Combat Actions

I'm sad to see Disarm and Push removed from the available combat actions and moved exclusively into feats.  I feel like 3rd edition initially made this mistake, making everything you could do in combat that wasn't hitting someone with your weapon require a special feat, and then fixed it in 3.5 by having the feats just make you really good at those actions, but they were available to everyone. I want people to be creative in combat, not just fighters.
My group plays with a supplemental rule to address this, and leave PCs feeling like they can still be creative, but as a default they won't bog down gameplay with a giant list of options you can use. Just add this to your list of combat Actions:

Long Shot
As an action, you perform an action that normally requires a feat, and also requires an ability check or attack roll to perform that action. You have disadvantage on all checks for action. You must still meet the prerequisites for that feat. 

So now, you've got fast combat where nobody's combing through How to Play on their initiative. BUT. Did you run into the perfect situation to use Disarm? Alright, cool. Use Disarm, but you have disadvantage on both the attack roll and the strength check. But hey! If you had advantage in that situation, it cancels out and isn't so bad, right?

The problem in 3e was that characters were punished for trying maneuver in form of AoO. The negative reinforcements discourage players from using different maneuvers on a regular bases unless they can be bypassed.

Also, moving the special maneuvers to feats allows DMs who just want to run an old school style game to drop feats as a whole.
I do like the Long Shot idea very much. Using disadvantage as limitation is certainly miles better than granting attacks of opportunity.
Okay, people keep making this mistake. Pushing, tripping and so on have not been removed from the game as normal options. The feats make you better at these things. You can still try an improvised Strength/Dexterity check to do anything you could have done before: trip someone, push them, grab them, whatever. The feats just let you to things like push people much farther than normal, or let you trip someone in addition to dealing damage with a normal attack.
The problem as I see it is that if Disarming Attack and Shove Away are meant to be interpreted as "Improved Disarm" and "Improved Push" feats then surely the basic forms of Disarm and Push need to be defined first, otherwise you don't have a common foundation on which to build.

The design for feats typically allows your character to do things they ordinarily couldn't. Since these feats define the rules for disarming and pushing, which are not defined elsewhere, it implies that you need the feats in order to perform these actions, even if this isn't the intent of the feats.

I do agree with you that any character can attempt to disarm their opponent without the feats and that the feats are intended to allow you to attack and disarm as a single action, it just doesn't read that way.
I can understand them wanting to simplify things for the basic rules, but since this game is modular (right? RIGHT?) I expect to see Disarm/Trip/Push return as Str vs. Str/Dex tests in the future. I dislike leaving such basic combat techniques totally up to improvisation.
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