Patch 8.2 has been tested on the Public Test Server for a while now, and the people who snoop around in the available data (the so-called dataminers), every now and then share with us various interesting things they managed to find there.
Recently, they "unearthed" information about the plot in the next Eternal Palace raid and found out something about the continuation of the war campaign.
THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE WILL CONTAIN PLOT SPOILERS!
DIALOGUES FOUND IN THE FILES WILL BE MARKED WITH THIS COLOR!
Azshara's actions have always had one main goal of freeing N'Zoth from his prison.
We now know that she is most likely succeeding. Since our arrival on Nazjatar, Queen Nag has been showing us visions of N'Zoth's release, wanting us to focus on thwarting her.
Thalyssra: Here... There's someone... His tentacles are wrapping my mind.
Herald of N'Zoth: The prison is weakening. The world screams. N'Zoth returns.
Shandris: Oh there! Pillars of the Titans. And chains disappearing into the darkness.
Thalyssra: Azshara wants us to see that. Why? Surely she knows we won't let this monster loose.
Shandris: There is no time to warn the others! We need to end this once and for all, heroes... Now!
The first question that comes to mind is why Azshara wants us to stop her. We have shown time and time again that we can do the impossible and do anything for the good of our world. She knows this too. Azshara wants us to be by her side as she performs the final ritual because... We've been manipulated since the beginning of Battle for Azeroth!
Azshara: You heroes already know the truth? Every step you have taken has been subject to my will. This dwarf believed that you could save Azeroth by strengthening your little shining Heart. A gift from a sleeping titan.... Yes, the Titan's heart was just what I needed. Not to heal the world... but to destroy the prison of God! The ritual is almost complete. The Black Empire returns.... And the world awaits its true queen.
This is what it will look like. At the end of the battle, Azshara will be trapped by us in the Palace. She will then use our Artifact to awaken N'Zoth. Ion Hazzikostas said in an interview that after this battle it should be clear who the final BfA boss will be. It appears that in patch 8.3 we will face N'Zoth himself.
To me, this means that in patch 8.3 we will be heading to another land of Ny'aloth the so-called Sleeping City, the location of the Old God - presumably. It might seem that the awakening of the Void Emissary is reason enough for the Covenant and Horde to reunite.
But is it, surely?
RELATIONS BETWEEN THE FACTIONS
At first glance, it may seem like we'll be getting a replay of the Mists of Pandaria expansion pack. Patch 8.2 itself begins with Baine being saved from death at the hands of Sylvanas and Thrall and Saurfang planning a rebellion. Jaina and Lor'themar pursue the Nazjatar, rejecting what separates them. They realize that to defeat N'Zoth, they must unite, as they did in Ahn'Qiraj and Ulduar.
Lor'themar: Our victory is bitter. Lord Azshara will rise. Nothing can stop it.
Jaina: Amidst all her lies, Priscilla Ashvane told one truth. The war between us has distracted us from our greatest enemy. Separated, we cannot stop N'Zoth.
Lor'themar: We may have found common purpose here on Nazjatar, but the war is still on. As long as Sylvanas rules in Orgrimmar, there will be no peace.
Jaina: The war must end. You know that well.
Lor'themar: I had hoped that reason would prevail. However, it is high time this ended. I will tell my people what happened here. How we defeated Azshara by uniting. About the threat that lurks in the depths. How it will all disappear if we fail. Then I will stand beside Thrall and Saurfang, praying that the sin'dorei will follow me.
It appears that every leader is now against Sylvanas. More strangely, she seems to want it! She has ordered her men to allow us to free Baine and escape.
Some say Sylvanas wants to gather all the heroes in one place, annihilate them, and then resurrect them as her servants. Death is beginning to play an increasingly important role in our universe, and we certainly have to reckon with a force that the Old Gods fear. Ion Hazzikostas himself talks about how there are some similarities between the story of Sylvanas and Garrosh. However, he says that Sylvanas will definitely not end up on trial, in chains. She is not a character who would allow that to happen.
We get a partial glimpse of the role that Xal'atath, who has ended up in Sylvanas' hands, will play. He is to guide Nathanos to the next point in their campaign, Nazjatar. Banshee has predicted massive losses on both sides, but that doesn't stop her from giving the order. It's very possible that it's the dagger that speaks to her, but it begs the question, who inhabits it now? We now come to the most important moment. What is Sylvanas' plan?
In the excavated dialogue of War Chief and Nathanos, we can read an interesting sentence:
Sylvanas: The threads we have woven with such care will soon be pulled. War does what it is meant to do. You, on the other hand, remember what is most important to us. You know what is coming.
Well, what's coming? We know that Sylvanas' goal is to subdue Death and save her people from annihilation. During Legion she tried to enslave Eyir, what if Xal'atath's dagger wants to use it to enslave the Old God? I'm very curious about the relationship between these two. Sylvanas doesn't seem concerned about freeing N'Zoth. Maybe it's because she's working with him, or conversely, as an emissary of the power of Death, she knows that the Old God will soon be destroyed?
Very many questions, very few answers. As for my guesses, I think patch 8.3 will take us to Ny'aloth, where we fight N'Zoth and defeat him at the end of the patch.