As of October 14, 2006, the user count displayed on the link to Nightscrawlers Chat is a delayed count; this means it may or may not be equal to the number of users currently online if someone entered or exited recently. The maximum amount of time this count will be delayed for is ten minutes; generally, it will be delayed by much less.
If it turns out that this count is too delayed, then its refresh rate will be made dependent on the number of users visiting the forum at any given time; thus, more visitors means less of a delay.
This has been done to decrease the load on our trusty Chat server, which has to deal with enough as it is; every time a forum page was loaded there was a minor delay, both on the forum and in Chat, as user information was retrieved. This should relieve the lag on both ends.