This is kind of a complex topic, so ill try and turn my verbosity down a notch or two.
Gnome + SystemD have been increasing their reliance on direct reliance on the Linux kernel and working to expose specific Linux kernel functionality to their userland processes. It’s not a bad thing per se but it does mean a lot of GNU/Linux desktop technologies are increasingly less cross platform when it comes to the BSDs. Historically recent examples of this are kdbus, flatpack, ostree, various sub daemons within the systemD project.
As a result all of the BSDs have kind of a weird spread of DE problems and strategies for coping with this. OpenBSD most notably is building a series of shims under the heading systembsd.
DEs which have fewer dependencies on Linux Kernel specific technologies tend to run better. XFCE compiled without Gnome VFS works excellent on NetBSD for example. ( If you forgo Gnome VFS you will want to use something like xfce4-mount-plugin to mount devices for you and a correctly written fstab. )
Not neccisarily on NetBSD but a lot of *BSD folks in general have also gravitated towards KDE and QT based DEs which has done less of this style of thing than Gnome which has made it’s upkeep a little better.
I haven’t surveyed all of the minor DEs out their on NetBSD as in GNU/Linux I was mostly a Gnome or Xfce guy and so far in NetBSD im mostly an XFCE or Openbox guy. Mate for example looks to be well maintained at first glance.
There is an effort inside of True OS to create and maintain a BSD first DE called Lumina Desktop. Its fairly young but worth keeping an eye on, though it’s NetBSD package is restricted to the work-in-progress repository. https://lumina-desktop.org
This linux-ification problem by the way isn’t restricted to DEs it is unfortunately increasingly common for large free software projects. Mozilla briefly for a few versions droped the standard BSD sound system, because the view over there was that it was legacy back from when the Linux kernel supported it pre-pulse audio. Docker kind of exploded around linux containers, even though FreeBSD jails are more feature rich and is only now circling back to BSDs. Etc, etc.