As the harvest Moon guy I can say that there are issues with the game. Sadly the switch version is simply going to be vanilla. Lots of your issues (where are people on the map, where do I find x, time being short) have been all fixed by the PC modding community.
I also am waiting for co-op before asking others to hop into the game because unless you played Harvest Moon 64 and FoMT or MFoMT there is a gap you need to jump before the game hooks you in.
In reality this was due to people comparing this game to Animal crossing, which is one of the worst comparisons to make. The quests that appear in game are nothing more than a means to get cash. When you start a game up you will not be able.to complete most of them due to the items needed and the required time it takes to get. The best way to think about it is, “hey I have X in a chest, going grocery drop it off for some quick cash”
If you want a mod list of helpful things I can get it to anyone that wants it. SMAPI is almost at 2.0 making it even easier to manage mods.
Also too much of the coverage online are the min/max people sucking all the fun out of it. The best way to approach the game is to kick out all notions of progression. Simply work on the work you want to make and if other things happen, that’s cool but the important bit is to set your own goals and have fun with it.