Part of the problem is the neutral zone is being used by teams in a wide variety of circumstances. Depending on your mental model, your view of what’s appropriate and fair will change.
Among other neutral zone attackers, we have a team I’ve never heard of with several high 400 and 500 levels (these random super high levels just seem to proliferate out of nowhere, no idea there were so many people that just decide to drop $50k+ for their mobile app entertainment needs but I digress) always swinging by for raids. They have a large stockpile of troops garrisoned in neutral totally safe while ours are at risk.
We’ve had some of the biggest and most successful teams in beta park 1 million+ troops in neutral as a forward operating base for takeover attempts. Again, totally safe from counter attacks.
And yes, there are teams using neutral as intended who are barely scraping by.
So a “one size fits all” approach is hard to tailor but I do think we need some sort of experimentation because scenarios 1 and 2 are free riding off 3 in the current status quo.
So I’m open to the idea that some combination of turning PvP flags on for attackers/limiting the number of troops that can be protected in neutral by player/team or some other targeted solution is preferable to a limited “open season” or a beta war concept, but we do need a better solution than the current state of affairs.