I really don't feel like New Horizons Items villagers were really that more diverse in old games. Realistically it comes down to having matters to do/reasons to test in about the sport that keeps people playing. I am not convinced a bit more dialog is the difference between 50 hours and 500.
I would like to see any data on this. It feels like there's more diverse conversation in this one than at any the prior person's to me, and I've got hundreds of hours in every single game. Only difference is the lack of meaner villagers when compared with the first. But I seriously doubt that is the difference maker between 50 and 500 hours to get many people at all.
I really don't have a link but dataminers discovered months ago that the villagers in NH have more lines of dialogue than any of those older games. The problem is in the samey lines that always come out the first time you talk to them that day. You have to keep talking for them for to the interesting and more diverse stuff, which is still an issue since few people talk to their own villagers over a few times every day.
The fact that the most upvoted comment in this thread asks trying characters to have stats for mini-games says so much about the way the men and women who complain about AC with this sub really have no desire to play AC. You want AC for a very different game. I have put a ton of hours to every AC, and NH is undoubtedly, the biggest measure that the franchise has taken since the initial game. The quantity of freedom you have to make your town your own is foolish compared to the prior game. I can't imagine ever going back to another one.
I love Animal Crossing and I concur that faux-RPG mechanics wouldn't make for a better Animal Crossing, but in a number of ways New Horizons felt just like step back from New Leaf. The decoration systems are enhanced but the furniture assortment is lacking, so that it felt much harder to make something which felt as though it represented me. I have seen plenty of very creative designs, but I've also seen a ton of basically the exact same bedroom or kitchen or living room. It doesn't help that they ruined the customization options of NL by making like half of the items unable to be customized, so forcing you to wait forever or try and trade for buy Animal Crossing Bells the ideal color box couch.