Let me put my two cents from a casual player's perspective into this thread. I know Travian for a long time but I was only playing every now and then.
My biggest issue is the micro farm "system". You are required to send just a couple troops to every inactive village across the server as often as you can. It discourages me watching the top10 robber of the week 10 days after game start making millions of additional resources. I just don't feel I can compete at this point.
But why is it an issue? Because it's simple, dull and busy work. I can't be bothered to click my 300 village farm lists every 10 minutes for maximum profit. That is - for me! - the biggest game breaker.
First of all I do not encourage farming of inactive villages to be prohibited or something, no. But I encourage farming active players. I encourage giving a little more thought to farming than just "click-click-click" every 10 minutes. Make it feel like an achievement. I think my best experiences with Travian have been when a sizeable army came home with their bags full. 200k resources hauls. Things like that. Not clicking through the endless 16/75 resources reports.
So what I would change is as little as inactive villages producing "militia" units. Hear me out:
1. For every 300 (or so) accumulated resources in an inactive village a weak militia unit (25/25 defence) appears. So farming is no free real estate anymore, but that loot is being protected.
2. This way farm list armies need to be bigger, which means less of them will walk at lower frequencies , which means less active players do have a chance to get their eyes on some bountiful village. Encourages spying, attacking, looting. Earns a victory and a cheerful player.
3. Even from a "lore" perspective it would make sense for villagers to start defending themselves. And their harvest.
4. And to avoid huge militas cap the spawning when the storage is full. Or gradually increase the resource requirements to slow it down. Like 300 for the 1st unit, 350 for the 2nd, 400 for the 3rd and so forth.
5. It's also a nice extra experience source. That's always nice.
I think this may make gathering forces to attack active players more on-par as farming inactive villages. Creating tension and fun and all the good stuff.
TL;DR: Put a challenge to micro-farming inactive villages. Reward opportunistic plays.