During Microsoft's live Gamescom 2018 episode of Inside Xbox today, Sea of Thieves executive producer Joe Neate discussed some of the new stuff that'll be appearing on the horizon with the free Forsaken Shores update.
This will be the first Sea of Thieves update that adds a new area to the map, a volcanic bit of sea that's plenty active. Earthquakes will signal that an eruption is near, and when an island goes off, rocks will fly, geysers will shoot into the air, and the water around the shore will become super-heated, which is why rowboats are also being added (woo!). You won't start with a dinghy, but can discover them within the world and attach them to your ship.
New merchant "cargo runs" are also coming. Players might have to transport rum or "expensive cloth," the latter of which loses value if it gets wet. After Forsaken Shores, cursed cannonballs and a new signal flag will be added, the latter of which broadcasts your location on the map. That seems like a poor choice, but could be some fun as we figure out whether marked ships are friendly, or planning an ambush.
The Forsaken Shores update is going live on September 19. Regarding the question Neate says he's been asked most at Gamescom—when they're going to add fishing—"we hear the feedback," he says. I hope so, because I want to catch some dang fish.
You can watch Microsoft's stream below. (The Sea of Thieves bit starts at around 1:13:00.)