Townsfolk were there to help you know what to do next. Then as RPGs added more cutscenes the knowledge from the townsfolk became more and more scenery and less and less information to help you along. So I stopped talking to them.
In FFX after playing in the Big Blitzball Game in Luca and watching the dare-I-say-it enjoyable Laughing Scene it becomes time for our main characters to begin the pilgrimage, i.e. an actual good excuse for an RPG essentially being a straight line.
As I run down this straight road with the occasionally bends, I talk to one of the random folk. “Oh, it is you, Yuna. Here, take this. Hopefully it will help you on your quest.” Boom. Free stuff. Now I am talking to everyone because I want more free stuff. And the things they have to say I guess are kind of interesting.
But it is amazing how this one token has completely changed how I play the game. Why would I not talk to people now? They might give me stuff! Several people on this road did and even if no one else in the rest of the game does, I will feel compelled to check because free stuff.