It is hard to clarify where is the line that distinguishes a married couple just playing together enjoying a common hobby, and a married couple/brothers/family violating account sharing rules.
- Someone would think that a couple being on line simultaneously affects the bids on workers (let's be honest, that's the first problem we're arguing about). Well it's not. More effective is to have more people of the same association on line at the end of the auction, the strategy the association uses to raise money for a worker, and the decisions taken for how much money will be bid there. One person (part of a married couple) does not make the difference here. It's well known all over our server that I'm playing with my wife, and we rarely buy workers against associations that have better strategy (or "strategy") on this. Now, if the "strategy" includes clear account sharing (not the married couple only), that has to be further investigated and proven. If the married couple/family/brothers are involved, then yes, they have to be banned. But we all start by accusing the married couple first, and this is wrong.
- Continuous activity IS a problem. Experienced players know very well that more hours in the game = better progress, and this factor in the express server will have additional effect with the new changelog (increased number of competitions).
First of all, a married couple (which means adults with increased obligations) has other things to do instead of having such free time to cover each others playing hours. Under this perspective, they must be considered as just having another dedicated member in an association.
Second. Think about a single player aiming for #1, leaving his account 24/7 on line (green light). Only very experienced players can tell if he's really on lie or not, continuously checking on him, and judging by the schedule of his trains and their service condition. Who can tell if he has a second/third person behind him, covering him for the hours that he has to sleep ? Nobody, and this can be only characterized as unfair/unethic. BUT, if in this situation, the second/third person has an additional account, then yes, for me the accounts should be banned, because at this point they can really be considered as shared accounts, because they really affect the game. If they don't get banned, we all have an excuse to have a double/triple account, making the support teams' job harder to clarify the limits between legal/illegal.
Account sharing IS a big problem in the game, but the married couples aren't mainly responsible. At least, they are known. I'm pretty sure that support has the tools to see what's going on, and decide what to do.
To finish, administrators that are not part of the support team have every right to play and join associations. I didn't see anywhere something that prevents it, I don't know what their contracts say, but I live with this for years and had no problem. From the other side, if there are paid travian employees, they shouldn't play, especially if they are members of the support. I believe there is a conflict of interest there.
As for conclusion, I'd suggest we all be very careful who and for what we complain to the support team, and when and why we should pass the limit of joy and join a stressful mode. Sometimes I feel that the game looks like a "mirror" of real life, with competition, rivalries, disagreements, fights e.t.c,, but it's still a game. We should have fun, and not make our lives miserable.
For sure the developers should focus more on defining and preventing actual account sharing.