After seeing the discussion between megaman3 and Neeeple in this thread, it got me thinking about showing timer visuals around items in Quake, which I will call "pie timers".

I never quite grasped the issue with pie timers in either QL or Reflex and now QC, and why it often became a topic of fierce discussion. Please, hear me out.

Keep in mind that for this discussion I am thinking of the traditional style of matches, and not how they are in QC now with rounds etc.

Some prerequisites for this discussion:
- Pie timers should only be visible to a player if they picked the item, or if the item was in clear view when it was picked by another player.
- Pie timers should remain 'pies' or a little 'abstract'; there should never be a number shown.
- HUD timers should never exist for players, only for spectators.

When I think of skill in a game, I like to think of the concepts of skill ceiling and skill floor. Ideally, a game should try to lower the skill floor, while still making sure that the current skill ceiling is maintained if not raised.

I think pie timers will lower the skill floor but not lower the skill ceiling.

New players will actually learn that there is such a mechanic as timing items that they need to do, and will then be able to get their feet wet with strategies for items. They can also eventually ease into the habit of timing more items and/or timing more exactly with the game clock. This way they are being taught something without having had to be around the game/scene.

The worser players will be assisted in returning to grab or fight for an item since it is more intuitive to them. It will also allow them to time one item in a more exact manner while being able to challenge others with the aid of possible pie timers.

The better players will always be timing more and timing better, because doing so is still an advantage despite the presence of pie timers, so to them a pie timer doesn't make as much of a difference.

Having a pie timer might allow in-control players to time with less focus being diverted there, which might allow them to do other amazing things. On the other hand, it could allow them to get items with more ease so they might end up dominating an opponent even more. Could become a kind of snowball effect.

Is most of the arguing around pie timers for the sake of purity?
I understand the awe we are left with when we see the feats of top players while they were timing multiple items, but I don't believe pie timers will dilute that.

I would really like to hear what others think, as there might be points that I haven't thought of or don't understand well enough.