“Grinding” is defined as the “act of doing something repetitively, such as killing monsters or working up a trade skill.” Cartman, Stan, Kenny, and Kyle killing boars to level up in the classic South Park episode, “Make Love, Not Warcraft” is a perfect example. Grinding is not as common in World of Warcraft since world quests became the dominate means of advancing faction reputation and earning rewards. However, Patch 9.2 brought grinding back with the introduction of Protoform Synthesis. By unlocking this ancient technology and killing lots of creatures, players can craft 28 battle pets and 23 mounts.
Protoform Synthesis is unlocked through the expenditure of Cyphers of the First Ones, a Zereth Mortis currency, at the Cypher Research Console in Exile’s Hollow. The ability to craft battle pets is unlocked first with the Cypher talent, Dealic Understanding. Researching this talent costs a total 250 Cyphers and takes 4 days, 12 hours to complete.
Unlocking the ability to craft mounts requires Sopranian Understanding, at an additional cost of 220 Cyphers and 5 days, 18 hours. Once completed, a quest line begins that concludes with the reagents and ability to craft the Deathrunner mount, and other mounts as Schematics and reagents are also available to be looted.
The most common reagent for all these creations are Genesis Motes. Motes can be dropped by any of a 138 mobs in Zereth Mortis. You will need a lot for crafting so trade avoidance for confrontation and add to the ecological disaster we have delivered upon this once secure corner of the Shadowlands. Grinding common and rare mobs not only provides Genesis Motes, but the chance to loot the Lattice, Schematics, and Rare Materials needed for crafting.
This is a broad overview of Protoform Synthesis. Detailed guides are available to help you plan your pet and mount acquisitions. What I find most interesting is Blizzard went old school by making grinding and random drops the foundation of this new system. It suggests that while the next expansion will be announced on April 19, the launch date will be quite a ways off, and Blizzard hopes grinding for pets and mounts will keep players engaged with Shadowlands until then. I want to finish crafting my Vespoid (robo-wasp) mount, but I don’t know how many I will pursue afterward.
What do you think of Protoform Synthesis? A fun and engaging system to pass the time, or too little too late to care? Are there most-have pets or mounts?