This subject came up in Tribal chat regarding inactive players. There seems to be a lot of inactives around in certain areas, and there was some confusion of which cities should be attacked, especially of inactive tribe members. There was a question of how to tell inactive cities from ones that simply are on vacation and intend to come back? I suggest some kind of symbol to be placed above vacationing cities of tribe members, like a large white or blue capital "v" or some type of colored flag (not white, which would indicate surrender). That way, a vacationing tribe member would come back to a city that was made safe from being plundered by anyone, especially their own tribe members. That kind of clarification would save a lot of hard feelings in future.
Cities ofr inactive ( inactive as considered bt the game that is players who have not logged into their accounts in a certain (?) amount of days) players are greyed.
If a player is on Vacation it says so if you hover over their City.
If a player is in P (Protection) then I dont think you can see that unless you try and spy on them or try to attack them. I can be corrected on this.
Yes, as TaneMahuta says, and as far as I am aware, there are three main types of city on the world map: barb camps, inactive real players and active real players. The inactives are greyed out but underneath the city it says that they are inactive. It can be confusing, particularly if an inactive was in a tribe when they went inactive but even if a tribe is showing on a greyed out inactive, those players are no longer playing the game and they cannot log back into their account. They can, therefore, be attacked without any worry from them or their tribe.
An active city where the player is on vacation (or banned) will also say this under the city. TaneMahuta is right that you cannot tell from looking at the city whether any active player has any protection. You only find that out when you try to spy or attack them.
Hope that is helpful.
P.S. You cannot spy or attack a player who is on vacation or banned
Thanks Tane and Foxy. Yeah, that does clarify a lot. So far, none of the inactive cities I placed my icon over showed them on vacation mode, and the tribal members that were inactive I was able to spy on. So that is a relief that no wrong was done. In other words, all the indication I had that nothing was going on was a highlighted city.