The interesting thing is - City of Heroes (which was developed by Cryptic) HAD such a feature (IE a 'Friends' chat channel that had all the people you had friended on it) built onto/into that original CoH engine.
IMO - it's kind of surprising that when cryptic redid their MMO engine for their current line of MMOs (Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and the forthcoming NeverWinter); somehow that feature got dropped.
I agree, it was/is a good feature, and if at all possible, should be re-introduced to the current Cryptic MMO engine.
Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
PWE Drone says: "Your STO community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."
I think it would lead to some problems. If all the friends you are talking about are also mutual friends, it makes sense. However, if one of your friends has some friends on their list that aren't on your list, they would only be getting one side of the messages. To them, the other person is just talking to nothing. If it would add all of their friends to the chat as well, then you just end up with a snowball effect where half the server is in your friend chat. I think just making your own channel is the best option.
Yeah, I am not sure how that would work when friends lists aren't all the same. I could see wanting to broadcast to all of your friends at once, perhaps -- such as, say, asking for availability to make a team -- or something, but to treat your list as a channel doesn't sound like a smooth idea. The lack of overlap with everyone else's lists presents problems. Also, consider if you have a couple different sets of friends; you might not want to or tend to have the same conversations with different subsets of your list.