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WoWFeb 16, 2022 6:30 pm CT

Shadowlands patch 9.2 adds a new crafting system for pets and mounts

The latest patch for World of Warcraft has almost arrived, and Shadowlands patch 9.2 is taking us to Zereth Mortis, the primal workshop for all of the Shadowlands. In between fighting the Jailer and saving the world (again), we’ll be unlocking the secrets of the zone — and one of those secrets is Protoform Synthesis, a new mount and pet crafting system that lets you replicate the various proto-lifeforms in the zone for your own use.

Normally a zone’s collectibles are random (low-percentage) drops that are sometimes quick to acquire or otherwise take months — we tend not to notice the ones that drop around the expected number of kills — resulting in an uneven experience for the player. Sure, getting a 4% drop within a few kills is exciting, but when you get to 50+ attempts with no luck the frustration tends to build with each failure, with you ending up on average disappointed more often than elated. This new system, modeled in some ways after Mechagon’s tinkering system, appears to be an attempt to address this issue, replacing very rare drops with farmable materials.

Unlocking the Synthesis Forges

The Protoform Synthesis system is unlocked over the course of the campaign in Zereth Mortis. After completing Chapter 3 — available the first week of patch 9.2 release — you will unlock the Cypher of the First Ones, a talent system that allows various unlocks within the zone. The third talent you can unlock, Dealic Understanding, will take some time and resources to master, so  you’ll not be able to get started on the system until later in the first week of patch 9.2. Once you’ve learned Dealic Understanding you’ll receive a quest to go to the first Synthesis Forge located in the Droning Precipice area, and from there you can start crafting pets.

The ability to craft mounts will take a little longer to get; the Sopranian Understanding talent is under the Dealic Understanding talent but it will take almost a week of research; fortunately the other talents aren’t a prerequisite so you can start it immediately upon finishing the Dealic Understand talent. Unlocking this talent spawns another quest chain, the end of which you’ll find a different Synthesis Forge dedicated to crafting mounts.

One important thing to note is that the crafting components needed for the Protoform Synthesis system will not be collectible until you’ve unlocked Daedalic Understanding, so don’t start farming for lattices and schematics until you already can access the first Synthesis Forge.

Your very own Build-A-Snail Workshop

There are 24 mounts and 28 pets that can be crafted with Protoform Synthesis, and each of these is crafted with three components that are found within Zereth Mortis: motes, a lattice, and a third rare component. What’s interesting about the system is that almost none of the components are specific to one mount or pet — most lattices and rare components are used in multiple crafts, granting greater flexibility to the player when determining what they want to craft next.

Of course, you can’t put anything together without a schematic, so you’ll need to have one for each pet or mount you wish to create. Pets can be crafted multiple times, but you only need the schematic once. In addition, half of the pet schematics (the pets with a name like “Archetype of Malice” or “Archetype of Discovery”) are learned immediately, while the other 14 schematics — as well as all of the mount schematics — will need to be farmed or found.

Genesis Motes are the “grinding” portion of the process — each of the 52 collectibles will require between 150 and 500 of the motes, and they’re likely to drop from every activity in the zone. However, they are BOA so you don’t need to worry about playing a lower-priority alt, as any they gain can be sent to a main character.

The lattices determine the form of the mount or pet; the Helicid Lattice, for example, is used to make snail mounts and pets, while the Vespoid Lattice is for your wasp forms. The lattices aren’t currently designated as bound to either character or account, so you should be able to buy and sell these on the auction house, provided nothing changes during the PTR (which it could). Note that these drop from mobs similar to what you want to build — Helicid Lattices drop from snail mobs, with rares having a higher drop chance.

The third rare component is the final determiner of what you’re crafting; all of the pets use a “glimmer” of various characteristics (e.g., Glimmer of Predation), while the mounts use a less generic-sounding item, like the Revelation Key. Both types are designated as rare items, but it would not be surprising if the glimmers had a higher drop rate than the mount-crafting components, or if the latter only drop from certain rares or events. Like the motes, these are BOA, so you don’t need to hesitate when deciding if an alt should spend some time in Zereth Mortis.

Overall the Protoform Synthesis system feels like an experiment for finding an alternative to the low drop chances that frustrate players farming specific collectibles in current content. It should flatten the curve, and thus minimize the impact of luck and RNG on getting mounts and pets. Of course, if the rare component is as hard to get as a normal drop or the acquisition rate of the motes is akin to Anima in patch 9.0, then the system is set up for failure. If the drop rates are good, however, players may find that getting these new mounts and pets is as simple as playing the game.

Originally published on December 2, 2021. Updated on February 23, 2021.

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