The first answer is no, not at all. If you're playing with a bunch of folks who just wanna get together and kill some internet dragons for fun and merriment, they could probably care less if you're geared up through LFR. They may want to run through it now and then to get some gear and help out, but it's far from a mandatory requirement.
The second answer is sorta. If you're playing with people who are more orientated towards completing the game's content in more difficult and challenging ways, then it's likely not going to be an immediate requirement to have a ton of LFR gear, but eventually you're going to want it. If not to just feel like you're contributing, you'll probably need it just to survive certain points of raid encounters. Chances are while playing with these types of folks you're going to be running it every week at the end of the raiding period to help ungeared guildmates out.
The third answer is absolutely it is mandatory. If you're playing with semi-hard core players and you're wanting to make the right impression, not having all your LFR gear (or darn tootin' close) is going to be a good way of showing those players that you're not serious about your character, and therefore are not a good investment in guild resources and energy to gear you the rest of the way up.
The point being in all this is that context matters, a lot. Your question is probably hinting at the general view of things, and I'd say it falls between "no" and "sorta" -- having some gear is good, but having the experience is more expected. Not going into fights blind is much more important than having the gear.
Just keep in mind as you move between tiers of guilds and playstyles that the gearing requirements grow exponentially. Right now I'm a more casual player, I don't really care a ton about my gear. When I was raiding heroic modes the last few expansions, and back in BC in progression guilds, I discarded people like myself immediately based on gear alone. That's ok too, that was my guild's playstyle and motif back then; we advertised it and were very upfront about it. We never judged a person or a player's skill -- just if their stats were going to allow them to meaningfully contribute to the guild's progression.
LFR sets that meaningful contribution baseline in many regards. For some players, that's a blessing, for others it's an issue, and still for others, it doesn't even matter at all. Either way, to each their own, in perfect harmony.
What's the chances of WoW coming to the iPad?
At this point it's very little. WoW itself doesn't have a good touch interface for it. You need a keyboard. Even though I think graphically a low-setting WoW could work, the interface just isn't built for it.
Red pill or blue pill?
Take the one that sends you to the most screwed up place possible. That's where you're going to find enjoyment from getting out of the lull of the sea of the unreal into the desert of the hyperreal.
This brings up a good point too, one that I've been thinking about as WoW is compared to other games. WoW is exceptionally polished, there's a ton of good stuff, and the bad things that we all yammer over are very very minor. Take a game like Neverwinter, which was just released; it's got a ton of flaws and is very much unpolished. And you know what?
Neverwinter is feeling like the original WoW to me in a lot of ways.
Sometimes humanity needs a little bit of displeasure to make you realize how great things actually are.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post somehow made it live, various fixes throughout.
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