As the stated plans of the devs describe that players should have the choice to opt out of war. I'm trying to entertain that notion here.
So let's say that when you place a totem you can choose either...
a. Hostile Tribe
b. Peaceful Tribe.
1. Are open to forcible conquest/annihilation.
2. Have the ability to conquer any other tribe.
1. Are open to indirect conquest (being claimed as one would a resource).
2. Remain intact and un-effected by these 'claims'.
3. Do not have the ability to conquer.
c. If you're a hostile tribe with no formal declarations of war against you, you can give up all of your claims and become a peaceful tribe.
h. Storefronts for peaceful tribes. Trade hub building for hostile tribes. The idea being that a peaceful tribe could put items up for sale which could then be accessed via the the trade hub building that the hostile tribe builds.
i. Peaceful tribes could also automatically get a 'non-aggression' flag towards the hostile tribe that conquers them. So that the members of a hostile tribe which conquers a peaceful tribe can't kill the peaceful tribe members even out in FFA land. The idea being that by being diplomatic and convincing multiple hostile tribes to share their resource output, they could increase their safety.
j. Peaceful tribes can revolt. If your "artisans" are unhappy they will produce lower resources, or worse QL ones. Effecting the claimer. This will promote the claimer to reward them, and maybe do a better job at keeping other meaner tribes away. At the same token, the claimed owner can reward the peaceful tribe with say 10% bonus to production or 0 bonus. Its a bonus thus not effecting them negatively but they could give a bonus. Also tribe owners could give the peaceful tribe bonus to show that they are trying to help carebear tribe.
k. If the landlord tribe kills one of the peaceful tribe's member then the peaceful leader should have an option to 'forgive'. If he do so the owner tribe doesn't lose the bonuses. This solves the problem of spies provoking the landlord tribe to get killed. The peaceful tribe would kick the spy, 'forgive' the landlord, so the benefits are untouched. They have an interest in it since otherwise the peaceful tribe loses the bonuses too. Losing bonuses would be a temporary penalty of course. Like 1 kill is worth 3 days of loss, and it cumulates if they kill more members.
Sent back to suggestion for review:
l. The conquest of a peaceful tribes automatically provides resources/bonuses to the hostile tribes who claim them. Possibly their totem maintenance would go to the conquering tribe.
m. Peaceful tribes should remain completely impartial to said claims.