First off Gunnor, I'm getting the feeling you think I'm a woman. My toon is hot but I'm going to end this before I get an awkward PM. I'm a dude... My original toon is Fendron... hunter... elf... male..
I played Fendron back in the day and was present on a BA long before Fen ever hit the moors. I grouped often with Kalib in the early morning and was slaughtered often by the blender.
When you claim that 3/4 of a raid could wipe 2 freep raids, I was part of those 2 freep raids. Very very few of those freeps ever played past rank 3. The creep raid was almost always Soldiers of the White Hand, and incredibly well-organized and powerful tribe. The focus back then for freeps was much more on having fun, thus we didn't care when we died. I used to come out to the moors wearing my hobbit farmer outfit and attack creeps with my shovel and pitchfork for fun. I would stand in the middle of STAB and play my bagpipes.
Freeps were not weak by any means back then. I could kill 3 creeps on my hunter at once and would then lag out if more than 5 showed up. I highly recommend you pay for one month VIP and see what it's like freepside. I'm sure you'll hate your guard as every other guard does.
PS: Turbine changed the amount of renown gained multiple times. After Moria it was much easier for dps classes to rank quickly because they could earn such drastic amounts leeching off raids. Unfortunately for you, you played a guard, possibly the slowest ranking freep other than captains. With RoR Gladden will see a rank 15 before the next expansion.