That’s not grinding. Grinding is when you keep doing the same thing over and over to get XP.
The mechanics of the game were changed to fit this business model. For example, you can't assassinate all enemies anymore and each camp has at least one captain. It is designed to force you into combat, where the levels and gear matter. The bounty hunter mechanic makes it even worse, further pressuring you to level up.
You can like it all you want, but there's no denying the game mechanics were adjusted for microtransactions and not fun.