Really, chat is inconvenient for so many reasons. Off the top of my head: no notifications, can be easily closed, alliance restriction (what you said), and the little practicably use for it. Don't bother
If it was revised with the world chat option, added PM(private messaging) and moved to one of the lower corners it would be ALOT more functional and used a lot more. Has been very active in all the other of games I've played.
ive been wondering bout chat since I started like 6 months ago. I checked the chat thing in game many times and have never seen anybody use it so figured it didn't work or something. IMO a window on bottom left or right that could be made smaller or larger by player as wanted with a choice between alliance and world chat would be a great addition to a great game. would only benefit all. most play games like grepolis as much for the game as for the social aspect. yes Skype works, and chatzy, but usually only get a handful of peeps to actually use it. the current form of comm. between alliance mates is not very practical for this game, when you need to get info to all quick like when being attacked it just plain stinks, very few actually take the time to read all the posts in many diff threads which need to be cleaned out regularly or as im sure you all have seen they get so crowded its overwhelming causing peeps to give up reading them all, i could go on. oh, and does the current chat thing in game work? if it does i cant believe it isn't used, played 3 other games much like this and chat was a big part of game. i for one hate how long it takes to create a new thread, fill out form for support, then wait for responses, like having a convo with a 5 minute delay.