As a lot of people know, Forem depends on Pusher for real-time functionality (push notifications and the chat system).
Pusher is OK; it gets stuff done. However, Forem users shouldn't be stuck to it because it's not friendly for new forums at all.
The channel free tier used in the chat system supports 100 concurrent connections and 200,000 messages¹ per day. This will work just fine for small forums, however if you have a decent amount of users (or they are extremely active), it will go over 100 connections very easily. What makes stuff complicated here is the pricing with Pusher. Their cheapest plan, Startup, is $49/month allowing 500 concurrent connections and a million messages per day. If your forum isn't sponsored yet, this is expansive, specially if you don't get payed with US dollars.
Users shouldn't be stuck to it under these circumstances. Gotta have peace of mind!
One thing Forem could do is allowing developers to implement their own APIs for those real-time features. For example, you could create a small golang server and run it locally to handle this kind of stuff. Admins and developers wouldn't be stuck to the limits imposed by Pusher anymore, meaning they won't have to worry if people are going to flood messages and take down the entirety of the chat system.