indictment of the game or an attempt to deride it, I'm attempting to express a genuine concern that I have over the way that the engine currently handles contact rendering and how I see it as adversely effecting its' credibility and enjoyability online (and maybe offline too)
I'll start by stating that I'm fortunate enough to have better than 20/20 eyesight but, despite that abnormality, I can still definitively say that the 10km contact render range is vastly too close for tactical effectiveness in a combat flight simulation.
My experiences tell me that I can spot a contact the size of a weather balloon on a clear day at 40km. Granted I was 17 at the time and I did manage this with the assistance of a sighting vane mounted atop a tracking radar to point my eyes in the right direction but I could still see the balloon at that range with my naked eye at 40km. I don't need to explain to anyone that the dimensions of a weather balloon are smaller than that of say, a Bf-109 or a LaGG-3. Understandably the game engine needs to make some kind of compromise for performance but 10 km is ridiculously short ranged, especially when you consider the closure speed to two aircraft approaching each other at roughly 400kph. 800kph closure speeds mean that contacts merging from a maximum render range of 10km encounter each other after only 45 seconds.
That is a 45 second minimum from spotting a contact at maximum range to the merge.
This makes any kind of tactical planning basically impossible in any situation where the enemy contact is not already engaged with other aircraft. I can't climb above him without being spotted, I can't stalk him, I can't position myself in the sun to make a surprise attack and, at high altitudes, sometimes it is all I can do at times to put an attacker on my 3-9 line to go defensive in time for the first merge due to the wider radius I need at high altitude. The result of this 10km range is that I have to rely on luck to put myself in an advantageous position rather than relying on good situational awareness and tactical foresight. My only recourse to ensure that I always have good chance of starting with an advantage is to fly at absurd altitudes with my fingers crossed and in doing that I can hardly be said to be contributing to the team objectives since achieving sub-orbital flight is not a valid contribution to the team effort in an Easter Front scenario.
Contact visibility is an area where I see what was once an acceptable aspect of the game optimisiation for Rise of Flight (Where closure speeds were often less than 200mph) needing urgent revision.
A 40km contact rendering distance would be a game changer, one that I know would generate greater participation in the serious simmer crowd, many of whom are still on the fence about BoS.