I do have some changes in mind that I think will help players not feel like they have to farm.
The term "grind" is largely unhelpful from a developer standpoint because it's used to mean so many things:
1) Gameplay that is trivially easy (by that stage of the game) but literally mandatory, so the player just goes through the motions because they want to get to the rest of the game.
2) Gameplay that is trivially easy and optional, but has sufficient rewards that the player goes through the motions because those rewards will help them get to the parts of the game they enjoy (or maybe those rewards are sufficient motivation in themselves).
3) Gameplay that may be quite challenging but that the player does not enjoy, but literally has to do to progress, so they do it to progress.
4) Gameplay that may be quite challenging but that the player does not enjoy, and is optional, but has sufficient rewards to motivate the player to do it anyway.
5) Gameplay that the player doesn't enjoy, even if it's challenging, optional, and has no rewards that can't be obtained elsewhere. In other words, the player just doesn't like that part of the game.
So, while I understand it is a useful word when describing how you feel about a particular part of the game, if folks could clarify exactly what they mean by "grind" (maybe we need a wiki page with numbered definitions ) in the specific cases they use it, that would help me a lot in actually figuring out what to do about it, if there's anything I can do about it (someone not wanting to be motivated to gain XP is one thing, somoene who just doesn't like champions is another).
For me a grind is more or less the old super-terminal: I would build up defenses, and then build a command center. Kill as much as possible, then kill my own command center before the AI get too many reinforcements. Rinse and repeat until the cycle can no longer be sustained.
So in other words, repetitive doing the same thing over and over for the same rewards in order to gain an advantage for the later game.
In moderation, some grinding is OK, but when it can be taken to the extreme on the other hand..
Maybe my explanation was not all that good, will see if I can dream up something better once I get some coffee