Don't mistake my complaints for struggle. I don't think there's ever any doubt that I (or probably anyone else) would get through the quests one way or the other. In fact, as it goes, I just caught up with the quests yesterday.@Pauly7 , with your experience I am amazed that you struggle so much with the quests. Since there is a quest list available in Gems you can back off, if needed, from the Spire and/or tournament if there is an upcoming quest that requires encounters or relics. You don't have to go blindly and see what the next quest might be...
My problem is that I don't like the sequences of quests they are putting out now. The more time passes the more people there are with massively long scouting times. They're also increasing the number of quests that ask for encounters to be completed or relics gained. I don't look up the quest lists any more (in fact I haven't for years) because I don't see any need for it. With the quests as they are there is not much point doing it anyway because you aren't looking for many things that you can plan ahead for. Sure I could paw over the "cheat sheet" and look up where all the encounters quests are and plan my tournament play around that. I don't need to do that, but it just makes the whole process really dull.
In this event I spent a cumulative total of over 2 weeks with absolutely nothing to do except wait for tournaments or Spires to come around or wait for scouts to finish. I was probably unlucky this time with how things fell, but that is what can happen when all the quests are - complete encounters, gain a good amount of goods, gain relics, complete more encounters.
In the old days you could still happily play an event without looking up quests. It was kind of fun to guess when I might be asked for 3 x toolboxes or 5 x 2 day manu productions. Whatever happened you could get some things set up and you were never normally kept waiting for more than a few hours at a time. With how they are now I find myself time and again realising I have to wait 3 or 4 days for a tournament to start... so you decide to use up the available provinces... and then they run out because you just got 4 quests out of the last 6 asking you to collect 12 relics or complete 10 encounters. Then you bounce through a few more quests and it starts all over again.
As others have said (and I'm fully aware) you can get through it without using up provinces. You just need to give some thought to playing tournament rounds and Spire rounds at certain times. I will probably now do this for a couple of events to build up a buffer of available provinces again. This tactic is not so conducive to pet food management though.
I'm waffling. My only point is that three years ago you didn't have so many people with 90 hour scout times... scouting times which can only ever go up... but back then we weren't faced with half so many of this type of quest. I just find the whole process quite boring now. If there is an event on I would prefer to feel like I am playing one... which would mean having things to do every day. I realise they're trying to remove the need to build shanty towns, but I don't think they've found the correct solution to that problem (if it is a problem).