Let's consider a game where every player is building his own medieval town. To make this question simple, let's assume that, on this persistent world, some people will play an hour every day (heavy players), and others will spend an hour per week (light players).
To keep the game fair, a gamer with a lot of free time shouldn't be able to grow much faster than a less present gamer just because he connects more often to the game.
So the first idea is to have a sort of time-based budget: You are saving "action points" as the time is passing. When you connect, you are able to spend this "action points". This way, players are fairly treated...
I see 2 problems:
On one hand, heavy gamers should have the opportunity to play. As often that they want to...
On the other hand, light gamers will be able to connect and make a lot of "actions" in a really short range of "real time" (for instance without been "seen" as the heavy players are..)
So my question is:
What are the solutions that allows light and heavy players to play flairly and balanced regardless of free time to play?